Champagne Nigeriana

Posted: May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

A ninth-grade teacher wanted to demonstrate the evils of liquor to his young students. He produced a glass of water, a glass of vodka, and two worms. “Now class, observe closely,” he said as he dropped one of the worms into the glass of water. The worm wriggled about in the water, perfectly happy. The teacher dropped the second worm into the glass of vodka. The worm swam around for a moment, then seized up and curled, quickly sinking to the bottom of the glass, dead as a doornail. “Now, what can be learned from this experiment?” the teacher asked his students. After a pause, a young man stood up and said, “Well, if you drink vodka, you’ll never get worms.”

Nigeria’s elite make country toast of champagne sellers–Trends, Nigeria spends N9.4b on Champagne–The Nation, Nigeria Expends $59m On Champagne In 2012, Luxurious Nigeria: N9.4b a Year on Champagne, So Money Dey like This: Nigerians Spend N41billion On Champagne, Nigeria’s elite make country toast of Champagne sellers, NIGERIA SPENDS $106.2M ON CHAMPAGNE YEARLY.

The above are just a few of the headlines for those media that carried the story on champagne consumption in Nigeria; the news item almost went unnoticed, even though it was on the strong AFP news agency.

It was the result of a study, research of Euromonitor International.

The summary of which; Nigeria spent N9.4billion ($59 million) on consumption of champagne last year. Placing us second above the likes of Russia, Mexico and even China.

Although there are several variables, like $59m which is just over £38m is a tiny figured compared to the UK whose population is only a third of the population figures for Nigeria.

But let us not forget that this $59M according to reports is “against World Bank calculations from 2009-2010 some 63 per cent of Nigerians live on less than N160 ($1 dollar) per day.

Data from the same years, the latest available, shows 46 percent of the country’s population living in poverty, a slight decrease from 48 percent in 2003-2004.

However, the decrease is less than population growth, meaning more people live in poverty today than a decade ago.

The gap between the rich and poor has also been growing, with a scale measuring inequality moving from 0.39 in 2003-2004 to 0.42 in 2009-2010. Zero represents complete equality on the scale, while one is absolute inequality”.

Whatever this mathematics mean, all those billions on Champagne, it excludes the amount of money spent on Burukutu, Palm wine, Koskolo, for monkey-tail, kparaga and sepele water, pito and sarkodie

While one is torn on exactly how to view this trend and situate my admonition.

Let us look at the following realities–Prices at clubs can vary widely here, with a standard bottle of Moet & Chandon running around N19, 000, while bottles of Crystal can come in at 140,000 or more. A bottle of Rose champagne is sold for N77, 000, while Demi-sec brand is N55, 000 per bottle. Krug and Crystal brands fall among the most expensive, with a bottle going for N165, 000 and N275, 000, respectively.

In a nation where several communities lack basic health care facilities, cannot adequately cater for its children of primary-school-going-age.

From a perspective, it simply means some $50M plus, just get out of the country to satisfy a vain society, fleeced for weddings, burials, power people, with some entire state don’t even a dialysis machine.

With everybody going to church, mosque, being pagans and atheists, who consumes these drinks. How will the market for kidnappers not blossom, and Boko Haram thrive, I was privileged to visit an oga at the top, and guests were served Angel champagne brands, a brand that sells for as much as N600,000 per a 1.5 litre bottle.

He boasted that it was even cheap, and he was among that few that had bottles of it in the world not just Nigeria.

With leaders on such consumption and followers on the other end of the ladder consuming locally brewed beer, spirits and gin without stats. It is no surprise why we are the way we are and where we are.

The champagne drinkers and ogogoro drunkards are not exactly straight on what happened in Baga, Borno state. The champagne popping goes on in Abuja, across 36 state government houses, the elites are clicking the glasses while for the masses getting portable drinking water is a task looking unachievable by the day.

No Nigerian hip-hop musical is complete with bottles of champagne popping albeit the content maybe carbonated coke well shook so the gas can let out false foam. We are building a champagne society, one that lives on illusion, unable to see the realities.

The blame game never got worse; everyone is on one kind or form of champagne, if not Moet, its Sapele Water. Therefore rather than my brother and friend, I am high on champagne I see only enemies and foes. If it’s not my side of the wood it can’t be right. To a section GEJ can’t be right and Buhari can’t be wrong and it must be Beroms at fault or Fulanis responsible.

This champagne culture is why we are an economy growing without jobs or industries. No cause for alarm on Nigeria’s economy is Okonjo-Iweala, and Sanusi’s sing song while the champagne party goes on.

It is the champagne thing that has caught up with Mr. President and the entire Rivers, while people are hungry they have managed to even get the House of Representatives involved in their champagne movement, arguing, punching the air about a Bombardier aircraft that many Nigerians would only see while it is up there in the sky.

Nigerians are already in panic mood as September approaches on the small matter of new plate numbers that would cost between 15-40K depending on the state and type of car. The champagne muggers are wasting the foul-mouthed breath on documentation of an aircraft for which even the price of several billions and the ownership has become a matter of ‘it’s a lie, it is not true’.

I may have started this essay with a joke, but really it is no joking matter, everyday our moral and ethical fiber is being attacked, we keep stretching the elasticity of our sanity and believing very little will happen, we deceitfully speak of our resilience, well Only an imbecile carries a heavy load and stops to watch a spectacle; such a heavily-laden spectacle watcher is the sort of spectacle that attracts the attention of imbeciles. Only a fool neglects pressing duties to pop champagne… and where it leads only time will tell


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