Almost a year after Mr. President won the elections, the naira is experiencing a free fall, and insurgency is surging and threatening three critical regions. Our people are hungry and a poet has asked for an economic conference. In far away Qatar, Mr. President maintained that the naira will remain unpegged, Nigeria would remain a member of the OPEC and Biafra’s agitation would not be tolerated.
Mr. President, I salute you in your war against corruption. For one thing, no politician will depend totally on his purse as the decider of future elections. Sir, we think it is time now to push the executive bills to the House demanding the necessary cut down of all the ministries to only 12 namely; Justice, Health, Education, Defence, Interior, Finance, Works, Power, Industry, Petroleum, Solid Minerals, Economics, Agriculture, Sports and the Foreign Ministry. Don’t forget to direct your relevant security agencies to approach the Senate and seize the new ‘killer Beasts,’ which the senators have in absolute disregard to the exigency of our times used our scarce foreign exchange to procure. The people this time will be behind you. If you do these immediately you would recover some of your fast diminishing appeal, which starting receding after the deadline, the December month you promised Nigeria would end the Boko Haram insurgency. Indeed, your Defence Minister would have advised you to be more patient if his memo had concluded that your enemy is not a regular force of occupation advancing to win more territories. On the contrary, the Boko Haram, which enjoys a lot of indefinable relations with ISIS can be likened to their blood tainted brethren on the streets of Mogadishu. They are here to kill, hide, rape and pillage.
Mr. President also complained about sabotage within his government. We are sorry to note that most of your appointees are obviously overwhelmed by their new briefs and positions. They cannot give what they didn’t have. An example is your Minister of the Federal Territory. We were expecting an authority in urban planning, a metroline engineer who would understand what gentrification in modern African cities entails.
Your Foreign Minister who spent most of his life in Switzerland is yet to spell out what our Foreign Policy priorities are since your change government took over. We can go on, but remember for good or bad Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was the de facto Prime Minister and the influential Minister that ran the economy of the last government. We from Anioma loathed the minister as we cannot point to any development project such a powerful minister attracted to her people. I had pointed out that this Oxford/Harvard daughter of a Professor paid for over 20 new universities but Asaba to Agbor have no single university after over eight years she was the Prime Minister. The only clean lake at Ogbe Obo in Ogwashi-Ukwu, her hometown has now been destroyed because Ngozi was building an America wonder hydro dam! In spite of all, she was able to discipline the governors and published their monthly subventions down to the local government allocations. She moved the economy, attracted a lot of investments and Nigeria’s economy catapulted to the second best economy in the continent. For the most part, she kept the masses from going hungry and there was kerosene and the lines disappeared.
At this time of Nigeria’s economic exigency who is in charge? Who is your Minister of Economics? It looks like those brilliant heads at the Senate nomination exercises, cannot write a budget and obviously cannot run this deadlocked economy.
Please, Mr. President, call the Economic Conference just like the poet advised. I shall recommend the sitting of the conference to take the Libyan Green Revolution model. All those who are called shall pay their way. Most, experts will only sit in the location where their title of discussion will be addressed. For example, in the Lagos submitted papers and discussions will be centred on power/electricity generation, Naira Devaluation, Customs and Foreign Trade. In Ibadan, Agriculture, Local manufacturing and Exports, Fulani vs Farmers palaver. In Port Harcourt, Oil and Gas, Niger Delta Amnesty Program and Investing in Nigeria. Asaba, Oil and Gas, Textiles, Tourism, Customs and Export Trade. Aba, Power/Electricity, Manufacturing, Export Trade and Biafra. Calabar, the Naira devaluation, Tourism, Oil and Gas, Customs, and Export Trade. Abuja, Naira devaluation, Oil, Gas, and OPEC, Investing in Nigeria, and Foreign Trade.
Mr. President, I have with all audacity including Biafra as an item for discussion as we sit down to find ways in solving our economic problems. It is my humble submission that Biafra is more than specific territory like Professor Akinyemi observed, Biafra includes the scientific heritage of that war that was neglected by the Federal Government. It is not too late to regurgitate the genius and the tenacity of the mind that generated those innovations and discoveries.
It was you in your own words at your campaign in Aba to rebuild the working city to produce and export for Nigerian foreign exchange earnings, refine shoes, leather works and tailored fabrics that the city is renowned for.
Mr. President, for your own interest at this time of our wobbling economy, there must be a visible captain to sail us to a safe anchorage. That man you know, has worked for you, the Federal Government as a Minister of Finance, Planning and Economics. Dr. Idika is incorruptible, was the brain behind the South Korean leap, modernisation scheme as supervised by the World Bank. Mr. President, Dr. Idika Kalu was the only dissenting voice in 2005 when the Olusegun Obasanjo regime with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala committed the first economic faux pas, when that government on its own persuasion remitted over $6-12 billion debt treatment in favor of Paris Club.