Fellow Citizens of LinkedIn Nation,
You might have read that O.A. has chosen me as the President of our LinkedIn nation [lol]. I am honored for the confidence from our citizens. I grew up in a village and was brought up with the African values of decency, honor and service. Since I left that village for my university education in Owerri, our nation has provided immense opportunities to me. I remain grateful to our nation. But my story is not typical.
As your President, I will institutionalize great moments across homes and communities, uniting all of us to a shared vision of a great nation that is open, dynamic, prosperous and hopeful. From the lagoons of Lagos to the mangrove of Calabar, from the savanna of Yola through the plateau of Jos, to the beautiful forests of Abakiliki, men and women, boys and girls and indeed all citizens will experience unbounded optimistic future because we will serve.
I will usher a new dawn on nationalism to enable us achieve great success through societal energy. It will be based on substance, and fueled by visible economic roadmaps for all. The nationalism will bring our diasporas to return with money, investment ideas, global standards, networks and passion to build our nation. They will help develop a national pride and confidence, with skill and effectiveness, to harness our national power for national purpose, by using our cottage of intellectuals, artisans, professionals and patriots.
We have a history and we are living through one. The economic, political and institutional evolutions in our nation since oil became the mainstay of our economy remain largely non-core-market parasitic gains fueled by high oil prices. Our nation has not decoupled her fate from oil as oil still dominates our foreign earnings. The progress we have made in agriculture before the dawn of petroleum is equivalent to the progress made in our traditional African medicine which remains largely lost and undocumented.
So while we have knowledge, we have destroyed the process of our learning and experience. Years of poor policies have produced series of catastrophic convulsions that damaged our economic, agricultural, trade and intellectual capital and turned once a vibrant virtuous cycle into a vicious one. They changed a bright modernizing economy with ruthless pragmatic agricultural program into one that cannot feed her citizens. Under my watch as your president, I will work to make our nation one that can feed not just itself but its neighbors.
I skipped meals in FUTO because it was a privilege to visit the buka three times in a day. Yet, I knew I had a privilege because not many were given that opportunity to attend a university. I want every one of us to see that no matter our conditions that many more are looking unto us. And as you do that, our government will look unto every one of us. We are one nation, bounded by the sheer power that we have the finest entrepreneurial minds in Africa. I want to tap into the skills of our fellow citizens, making sure that we can all build that nation we all deserve.
Our economy must be diversified towards evolution of potential synchronous regional growth sources across all states of our nation. This will drive an efficient, business-friendly regional system that will support the present effervescence in our economy. A system that will move us from potentially episodic and ephemeral achievements of the present capital markets to a diffused learning that will transform artisans, traders, sculptors and farmers and move them up to learn and apply at higher levels. We will support small and medium enterprises (SME) across our nation. I will engineer a vibrant economy.
To build a nation, I present these pillars. I invite you to come and join this government. We will make our nation the finest where all men and women will come to cherish.
Pillar 1 – Anti-Corruption & Business Reform: We will build a corruption-free nation where it would be extremely impossible to perpetuate corruption because technology will make things obviously transparent. All government systems must be structured to be corruption-resilient so that people that want to perpetuate corruption will fail. We will publish any government expense that is more than N10 million in a web diary which all citizens will have access to. This applies to all levels in the federal government, from ministries to agencies. For national security reasons, a segment will be available to the civil society and accredited press team. Our government will improve business systems and make doing business in our nation easier.
Pillar 2 – SME Funding & Food Security: This government will fight the evils of our society which is poverty by creating jobs. I have confidence in the ingenuity of our fellow citizens and entrepreneurs to build a new nation for us. I will inject $5 billion into SMEs and agro-funding by helping them fund growths and build the future for our nation. All loans will be tied to BVN and re-payable. Any entrepreneur or company that takes the loan and refuses to pay back will be forever banned from our financial system until the person re-pays. The loan will be low interest of 3% re-payable over five years. The recouped money will be invested in new firms. The administration of this fund will go through our banking system with clear mandates on the structure and operation. This government will create two million jobs per year over the next four years. To fund this, I will tap the external reserves. For agriculture, specifically, we will transform the sector into an enterprising sector with injection of capital for research, production, and improvement of inputs looking at capacity for 10x improvement on yields within a decade.
Pillar 3 – Power & Energy: Today, I am instituting a total deregulation in the electricity sector, making it possible for entrepreneurs to have access to metering systems. Our government will fund the meters for households. Any energy producer with a minimum capacity of 10MW will have access to that metering system. We will make it possible for competitions to exist so that customers can receive quality service. We will have energy aggregation station and any energy entrepreneur that produces energy will be paid. We want villagers, communities and cities to have access to power.
Pillar 4- Education: Our government will have benchmarks to improve our educational system. Our people-centric policy will use education to deepen and improve our nation’s innovation. We will improve the compensation of teachers at primary and secondary school levels and demand measurable outcomes. At the post-secondary education level, we will inject $10 billion to help us attract, retain and develop innovations that will transform our nation. Under my leadership, every kobo of this $10 billion will be accounted for. All expenses with a minimum of N10 million will be publicly accessible online in each of the schools. My government has also chosen 6 universities which we will put extra resources to ensure that we can produce one of the top five African universities on research and innovation. I want you to judge me on this promise. Part of the funding will be a total change in our tax code which will open our public schools to private sector support.
Pillar 5 – Health: We all fall sick. Our nation historically has not served our citizens well in this area. My government will expand the use of the BVN/NIMC identification system to unleash a health insurance system in the nation. Every health system in our nation will be redesigned. Corruption perpetuated in the healthcare sector will attract a minimum of 15 years imprisonment which will be prosecuted and completed within 3 months. This administration will require registration of all products and services sold by health institutions from pharmacists, chemists to clinics to ensure they meet a minimum level of care. Governments working through health insurance scheme will support private sector initiatives in each ward to provide top-grade health services. For our fellow citizens that cannot pay, we will do all necessary to provide support systems to ensure that no citizen of this nation will suffer undue hardship because of financial capabilities.
Pillar 6 – Security: We will not fight security of our nation with just guns and bullets. We will use opportunities, food, schools, good health centers, and more to fight them. We will address the root causes that make young people to lose hope and join gangs and terrorism. We will not increase internal security expenditure. Rather, we will make the spending more efficient requiring the ability of EFCC, ICPC, selected Press and civil society to see any spending that is more than N10 million. We will do this while protecting national security. I have instructed the head of our defense that 10% of all security systems and solutions must be sourced locally. We are confident resources will be made available to build indigenous capabilities in this sector. In the time of war, some industries arise. We will use our manpower and companies to support our defense and security nexus. I want the equipment made in our nation: from 10% of all defense budget, we will move to 25%.
You might have noticed that some sectors like Transport and Land Reforms were not included. We are not ignoring them. We will tenaciously address the challenges therein but we want to start with these Six Pillars which are going to be catalytic to other areas.
Over the next few days, we would be publishing more detailed Action Plans & Roadmaps [see the Comment section for skeletal view]. I invite you to read them and connect as we build our nation. Believe in our nation!
May God Bless Our Nation.