E O EkeMonday, December 11, 2017



read Fashola's thesis on the Nigeria pension fund with mixed feeling. It dealt with a lot of issues, which on the surface seems plausible.

However, it did not discuss how those who would not be able to contribute would be catered for.

The selfish idea in Nigeria that it is only those who worked for the government that are entitled to pension is wrong, if not immoral.

This frame of mind is informed by a very selfish and self centred capitalistic philosophy, which does not recognise the responsibility of government to those who for no fault of theirs, cannot make positive contribution to the economy.

Reading Fasola was like reading a right wing Tory, who thinks that the government should have no place in industry and that the society is best served, when greed is unrestrained in the name of free market.

It is instructive that his thesis has no place for the other reasons why government fail. He said nothing about how the kind of systematic corruption with impunity we have in Nigeria can undermine even the best of plans.,

There is a better model to the vision Fashola paints, which takes care of those who cannot make contribution and other people with natural advantage.

A contributory pension works, if everybody contributes. In Nigeria, people like Fashola, have secured their future through corruption and natural advantage and, made provision for their future through special pensions from government because they served for 8 years.

They would not be part of this contributory pension and therefore may have only political interest and the opportunity it may offer them to secure capital.

A better way is the people government partnership, where the people take the lead and government conscious of its social obligations to the disadvantage and able to ensure regulation and level playing ground.

Government cannot completely leave things to the forces of demand and supply. It will give rise to a dystopic Darwinian society, where the rich and powerful flourish and the poor and weak die.

Nigeria needs to create a fairer society, where creativity and industry are rewarded and those who have natural disadvantage taken care of in a sustainable way and manner.

This is the difference between Europe and America. If people like Fasola are allowed to determine the future of Nigeria unchallenged, they will deliver a more monstrous type of American Soulless capitalism, where money and money alone is everything.

That would not be the type of Nigeria I would not want for my children and grand children to identify with.