In the West we are accustomed to being asked to donate money to various charities that will spend the money in one or another African countries. We have seen all manner of hardships hit the continent, from Biafran and Ethiopian starvation, to ethnic and political instability from Rwanda to Zimbabwe and even once secure and safe Kenya.
So it came as something of a shock when I read “Unused hospital razed in Nigeria“. The bit about burning infrastructure is sadly familiar, but having a fully working, fully equipped, modern hospital unused for two whole years just because of a fit of pique by the local politicians who wanted it to be opened by the President of the country first, well, that’s just plain daft.
In England we have to wait for a year or two sometimes before the Queen or other member of the Royal Family have a slot in their diary to be able to visit the place for its official opening. We understand that important people have many calls on their time, and cannot be everywhere at once. But we get on and use the facilities anyway!
How childish is it to not use modern facilities just because you are throwing a wobbly? Is there any hope for a continent with such foolishness in high places? Are we wasting our time sending money there if this is the sort of thing that can happen?
Luckily, Nigeria isn’t the whole of Africa, and as an oil rich state has lots of money of its own to spend. Of course there is a lot of Nepotism and waste, corruption and poor strategy, but this one has to take the biscuit…