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We should have known by now there are lots of opportunists in every sector of our country with some in the media utilizing the docility and vulnerability of Nigerians of churn out information that usually pitches citizens against their leaders to the extent that the narrative has now become more of a leader having to wear rags and torn clothes around before he is seen to have integrity.
I and my wife were in Marrakech, Morocco recently and we searched for Nigerian food or place to change Naira to Moroccan Dirhams and we could not find any, this is contrary to Dubai where to you will find so much of such and I told her it was a result of Nigerian’s very poor mindset regarding vacations because I’m not sure there could be anywhere in the world that could beat Marrakech as a wonderful vacation destination, little wonder why you have Europeans trooping in and out in droves with so many of them opting to splash millions of euros to buy off houses in the Medina city centers of Morocco.
I made the above illustration to buttress how much Nigerians do not value vacations and to them every vacation has to be a show of opulence and wealth when in truth with as low as one million Naira, one could enjoy a vacation with family in as close a place as Accra or Mombasa as long as you’re conversant with how to plan vacations. I keep telling people that my salary is more than enough for me to embark on a vacation as long as I plan it well, its not rocket science, vacations are essential for one’s sanity.
Coming down to the crux where Sahara Reporters had resorted to their usual cheap propaganda on the lifestyle and person of Prof Isa Ali Pantami, one would have chosen to ignore the not very trendy news, but it’s essential to set out the real narrative for posterity sake. They had accused the Prof of numerous travels against President Buhari’s directive without sharing with us the details of each travel regarding on whether they were all official or some personal of which I am sure Pantami’s earnings are more than enough to embark on some if necessary to him.
Furthermore, the publisher of the story may not have had enough depth in terms of universal knowledge to know that in Islamic polygamy, there was a need for fairness amongst family. For instance, if I make an official journey with wife A,B or C, it was only incumbent on me to schedule others on some other trips which could again be official or personal depending on the circumstances and personal leadership plans on how to run the home. Let the publisher of that story calm down and understand it is alright to grab vacations with personal funds, he can even approach me for coaching on how to utilize his own earnings to enjoy some beautiful vacation.
They also attempted to paint Prof Pantami with affiliation to candidate Atiku, but that too is not new because some section of the society have also painted same brush on Buhari to the extent that Garba Shehu had to comment on it. Other than Buhari, so many other cabinet members of Buhari’s administration are rumored to be sympathetic to Atiku but one can only consider that to be ‘tea seller joint conversation’.
What the publisher did not however speak of or never spoke about was the fact that Prof Pantami had last week visited the site of the construction of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center which was awarded in 2020 at a contract sum never awarded for such a gigantic project in Nigeria as well as beating a year ahead of its scheduled completion. If this is not unprecedented in the likes of leadership character we want in Nigeria, what could ever be? There is no time to highlight the economic contribution of that project and many others in his sector to the general economy of the country nor speak about the short and long term contributions the center will make to the development of ICT skills in Nigeria. History will certainly be kind to Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
If we don’t kill hypocrisy and slander in our country, it has the tendency of killing us because we are trying so hard to insist everyone in our nation must be bad regardless of how much they give in to the society in the midst of their allowable imperfections.
God bless Nigeria.
It is said that those who forget history are bound to repeat same mistakes and when you look around you’ll see these tendencies around some players of the 2023 elections especially those of the ruling APC party and such goes to tell you a lot about why our nation has found it difficult to make a headway regarding imbibing major attitudinal changes that can guarantee meaningful development.
I had always spoken about my experiences in 2014 when I and my colleague who formed a non partisan advocacy group which was attempting to run a campaign for 30% affirmation for youth from all strata of government including political parties and private sector because we felt the youth had immense skills that could be tapped for excellence. The most interesting of the meetings was the one we held with a high ranking member of the then ruling party, the PDP penultimate 2015 elections and to our dismay, after all our well laid out presentations and how such could help their strategy, the man blatantly told us they were the incumbent and would win the elections even if all Nigerians were not going to vote for them, we wondered what that meant especially that we had done our maths and knew they had issues, he shared phantom analysis and said they were relying on some big name politicians from the northern Nigeria whom we knew had little or no political goodwill to bring to the table, the rest about their fate in that election is now history, they failed woefully.
