Sunday, 2 March 2014

Why the Centenary Cake should cost N150 Million


Since the Nigerian 50th Independence Anniversary Cake cost a mere N75million, the Nigerian Centenary Anniversary Cake should cost N150 million! This is so because Nigeria will be one hundred years old in 2014 as a united and indivisible entity which came into being through the fiat amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates in 1914. It was a fiat amalgamation because the different ethnic nationalities that constituted both the defunct Southern and Northern Protectorates were never consulted before they were forced in this marriage of convenience that was aimed to serve the selfish purpose of the colonialists! Thus, if the country could spend a mere N75 million to bake a cake to celebrate her 50th independence anniversary, it is more reasonable for the country to spend the double of that amount; that is N150 million to bake the centenary anniversary cake.

 The Nigerian 50th independence anniversary cake which cost N75 million, weighed 65,000 kg. The 6 feet high and 100 feet long cake became the world’s largest cake in 2010. The cake beat the Guinness World Records cake of 58kg tons and 7.35 icing which was baked in Alabama in 1989. The Nigerian 50th independence anniversary cake was a fruit cake decorated in green and white colours of the Nigerian Flag. The cake which was unveiled at the National Stadium, Abuja was served by 2000 persons but could not possibly reach all Nigerians.
 According to Mr. Victor Oluwafemi, who was one of the organizers of the World’s largest cake tagged the “One meal one nation”, in line with the philosophy of the project, said, “Every state will receive one ton of the cake and every tribe will be represented in Abuja Stadium on October 1, and will have the opportunity to have a bite of the cake”. I doubt if the N75 million cake got to every tribe in the country since we have about 372 tribes and 380 dialects in the country! So, we need a bigger cake that can reach every tribe in the country during the centenary celebration come February, 2014. This is so because there is so much money in the country that can be used to bake the cake. After all, a former Head of State once said, “The problem with Nigeria is not money but how to spend it”. Indeed, there is no problem of money in this country but what judicious use we can put it, is what the problem is. So, with the centenary anniversary celebration, an opportunity has been opened once again for the money to be properly used.
With an estimated population of 170 million people, the cake of N150 million will sure be enough to reach every Nigerian so that no Nigerian will be left out of the celebration. Again, when the piece of the cake gets to every Nigerian, no Nigerian will have the opportunity to complain for not having a share of the 100 anniversary cake. Once every Nigerian has gotten a share of the cake, there will no longer be complain of marginalization from any tribes or ethnic nationalities because the major problem with the country is about sharing the national cake; it is not about generating the national cake but sharing it! But will the share of the cake be big enough to satisfy every Nigerian that will receive it? Will it banish hunger from the country?
However, I am miffed like many other Nigerians about the rational behind this whole clamour to celebrate the nation’s centenary existence as one united and indivisible entity. Is the centenary worth centenary? Is there anything to really celebrate in the 100 years existence of the country? What feat, discovery or invention has the country made since her amalgamation that should be celebrated? In my humble personal observation, I sincerely think that there is nothing to celebrate rather we should bury our faces in utmost shame and engage in deep sober reflection. As a nation and Nigerians, we must look back and ask ourselves this mind-blowing question, how did we spend 100 years without a single discovery or invention? We should ascertain why at 100 years our leaders cannot build functional hospitals but patronized foreign hospitals. We should ask why the four refineries in the country cannot function adequately and we must import refined petroleum products from other countries that ordinarily are not our equals. That Nigeria still imports everything she uses is enough to debar the country from celebrating the centenary. A country as ours that imports toothpicks, needles, etc sure has nothing to celebrate.
It is interesting to note that India was a contemporary of Nigeria having gained independence in 1947, that was just 13 years before Nigeria got her independence in 1960. But it is unbelievable that Nigeria import all the tricycles she uses from India! No doubt, India has left Nigeria many miles behind in terms of technological advancement. The polymer industry in the country is solely controlled by the Indians. Also, the textile industry is in the hands of Indians. Indians have also gone into the building of ships, computer software that compete favourably with those made by the Americans and other advanced economies.
From the foregoing, there is absolutely no need for Nigeria to celebrate the centenary anniversary because the country has not moved forward since the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates in 1914. Nigerians should rather use this period as a sober reflection and chart a direction for the future of the country.

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