Come, come, come

31 July 2011 | 16:20 | English | Leave a comment
A Nigerian fifty Naira bill, popularly known as 'wazo'It sounds like English, but if you listen closely you'll realize you hardly understand half of it. Nigerian Pidgin is a creole language based on English combined with words from the many local languages. Whether you come from the south, north or east of Nigeria, in the street and at the market you can make yourself understood in this lingua franca. It is a unifying factor in a country with at least 250 ethnicities. Radiostation Wazobia, which only broadcasts in this language, incorporated this in its name. The name consists of three times the word 'come'; 'wa' in Yoruba, 'zo' in Haussa en 'bia' in Igbo, Nigeria's three biggest languages. That the fifty Naira note is popularly known under the same name too, in short 'wazo', also has to do with these three groups. The bill, worth about 22 eurocents, portrays all three of them: at the bottom right a Yoruba man, left of him an Igbo, en on the top right a Haussa. The woman on the left is of unclear ethnic background - apparently the designers figured that for gender balance's sake there needed to be at least one woman on the bank note.

Ex-governor grants himself going away present

13 July 2011 | 10:38 | English | Leave a comment (one)
The Nation on Sunday, July 10, 2011Three times a year's salary the departing governor of Oyo State, Nigeria, granted himself and his entourage as a going away present. Such is the allegation of his successor in office. The treasury of the state in South-West Nigeria is now empty to a point that the newly installed government hardly manages to pay the minimum wage for civil servants and for companies with over fifty employees. In the beginning of the year a national Bill passed augmenting that salary to 18,000 Naira, which is about 85 euros. A month. To be able to pay out these civil servant's salaries in Oyo State, the recently inaugurated political office holders haven't been paid since they came in office. This was the talk of the town in Ibadan, Nigeria's third city and capital of Oyo State, this weekend. Nigerian politicians are amongst the best paid in the world. But in most parts of the country these high-earners haven't paid out the minimum wage ever since it became law.
(Source: The Nation on Sunday, July 10, 2011)