Fast forward to the 2019 elections when same character was employed by the ruling APC and it was a morning of the scheduled presidential elections that they recognized the incumbency thought was an illusion and they suddenly had to postpone the elections by a week and leveraged on Buhari’s sentimental popularity as well as struggled to patch some little areas to struggle to pull out an arguable victory by over 2 million votes. That again passed and everything returned to normal.
We are now approaching the 2023 elections and again all I can see from the APC folks is same approach of sharing ‘beer parlor’ analysis anchored on incumbency to assume that victory is already theirs while I see a totally different scenario realistically. For example, the APC guys, majority of which are totally new entrants into the political game owing to Buhari’s magnanimity in rewarding friends, families and their allies believe that all of Buhari’s vote Bank which they also will not be able to see has been depleted belongs to Tinubu, how? Is it not same people we speak with on a daily? The fact is majority of the voters of the country have chosen to conceal their intents owing to the governments high handedness on those who choose to express opinions other than those favorable to them in their tenure. Such makes it difficult for anyone to truly understand where the people will swing to but a little reminder about their situation in 2014 and now will easily sway them into not voting for APC but you’ll wonder why the APC members will not see this and will refuse any explanations about it.
They will always also tell you about what has now become more of a cliché that Peter Obi would deplete Atiku’s votes and here again I see a people far detached from reality and politics. I was in lagos earlier last month and to my amazement, my Yoruba friend had told me that there were more Obidients in lagos than any other city of Nigeria and they cut across all the ethnicities, I tried to explain this to some of my APC friends but they’ll debunk it and it always reminds me of my 2014 experience with the PDP as highlighted in paragraph 2 above. I would also take my time to explain to them how so many of the critical stakeholders of the South East like Jim Nwobodo, Emeka Ihedioha, Osita Chidoka, Adolphos Wabara etc are Atiku supporters and whatever Peter Obi does he cannot deny PDP atleast 40% of the south East votes which are sufficient for them while South South will come in the bag for PDP because in history, they had never aligned with the South East, whether it was for Biafra or the 1979 elections when they voted for Shagari ahead of Nnamdi Azikiwe or Awolowo, but again the APC folks will not agree to these and it will become worrisome how a serious people who crave victory detest conversations around history and data.
The APC and her supporters are clearly on a false footing regarding their permutations and high confidence which are anchored on big name politicians especially from the north most of which have lost touch with their people, majority of their conversations and expectations are what we term in local parlance ‘garage talk’ and it’s all orchestrated by their thought that incumbency and not critical strategy is enough but we should remind them that Nigeria’s democracy has long evolved and the earlier they recognize and align the better for them, otherwise, a shocker awaits them as will always with people who refuse to learn, unlearn and relearn like they are up to at the moment.
May the best man win for the benefit of country.
At 39 years of age, I have been privileged to have obtained 16 years working experience non stop and these years are spread around all the geopolitical zones of the country and those who know me know I’m open minded enough to mingle deep into people I come across with a view of integrating and enriching my life living strategies and skills. This makes me loaded enough to understand the demography of Nigeria as well as a fair understanding of the likely outcomes of events related to national development. In these years, I equally made mistakes owing to certain misconceptions and the outcomes of it have added to my experiences.
The key tool to ensure such development of a country in a democracy is politics and the understanding and/or lack of determines the stability that would create a room to develop or not. However, the participation in politics has over the years been tainted by economic insecurities and greed to the point where people appear to have not learnt any mistakes regarding the choices they’ve made but I also understand that the opinion of the majority of voters are decided by the elites who control them by way of economy, belief and tribe and the question will now be whether these elites have seen the writing on the wall regarding the likely outcomes of 2023 or not?.
