BY MADUKWE CHIGOZIE JOEL
Dear Future President,
I am a Nigerian who shares the same hardship with millions of Nigerians. Words cannot paint the pains we are currently bearing today. However, this would not deter me from drawing your attention to this reality.
You might not have firsthand experience of the excruciating pains we carry, but you are driven by reasons best known to you, to contest for the highest office in the country with an obvious claim of fixing the country and eliminating the misery that has engulfed her populace.
I am not an economist, nor am I a journalist, but the current grave situation of our beloved country contribution from every meaningful citizen.
Past governments could have been tackling our problem from the macro standpoint, but I would appreciate it if you could approach the challenges from the grassroots standpoint. This entails asking the fundamental question, what does the common man want? We want peace, good governance, and prosperity, but our greatest want is hope. A modicum of hope that your government would avail us with these life essentials;
Food as basic as it sounds is now a luxury to the average Nigerian. We all know that a hungry man is an angry man, who is susceptible to breaking the law to satiate his appetite for food. Hunger gets the better part of us all, for you wouldn’t believe how a man’s morals could reduce to nothing just for a loaf of bread. Food is important, for no other aspect of human development could be attained when the man lacks the will and physical strength to think outside the box. Like I said I am not an economist, merely pointing out the facts. It is your primary responsibility to put together a team that would guarantee food availability and sufficiency in the country.
Road network. Once a man’s desire for food is met, the natural thing is for him to be on the move to advance his quality by engaging in one form of business transaction or the other. This movement should be facilitated by the government, by creating accessible roads from the urban areas to the rural communities. The federal government this time should not only saddle the states and local authorities with this responsibility but find a way to persuade and supervise urban-rural road connections, for the failures of these local leaders will impact negatively the growth of the nation. It is not enough to share the national cake with these entities, without insisting on the execution of certain key developmental projects. Those abandoned rural roads are key to transporting food and manpower to where they are most needed.
Education. Sir, as the President of this great country, this is an area that needs more than 50% of your energy and time in office. Due to the failure of the government to provide the basic human needs, most of our students are more concerned about earning a living while in school rather than studying, and a good number of our lecturers engage in sharp practices and unjust gratification to make more money to meet their primary needs. A timely overhaul of the qualities and characters of the lecturers need to be done alongside a significant up-ward review of their remuneration. Admission into any level of education must be strictly based on merits and other vocational institutions must be promoted to accommodate those with lesser IQ to survive the rigors of advanced education. Basic education must be encouraged before any citizen would venture into other desired careers or apprenticeships.
Micro businesses. A huge number of the Nigerian population is engaged in petty trading, and any policy geared toward the growth and encouragement of these small businesses would reflect on the economic growth of the nation. The financial institutions, mostly the micro-finance banks should be supported by the government to enable them to provide funding at cheap rates to these rural and urban traders.
Health is another way we the masses can feel the impact of good governance. Good a thing we already have health centers in most communities and a general hospital virtually in most local governments, all you need is to equip them to word class standards. Proximity to affordable health services will improve not only the life expectancy rate but also reduce maternal and infant mortality rates.
Electricity, the issue of power cannot be overemphasized. Hence electricity is the backbone of most businesses, lack of it has led to high operational costs and in most cases rendered some businesses bankrupt. A steady supply of electricity would encourage innovation among the youth, and automation of almost all stages of production, which would by extension lead to price reduction on locally manufactured goods.
Mr. President, I congratulate you and wish God would give you the needed wisdom on how best to positively affect the lives of over 200 million Nigerians.
Daily News Reporters