•By Steve Osuji
•Author: Goddy Ikeh
If anyone has one or two thoughts about the Nigerian condition, it must be CHIEF GODDY IKEH.
And he has gathered his tome of experience of about 30 years of solid journalism practice in a book titled: WHITHER NIGERIA.
If a man rose to be Deputy Editor-in-Chief in Charge of Business Desk in the News Agency if Nigeria (NAN), if he served three finance ministers as Press Secretary, if he attended several World Bank annual conferences as well as served as a BBCjournalism trainer, then he must be a journalist of some certain calibre.
Such indeed is Chief Ikeh and this book is a testimony.
Whither Nigeria is a collection of about 70 articles which range from energy (his forte), economy, politics and general issues.
He remains among the most respected African journalists covering the energy beat. Apart from an authoritative book (The Nigerian Oil Industry, 1991), which earned himself a global acclaim, he was a stringer for OPECNA, PANA, Bloomberg and Platts OILGram among others.
In this book, he brought much insight to bear on the troublous Nigerian refining environment; the discovery of shale oil; the much delayed Petroleum Industry Bill and power reforms in the last decade.
Exactly three years ago, in June 2018, in an article: “MACBAN: Nigeria’s new dilemma”, he warns about the incipient security threat which has now become full blown.
It’s not all bolt and nuts economic arcana. There’s a piece: The great Ponmo war, calling attention to Nigeria’s leather industry sizzling in Nigeria’s broiling soup pots.
A requiem for the late literary icon, Chinua Achebe and Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ African Champions victory in South Africa 2013 also found space in the book.
This collection is a slice of Nigeria’s current history. Apart from its racy, exquisite simplicity, it’s a reference material that ought to be on the shelf of every serious researcher.