The key among the problems of the nation at this period is disunity but those who are comfortable in their corners are blinded to see any problems with this and we should remind them. The insecurities happening all over the country are a result of decayed morals and disunity and nothing more. When so much hatred has been disseminated into people to the extent that it has become a habit, what do you expect the offsprings of such individuals to be, also full of hate and such hate has led to mutual suspicion over the time and finally to killings and unrest. No part of the country is isolated from this problem and having the potentials of graduating from inter communal to inter country if not managed well because at the moment, no one is talking about it except some of the candidates and it resonates with me.
Some people mistake infrastructural development as the real development but it is too much love for luxury and enjoyment that makes them see it like that. A country like Gambia does not have as much infrastructure as Nigeria but the Europeans consider it as their best destination for vacation as against a lagos or Calabar that have same beaches but lack security, sanity and serenity. So they get enough FOREX to carry out their economic activities while we’re here and broke of it. This should amplify the need for peace and unity.
We are now faced with elections around the corner and the arguments appear as some have forgotten or don’t know about these very serious issues and are about making same mistakes, now lemme break down what a mistake would do to eroding any hope left of a country called Nigeria, I would have added United country but the reality is Nigeria is not United as this moment, the cracks and red flags are too glaring for anyone to see.
Anyone who votes you based on some creed or personal expectations will naturally develop a sense of entitlement and once such expectation do not start to come in the first three months of administration, agitations start and ego will not let the president who was insincere enough to use divisions to win to agree to correct those perceived injustices and trouble starts, this is in addition to the so many that are currently on the ground and then your guess about the state of the nation will be as good as mine- CHAOS.
Therefore, more than ever before, Nigeria only needs competence, experience and a nationalist who genuinely believes in the oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria and such person who comes with this has to also come with clean hands from day one and not any form of skewed tendencies and whether the voters understand this or not remains to be seeing in the coming days but the word of caution must be sounded!!!
May God bless our dear and beloved country Nigeria, some of us have a passion for her wellbeing!!
Let me take us back to the creation of NAFDAC in 1992 and then their headquarters was in lagos till about 1995 to 1996 when Abacha ordered the relocation of MDAs from lagos to Abuja then the headquarters moved to the Area 2 part of Garki in Abuja and subsequently the national headquarters ended up perhaps to their permanent Head office at Wuse Zone 7. In all these period, Nigerians barely knew what NAFDAC stood for until President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Dr Dora Akunyili the Director in 2001, the rest about how NAFDAC had since become entrenched in the Nigeria’s system is a story for another day.
Let me again refer you to an excerpt in the popular Oronsaye report which had the mandate of advising the government on how to reduce the number of MDA’s for better management and cost saving wherein there was an advise for the NITDA to merged into a department in the ministry. When I heard about this long ago, I wondered that the Agency which in my opinion is the most critical that the government can leverage upon to get to solve majority of its problems ranging from security and economic management had not gotten a professional to head it and harness its potentials.
However, such wonder was short lived with the appointment of Prof Isa Ali Pantami the Director General in 2016 who came and revolutionized the place and called the governments attention to the fact that it was actually one of the most important Agency of government that could guarantee endless benefits to government in terms of efficient management of its activities. One of the first policy he brought in was the centralization of ICT projects clearance by the Agency and that ensured that government was not wasting money on unrealistic ICT projects as well as those that were duplicates of another. That policy was successful in saving Nigerias government billions of wastages because now there was placing of square holes in square pegs.
Pantami was easily able to achieve that because he was a professional and he head hunted a critical ally in Kashifu Inuwa who served him well to further harness the ingenuity in the existing staffs of the agency as well as so many fine guys that they assembled. In our country today, part of the selling points of the top presidential candidates was the fact that they head hunted and developed people who contributed immensely to the development of the country in several sectors. Indeed Prof Pantami by imbibing these very important virtues for succeeding was more than ready to revolutionize that sector and he did.
