CHANGE IS GOING TO COME
Ideas for the True Repositioning of Nigeria & other Developing Countries
“Dedicated to Nigeria, Africa and Humanity at large“
CHAPTER 1 1 A NEW AGENDA
SECTORIAL ANALYSIS AND SUGGESTIONS 1) AGRICULTURE 13 i) AGRO-ALLIED BUSINESSES 15
2) TRANSPORT 16 i) INLAND WATERWAYS 17
3) TAX SYSTEM 17 I) INCREASE OF VAT-CAUTION PLEASE 18
4) EMPLOYMENT- THE CARROT AND STICK APPROACH 19 i) PROGRESSIVE TAXATION 19 ii) CIVIL SERVICE RATIONALIZATION 19 iii) TAX BREAKS VS IMPORT DUTY WAIVERS 20
5) EDUCATION 21 I) BRING BACK OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS – TO ERADICATE CORRUPTION 21
CHAPTER 2 REBOOTING THE ECONOMY 23 i) ENDLESS SEARCH FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS 23 ii) CASCADING EFFECT 24 iii) EMBEZZLEMENT AND WANTON DISPLAY OF WEALTH 25 iv) VALUE SYSTEMS AND CORRUPTION 26 v) OTHER ECONOMIC POLICIES TO CHOOSE FROM 27
CHAPTER 3 THE NEAR-IMPOSSIBILITY OF EMPLOYMENT GENERATION 30 i) ITS ALL ABOUT EMPLOYMENT 31 Ii) THE REAL CHALLENGE WITH UNEMPLOYMENT 31 iii) OUTSOURCING, ROBOTIZATION AND COMPUTERIZATION 32 iv) LAYING THE FOUNDATION 32
v) YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT 33 vi) SO HOW DO WE CREATE THE NEEDED EMPLOYMENT IN THE FACE OF A DOWNTURN? 35
LET’S THINK ABOUT OUR PROBLEMS 36 i) THE ENVIRONMENT 37 ii) EDUCATION 37 iii) HEALTH 38 iv) POLICING/SECURITY 39 v) TRANSPORT SECTOR 39 vi) TEXTILE SECTOR 40 vii) SANITATION/SEWAGE (BORROWING FROM THE INDIAN EXPERIENCE) 40 viii) NATIONAL ORIENTATION 41 ix) INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE 42 x) AGRICULTURE/AGRIC VALUE-ADDITION/ FOOD PRESERVATION 43 xi) ANTI-CORRUPTION AND ANTI-FRAUD 44 xii) SURVEILLANCE OVER GOVERNMENT SERVICE DELIVERY 44 xiii) CONSTRUCTION/INFRASTRUCTURE 45 xiv) TECHNOLOGY AND MANUFACTURING 46 xv) TAX COLLECTION 47
CHAPTER 4 THE 24-HOURS ECONOMY 49 PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVES 50 A NEW ECONOMY – PRACTICAL STEPS FORWARD 51 AUSTERITY AS SHOCK TO OUR SYSTEMS 54 FEDERALISM- CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR 55 MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROGRESSIVE TAXATION 55 THE BADLY- NEEDED LAWS 56 ‘MOBILISATION’ IS KEY 56
CHAPTER 5 REPORTING OUR ECONOMY DIFFERENTLY 59 SO WHO STOLE NIGERIA’S TRILLIONS 61 NAIRA CRASH WHY? 66
CHANGE IS GOING TO COME
CAN NAIRA FIND its VALUE? 67
CHAPTER 6 THE CLEANEST, SAFEST, MOST ORGANISED COUNTRY IN AFRICA 72 NIGERIA’S NEXT TRILLIONS IS LOCKED IN THE ENVIRONMENT 75 PROTOCOLS, FOR SPIRING CITIZENS OF THE WORLD 81 ECONOMIC IDEOLOGUE; LONG SINCE DEAD? 89 A POSTCARD FROM SAN JUAN, AND THE DEMYSTIFICATION OF SOCRATES 94
CHAPTER 7 TO ACHIEVE CHANGE? OR TO END A CIVIL WAR? 106 APC’S PROMISES; HOW THE YOUTH CAN SAVE US FROM EMBARRASSMENT 117 PRES. BUHARI; TAKE MY ADVICE, ATTACK THE YOUTH 121 THE PROMISES I MADE ON BEHALF OF BUHARI 125 BEFORE THE HONEYMOON IS OVER; THE FIRST 100DAYS OF BUHARI 129
CHAPTER 8 A POST CARD FROM SAN JUAN & THE DE-MYSTIFICATION OF SOCRATES 137 DECODING BUHARI 149 PRESIDENT BUHARI MUST HEAR THIS! 153 THE HUNT FOR NIGERIA’S MAGICAL FUEL SUBSIDES 160 WHAT IF WE ALLOW THE NAIRA TO OFFICIALLY APPRECIATE? 165 BUHARI, THANKS FOR LISTENING TO NIGERIANS 173 CHOLERA IN THE AGE OF KNOWLEDGE 176
CHANGE IS GOING TO COME
The world is happy that Nigeria was able to achieve the unthinkable between March and April this year when it held very successful and certainly relatively peaceful elections that saw the country transiting between two opposition parties for the first time in its history. It was also a great lesson and indicator to other African countries who looked up to us here. The world had thought we would descend into a vortex of violence, enter into a tailspin from which we would not recover ourselves. But somehow, Nigeria pulled it off like a magician will put a rabbit from a hat. Unbelievable was the word.
