I went on vacation about a week plus ago to Costa Rica. My first impression of the country was lovely. My friends and I stood at baggage claims and it wasn’t rowdy. We used the rest rooms; they were clean and guess what? There was water to flush and wash our hands. The airport was welcoming and calm. Immigration officers were laid back but stern. We took a cab from the Alajuela, the town where the airport was located and drove to San Jose. It reminded me of home, the little houses, the trees, the kids playing on the street. There was something different though, good roads, no traffic and the cabs are very comfy and inexpensive. The public buses were also nice (I am yet to find a conductor any where else). Yes, there were the small “ghettos” here and there; a homeless man sitting on the side of a corner street but honestly, being Nigerian, I felt safe and content. My friends and I did a lot of ‘tourismo’ stuff that required us traveling to Puerto Viejo and Puerto Arenas, which are the smaller provinces in Costa Rica. Even in these small towns, the roads were good and to my amazement (or should I say ignorance) there was electricity.
So I question the excuses I have been giving my country for years in terms of providing electricity for our people and our businesses. A couple of years ago, I was confronted by a school mate, Asian kid who grew up in the Benin Republic, he asked me why Nigeria has electricity problems but are still able to export electricity to Benin. I thought about it, had a few discussions and came up with the propaganda theory of how the certain government officials are getting bribes from generator merchants and in exchange they cut off power supply so these merchants can make profit selling their generators. Well, enough is enough. It is time Nigeria takes responsibility for its own. If we want foreign investments flowing into our economy then we have to make the environment conducive enough. Now that South Africa and Kenya aren’t looking ‘hot’ for African tourist attractions, maybe Nigeria should step it up and milk the tourism cow (hmmm, nah, Ghana is running with that already).
See article: Electricity Crisis, Bane of Investment – World Bank