Once he set out the policies, it was very easy before Nigerians and the presidency herself began to notice the advantages of the mandates of NITDA and how they could leverage it for national development. The Annual e-Nigeria event was expanded to involve more private sector participation as well as the public sector participation because the President attended all the versions that the new DG Pantami had organized personally. The Vice Presidents office involved NITDA more in advisory in areas of MSME development through the creation of ICT Hubs around the nation as well as the social investment programmes.
Little wonder why the president immediately appointed Prof Pantami a minister to oversee the entire sector on his return in 2019 and Pantami too on his own wisdom had to lobby to ensure the appointment of his protégé to take over the Agency which was the most critical of the whole Agencies under the ministry in terms of advancing his already planned digital transformation. The synergy worked as expected with Kashifu Inuwa and Nigeria is happy ever after with the ICT sector contributing the highest to the GDP in the last three consecutive years.
Just recently when ASUU attempted to hoodwink the Federal Government into accepting another payment platform for their salaries, the government quickly called its now chief ICT adviser, the NITDA through the Honorable Minister to vet the application and advise on its propriety for deployment. It was at this point I knew that NITDA’S roles have finally been identified by the government and have equally been appreciated. Afterwards, just this Friday on the 12th August 2022, the Honorable Minister implemented the approval of the president by setting up a committee to vet other transactional platforms of the government ranging from IPPIS, GIFMIS and the rest with NITDA serving as the secretary of such committee.
You can trust that with their antecedents, such work was going to be carried out critically and the government would get to find out areas that needed to be amended for national development, they would also be able to align the needs of all strata of the society to the various applications in order to avoid silo applications for different strata. Money saving benefits also ensue in such endeavors.
Wishing NITDA all the best!
God bless Nigeria!
Jimi Agbaje, the PDP gubernatorial candidate in lagos state for the 2019 elections had been rumored to want to join the APC in the past weeks and a television station had to invite him to speak on that which he categorically denied and insisted he remained a member of the PDP. In the midst of the interview, the anchor had sought to know his opinion about the Muslim/Muslim ticket of Asiwaju Tinubu and he perfectly described the fact that the APC had murdered religion while the PDP had murdered ethnicity considering that an Atiku had emerged against the agitation of power return to the south after Buhari. Indeed his opinion was classy and it got me thinking a lot, follow me on my thoughts please.
Apparently, both tickets as described by Jimi above appear like firsts even though they are not necessarily happening for the first time albeit the others failed because they were not properly managed by all stakeholders. The same religion ticket had first happened with Abiola in 1993 but could not see the light of the day apparently due to some elite disagreement and who knows maybe religious disharmony was part of their consideration at that time? It appears so though. And as for the jettisoning of zoning, GEJ was the first in the democracy when he completed Yar’Adua’s tenure and insisted on running again against the zoning agreement of his party, I feel that was the beginning of the end of GEJ seeking second tenure in 2015 and the rest is history today.
However, it was important to point out the huge potentials of both tickets of Asiwaju and Atiku because if they were to sail through and managed well, either of them stands to bring Nigeria together like never before. I insist that anyone that comes by has to be managed very well from day one of it was to sail through. For example, for Atiku, there has to be zero possibility for nepotism, there has to be inclusion from inception, the president would have to been seen to involve much of Ifeanyi Okowa in decision making in order that his creed will see reason to renew their faith in Nigeria and cease the hostilities, including so many more that could lead to development under peace and harmony. As for the Asiwaju ticket, it is going to be more difficult to manage because there has to be avoidance of events that could create negative perceptions as regards faith, for example, you would have to avoid too much visits to the president or the Vice by Islamic clerics because I know they like that, appointments must be balanced with a view to probably having more Christians than Muslims, if possible the advertisement of prayer at mosques by both leaders could be left private, the ticket stands to attract more sycophants and managing them could be most difficult thing ever.
