Nigeria’s Budgets, Transparency and Million-denominated ATMs

Like many concerned Nigerians, I have been looking through the 2016 Appropriation Bill as made available by the Budget Office of the Federation. My concern mainly stems from the fact that I do not want Nigeria to borrow money to stuff the bank accounts of people that deliver little or nothing to the public.

You will find that several items in the proposed budget reek of shoddy preparation and in some cases, outright dishonesty. While some line items can be easily identified as being ridiculously overpriced, other items prepared by more seasoned veterans in the dark art of Nigerian budget preparation have been described vaguely and as such cannot be compared with anything. Continue reading

What really is a billion naira?

It is normal for humans to relate sums of money with their present problems or desires. When the news headlines talk about billions of naira, it is hard for the common man to relate with the figures because he doesn’t have problems that require billions to solve.

A billion naira is simply a million naira in a thousand places. To help you visualize billions better, below are some of the things a billion naira can do. Continue reading

jabi park junction

Weird Abuja Traffic Lights and Police “trappers”

If you have driven in Abuja for more than a few years, you would be aware that there are several intersections where conflicting traffic lights or hand signals of traffic wardens could easily be misinterpreted by road users. Not far from these points, there would typically be two or more police officers crouched behind shrubs waiting to leap out at unsuspecting motorists. With the introduction of several strange traffic lights around the city, business has improved for the crouching cops.

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Nigerian Networks, Servers and Long Queues

Day after day, many Nigerians stand in line for hours at banks, airline ticketing offices, government service providers like Customs, Driver’s Licence Authority, Hospitals, etc. The usual culprit is that “the network is slow” or “the server is not going”. As a Network Engineer, I cringe each time I hear “the network” being blamed for portal design or capacity planning failure.

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