Honestly, I am thankful for the efforts our fellow citizens have put by sending suggestions and contributions to assist my planned presentation to a Nigerian Senate Committee. Professors, bankers, doctors, students, engineers and indeed professionals from across all key industrial sectors have written publicly and privately to assist. On LinkedIn, the contributions came from all parts of the world: UK, U.S., Australia and our home. Simply, our people want a better nation and they are ready to offer whatever it takes to make that happen. I just received a 15-page tome on how to fix Nigeria.
We are Nigerians, we are great people and I can see the passion and the energy in our people. If people could make this time to offer these ideas for the good of the nation, I think it is high time our leaders did the right thing. Indeed, Nigerians can fix this country because they truly love Nigeria.
My opinion has always been this: If government thinks that it has the right policy but no one is investing, it means the policy is broken. Nigeria cannot have all the opportunities and yet no one is coming to make money unlocking them. There is opportunity in energy but no one is providing electricity. There is opportunity in clean water but no one is providing clean water. You cannot tell me that you have the right policy and yet markets are not after your opportunities.
My experience serving in a committee in the United States National Science Foundation taught me something: when markets shun opportunities, it means the policies are not market-friendly. Nigeria does not have many market-friendly policies and that is why we have many ideas, but no products and services to serve our citizens.
Yet, I must acknowledge that government has gotten many things right: we got the BVN (Bank Verification Number) with the banking community right. We can have such home runs across many industrial sectors. This country needs to work, for everyone.
I believe in this nation. Nigeria made me. I enjoyed highly subsidized tertiary education in Federal University of Technology Owerri. That is a something I continue cherish. Though we could be very difficult to deal with as Nigerians, but generally we love our nation.
A repeat of the credit and liquidity squeeze, which rocked the banking sector in the wake of the takeoff of Treasury Single Account (TSA), may be in the offing if the Federal Government succeeds to acquire private accounts operated without Biometric Verification Number (BVN) numbers.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, penultimate week granted the Federal Government’s prayers to have thousands of account in commercial bank, that are still without BVN forfeited if owners do not come forward to claim them in two weeks.
According to industry source, no less than N600b, and an alleged undisclosed N400b by “smarter banks,” mostly belonging to politically exposed persons, may be sterilsied in the exercise, if followed duly and diligently by authorities.
You just wonder why people cannot make time to visit their banks and add their BVNs. It is very strange that about N1 trillion may be unassociated with any person in Nigeria today. That is about 10% of the total market capital of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. In the past, Nigeria allowed people to operate bank accounts without identities, but today the government has fixed the loophole. We just need to work and do the right thing. That is how we will continue to be a great nation and good people.
To all that contributed and continue to send ideas, Thank You. We would do justice to it.---