These and more too numerous to mention are tips on how these likely occurrences could be managed for the benefit of the nation. Both tickets have tendency to heal the many fault lines that had hitherto stood on the way for peaceful living so much that our diversity could be tapped for progressive tendencies. While the Atiku ticket would have less to do considering that both the north and the south have been represented on it but for the switch of it considering the completion of a northern Buhari eight year tenure, they’ll have less work to do to consolidate. The Asiwaju ticket would have more work to do considering the sensitivity of religion, it is as sensitive as just ready to catch fire on a spark of matches, so the meticulousness required to manage it is something you would not want to ignore for a minute.
Like I had posited in my earlier article titled; Atiku and Asiwaju’s economic managements as the only good still left of Nigeria’s economy’ and which can be read here: https://grassroots.ng/2022/07/05/atiku-and-asiwajus-economic-management-as-the-only-good-still-left-of-nigerias-economy/, I highlighted that whichever way it went, Nigeria stood to be better off for it atleast as regards unity but with a caveat like I have tried to explain in today’s article.
May the best man win for the benefit of our dear country, Nigeria.
Lately, the new euphoria of the not so strategic APC supporters was a celebration of the crack in the PDP where Wike, Fayose and Ortom have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the outcome of the selection of Okowa as the VP candidate. These people therefore feel these guys should join the APC amongst others. Narratives like this make some of us concerned to the extent that a lot of political party supporters do not understand how our democracy has grown and how a support for certain characters showcase the APC as not being different from other parties they demystify. It also exposes the need for a more awareness to ensure the deepening of the democracy as well as entrench party philosophies.
Recall that the APC is made up of more than enough Human Resources who have not been managed appropriately through inclusion and compensation. Some of these individuals have however remained loyal and hopeful of an amend, how then would anyone want to introduce more guys on top of these people and the people been touted are even those that have been demonized by same people wanting them, is it expected that those who have waited eight years would sit back and clap for the entry of these individuals? I don’t think so. If you add more eight years to the ages of these individuals who have waited all along, they’ll have been getting closer to exiting the stage.
Let me first analyze the so many who have defected to the APC and have not been utilized talk more of adding up more. You could recall the merriment that greeted the entry of Yakubu Dogara into the Apc, one would think he would be more empowered in the like of how GEJ empowered Bala Mohammed from the support he gave him at the plenary during the doctrine of necessity bourhaha. Instead, Dogara was left to remain in his whatever status and today there’s struggle in attempting to even mention his name for a VP slot, imagine if he had been empowered to mobilize more. We could also go on to speak about the mismanagement of the cerebral Abdulmuminu Jibril, Magnus Abe of Rivers that some people want Wike to come in from, I don’t know how they would have managed Amaechi and him that are themselves no in good terms, Ken Nnamani who came recently is no where to be found, Fani Kayode is struggling to be heard. Oyinlola and Segun Oni came and left. There are so many examples even at lower levels and the depths will have to be left for another day.
We equally have a lot who were founding members but we’re not even looked at all through the administration, ranging from Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to Hashim Ubale Yusufu of Jigawa state, Farouk Adamu Aliyu, Buba Galadima and so many others. The ones that have remained in the party amongst them are struggling to do so. They gave everything humanly possible to the APC but no one looked their way and while they got aggrieved, some were left to move to other parties. There was a pure lack of individuals who would take stock of these individuals and ensure to see to their been managed. No one even talks about these issues but they are real and that’s the current state of the party in so many states.
Remember also that all these issues around the many individuals could not be protested against because some overzealous supporters would tag you as wanting to steal money. Everyone has literally kept his opinions to his chest and that’s the same thing with the masses. At the moment, other than the opinion of paid vocal agents on social media, it was very difficult for anyone to recognize the feelings and opinions of individuals because all the nations people are keeping their opinions close to their chest. In fact, that’s what Peter Obi is profiting from.