Many well-to-do Nigerians had got on the nearest flight out of the country in the fear that the country will melt down into total chaos. Even the not-so-well-to-do, some of them found solace in the neighboring countries where they could afford. Foreigners gave Nigeria a wide berth. Those smart Alecs playing in the Nigerian Stock Market moved out on the double. The stock market crashed by at least N2trillion, and equivalent of $10billion. It was the second crash in a space of five or six years.
It has never happened before that governments will change hands peacefully in Nigeria. The few experiences we had were from military to military, buy force, or one in a while, a political party hands over to itself. Those were not problematic. We had seen Ghana waddle through and set some examples. That is our closest Anglophone neighbor; we sometimes forget there are two countries between us. Kenya and a few more countries within Africa had done the same, even though sometimes amid rancor.
NIGERIA’S “CHANGE” MANTRA WHAT IT WILL MEAN TO “CHANGE”
CHANGE IS GOING TO COME
Nigeria, that ‘big brother’ whom Ali Mazrui accused of the inability to even count itself, had never pulled off a peaceful toppling – through the polls – of a ruling party. Known for its unruliness, and the loudness of its people, very few, especially citizens, were hopeful of a peaceful transition.
As a matter of fact, many of those who stayed behind just couldn’t afford to leave. A number of them were patriotic though, and decided that come what may, they would remain in their country and weather the oncoming storm. This group knew, that if they left, they will have no claim to the changed new country that the incoming government had promised – that is if they were able to get rid of entrenched interests.
CHANGE VS TRANSFROMATION
Very interesting. The then opposition were promising “change”. But the then incumbents were insisting that they had “transformed” the country. Some said it was more like “transmogrification”, i.e. the turning of something good or redeemable into an ugly monstrosity. Change was supposed to be a notch below transformation. While beating its chest, the outgone party spoke eloquently about the trains it revived, and the airports it renovated. They waxed lyrical and poetic about their ‘transformation’ again, of the Agric sector. They said they had taken the ‘Transformation Agenda’ into Rice production in the country, even though at the tail end of the regime, a scandal broke out, involving the non-payment of N36billion, or almost $200million worth of excess import duty that was being evaded by some major… well… rice importers. We weren’t sure anymore, if indeed there was now local sufficiency in rice production, or whether it was all a wonderful paint job mounted by our Dapper Dan Agric Minister – now President of African Development Bank in Abidjan.
We weren’t even sure if Rice had become the new Petroleum, funded and subsidized in Nigeria, but sold abroad. How can it be that the government will incentive rice production, and offer low import duties to some select big importers, and while claiming it had produced so much, we were still hearing about ‘excess importation’? Wonders they say, shall never end.
All said, the CHANGE agents rode into town promising to change even the transformation, because according to the new kids on the block, it looked more like transmogrification. Instead of trains and rice and roads and airports, they saw instead, so much corruption, and stealing, gross mismanagement, little value-formoney, impunity, inefficiency, and indeed anything that any of the officials in the now outgone problem would have been happy to show their mothers at home.