29 July, 2008

LOOK TO THE IVORY COAST FOR INSPIRATION

I had the good fortune of living in Cote D'Ivoire for almost 7 years. It is a beautiful country with wonderful people, incredible music, great food and excellent beaches. I must confess that despite the recent insecurity and fighting that nation has experienced, Cote D'Ivoire and specifically, the city of Abidjan, will always have a special place in my heart.

Well, Cote D'Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast as non-French speakers call it, has done something that Nigeria's government should pay attention to. There was a
riot in April when the government increased the price of diesel. In response, the Ivorian government has just announced that it will slash the salaries of Ministers by half to subsidize the lower cost of diesel for the masses.
This action is unparalleled in West Africa as far as I am aware. In fact, I have never heard of such happening anywhere. And, even though it could simply be a means to get votes for the upcoming November elections, the mere fact that the Ivorian government listened to the people and took a decisive step to make appease citizens is commendable. I do no know how far this decision will go to keep diesel prices at a manageable price for Ivorians, but the fact that Ministers will experience a pay cut shows that that nation's leaders are willing to bear the burdens of tough global economic times right alongside the common man. This is enough to give the people confidence in their government and hope that future disagreements will be solved by compromise.

Now, if only there was such unparalleled action in Nigeria on a whole host of issues....


http://www.nigeriancuriosity.com/2008/07/look-to-ivory-coast-for-inspiration.html

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