Therefore Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu would be inheriting all of the above and perhaps he may not have been well briefed about it owing to the fact that the beneficiaries of the above are the ones who have surrounded him and are part of those who feel having Wike and Co. come into the party would change anything when they have not advised for the subsisting issues to be fixed.
I have insisted that the politics of now and the future in Nigeria belongs to those who chose to be realistic and critical, save this.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s trajectory has thought every discerning to note the importance of empowerment and philanthropy in today’s world so has Kashifu’s trajectory which saw him emerge the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency about three years ago but has become the most popular head of parastatals in Nigeria to the extent that his rumored governorship ambition held Jigawa state political decision down for over two months and we heard it was all about how he looked the most part to be the governor of that state, if this is not a perfect show of excellence, then what could ever be more?
Recall that I had highlighted during his first year anniversary that he has vindicated the supposed youth excellence in governance that advocates like us have always touted. We Howver always insisted that you could only be assured of such when the recruitment is right. Read here: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/promoted/409867-one-year-at-nitda-kashifu-as-a-vindication-of-youth-excellence-in-governance-by-hashim-suleiman.html. He has steadily maintained consistency regarding his person and when one does such, his initial intent would only continue to steadily progress until it’s consolidated to become a sort of an ideology and which aims to mentor youths for national development.
While all of the activities that informed my opinion on his first year in office was predicated on an exceptional show of management skills, he had since showcased another cardinal ideal of a progressive and that is ‘empowerment’. He had demonstrated willingness to share the little he has with people around him, especially people of his constituency and which he grew with and have since become more of a family to him, you know they say ‘charity begins at home’. We would first know a person if we can receive appropriate commendation from their kinsmen. Kashifu has entrenched that within a short period of time and he deserves a standing ovation. Because what we write is borne out of critical research and objectivity, the reader could choose to enquire from any Jigawa State citizen about who Kashifu is, you’ll vindicate me with that.
You know nothing hides under the Sun and it’s only a matter of time before critical people would notice to appreciate what you do, little wonder why the Qatar Foundation chose to collaborate with the Inuwa Foundation in providing a massive empowerment to the people of Jigawa state. It showed alignment in principle, recall that Qatar as a nation maintains high level of integrity and you’ll find that in every of their endeavors. The choice of people they’ll partner with on any endeavor would equally have to tick all their boxes. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you ‘The Inuwa Foundation’. It has started from Jigawa State and advancing to see how to reach out to the rest of the nation through plans like improving digital literacy and entrepreneurship.
All sorts of empowerment was dished out through the above collaboration, ranging from distribution sewing machines to grinding machines, pumping machines for irrigation and so much provision of infrastructure like schools, mosques etc. the distribution was devoid of sentiments and it ensured that the items and infrastructure got to the people and places that needed and deserved them the most. Such kinds of efforts have to be commended appropriately for educating upcoming ones as well as giving some of the subsisting leaders to learn how best to utilize positions of Authority and influence.
What Kashifu has used this philanthropy to do is to instill hope and mentor young people to see reasons to be good people and have empathy towards one another. Empathy has proven to be one of the most important attribute a leader could have. Millions of jobs will be created through efforts like his because the form of the empowerment will create a chain that spreads to create lines of benefits directly and indirectly.
All young people with opportunities are again encouraged to imbibe such spirit in order that we convince everyone that the advocacy about youth takeover could indeed be the needed change for our people and country’s prosperity.
ATIKU AD ASIWAJU’S ECONOMIC MANAGEMENTS AS THE ONLY GOOD STILL LEFT OF NIGERIA’S ECONOMY By Hashim Suleiman
When once a society derails from encouraging robust conversations from all divides and objective ones at that, it has basically lost the most common basis for development and some of us have taken it a duty to bring these points to bare, perhaps we may see the light and begin to open up these conversations for the gullible, the half-gullible, upcoming ones and those who may have missed out on certain points.
As our democracy is growing through natural tendencies and less citizenry efforts, so many of the citizens seem to be forming this holier than thou character which appears to denigrate the efforts that certain patriots have sacrificed to achieve regardless of how imperfect, recall that same people could even do worse if given same opportunity because a lot of their opinions are not borne out of criticality but rather beer parlor talks, bandwagon and a general character of mischief that promotes pulling down people.
I have said in several fora that I’d be grateful if God can bless me as much as He did Obasanjo and so many others, this is to dissuade those young people who could be easy to throw tantrums and insult on these statesmen without understanding that they only gave what they had under the prevailing circumstances. They also do this some other times for support of their political icons forgetting that the entire elites are friends and bare no grudge less for political bashings that remain basically games to them.
Accordingly, I’d like to remind the citizenry of the exceptional strides that Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu had put in to our economy which remains the only bedrock that is still keeping the economy of the country moving. Everyone practically latches on them to be able to pull of some achievements of government.
You may recall that Atiku as the chairman of the economic management of the country between 1999 to 2007 opened the economy to the world by simply assembling sound brains who had the KnowHow and he monitored alongside his boss to ensure they delivered the much they did. He first identified government had no business doing business and they quickly lobbied the National Assembly to pass the Act on privatization which saw to the setting up of the Bureau of Public Enterprises that was headed by Nasiru Elrufai himself a recruit of Atiku Abubakar to midwife the sale of government businesses that are today still functional like Ntel which provides one of the best bundle services in Abuja, Lagos and Portharcourt. Regardless of how imperfect, it’s still employing thousands and standing on its feet, imagine what could have happened to her if it was not privatized. So many of the private Telcos are leveraging on their infrastructure to do business, some monies are changing hands through that too.
Recall also that all the policies around IPPIS, GIFMIS, TSA, FIRS etc which ensures mop up of revenues and discourages wastages were babies of an Okonjo Iweala and her lieutenants like Okauru and others. Atiku Abubakar equally shopped these individuals and supervised them to ensure deliveries, every government policies afterwards has leveraged on these policies to be able to make something good of their economic policies.
Nuhu Ribadu was equally recommended by Atiku for recruitment to pilot the setting up of the EFCC and it’s not in doubt how that institution has remained what every administration uses to attempt to fight the almighty corruption. It was indeed robustly set up as it has stood the test of time. People would accuse him of privatizing to himself and same people will today say he is broke but I have never seen one person that has pointed to what Atiku sold to himself till today. This space will not be enough to highlight all of Atiku’s economic strides in that era but I have highlighted enough to get people to begin to research and perhaps expand the conversation.
On the other hand, Asiwaju’s economic management of Lagos did no small help to the Nigerian economy as every other Nigerian leaders that have emerged after 2007 have had to leverage on the revenues from Lagos to ramp up VAT collections and subsequent sharing by all tiers of government. The opening up of the city to beautiful infrastructure had provided an opportunity for the entertainment industry to blossom leading to influx of Forex through international shows as well as the provision of ample employment opportunities. Little wonder why the young entertainers in lagos don’t care who the next president is, they would rather organize a carnival of a protest like ENDSARS and share food to themselves while dancing- ‘catching cruise’ like it’s said in local parlance.
Asiwaju’s human capital development has also led to the availability of human resource to manage the very difficult task of managing critical sectors. President Muhammadu Buhari would thank such efforts as it provided him ample Human Resources to utilize for his administration.
Therefore, the 2023 elections have presented very fine gentlemen who have utilized their times and opportunities to leave a mark that is undeniable in the history of our dear nation no matter how imperfect. I would continue to wonder who would celebrate ours for us if not us, there is absolutely no reason to continue to denigrate these individuals considering more of the fact that they have learnt appropriate lessons to improve on the lot that they have both achieved if given another opportunity. Recall also that we may not be able to do better if given the opportunity.
Consequently, I submit that head or tail Nigeria stands to benefit from the outcome of the 2023 elections, let us support appropriately, improve the conversations, reduce the bitterness and imbibe optimism and positivity for the hope of a better nation going forward.
God bless Nigeria.
PANTAMI’S MOBILIZATION OF THE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM FOR CONSOLIDATION OF HIS DIGITAL POLICIES By Hashim Suleiman
So many people have been wondering where Prof Isa Pantami has been over the last year or so and they couldn’t understand he had become enmeshed in the next level of his agenda of entrenching a proper digital society that will ensure economic transition and which will guarantee jobs and liquidity in the system.
As someone who had been strategic about his mission, he phased his digital mission with the initial step being the reawakening and rebranding of the sector and that saw him renaming the sector and then identifying the right Human Resources to help drive the agenda. Afterwards, he started to engage in public awareness through his recurring presence in the digital space. He culminated this by ensuring he mobilized the administration to key into his mission. You could know this by the increase in the allocation of budgetary provision to the ministry amongst others.
After the first stage comes the next important stage which was identification with the diplomatic community locally, he ensured he secured their confidences to the extent that they began to organize events and various avenues of criss crossing ideas and finding a way to key into the large digital market the world could ever have. All the digital giants of the world recognize the importance of the Nigerian market and they have always been wishing for a serious manager to step in so they could harness the best of it.
All of these have culminated into many business springing up regarding the production of SIM cards, chips and many more intentions to invest in the sector that it’s potentials had started to be imminent. Many more startups have become interested in the sector especially in the hitherto not so much interested northern Nigeria. There is now a more friendly handshake between the local ecosystem and the government policies. Only an Okonjo Iweala had been able to mobilize a sector close to this good in the history of Nigeria.
However, some may have noticed that the Prof had gone down low afterwards and they wondered what that was for. The results are already trickling to let us know it was strategic for the purpose of stock taking and working to consolidate on the networks that had so far been created through all of the above. The digital sector cannot blossom to its full potentials if you don’t align it with the global happenings and this made Prof Pantami to begin international sensitization and marketing and it was so good that it attracted him to be appointed the Chairman of the 2022 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This happened after his appearance at the Blockchain summit in Dubai as well as the deliverance of a paper at World Economic Summit Group in Davos, Switzerland.
This international extension of handshake has led to so many investors and players in the digital industry to shift focus to Nigeria and the latest of such big catch was Elon Musks purchase of a telecommunications license to operate in Nigeria. There are many more fiber, forex and digital currency companies trooping in to participate in the sector. The Nigerias Central Bank has equally admired the digital sectors and had since floated the Digital Naira called the ‘e-Naira’. All Nigeria’s data has been synchronized to be complete with data. The minister had just returned from
Morocco where he attended the the high test gathering for the promotion of identity in Africa.
All of these efforts are absolutely long term in nature and Nigeria would certainly reap them
In due course, however it was important to put ink on paper about them for posterity sake.
God bless Prof Isa Pantami
God bless Nigeria
A friend had after a political conversation yesterday shared an excerpt of the interview granted Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe of Lagos state by Arise TV. Therein, the senator had opined that the north was a master in the political game and he saw no how they were going to relinquish power to Asiwaju Tinubu, he felt they could at best utilize his funds and deny him power, he made references to Awolowo and Abiola of blessed memories. The Senators submission was full with criticality that one would want to pick interest and critically review. Let me attempt to do that here in combination with what I know.
The above submission also resonated with the conversation I always hold with the Director Women mobilization of my defunct #30PercentOrNothing group, she hails from Delta State. She had always opined that God had been fair in the sharing of the Nigerian space to the extent that the West has the formal economy, the south has oil, the east has trade while the north had power and therefore she had no issue if the north were to remain in power forever, after all they’re masters in the game. Her submission was equally rich with facts that one would not wanna ignore.
Against this backdrop, I took a few minutes out to analyze how realistic it was for the north as a political bloc to relinquish power to the south. Recall that the emergence of Buhari in 2015 came with myriad of issues which created deep cracks that in my opinion have not been healed yet. A lot of the issues may be termed as perceptions but those perceptions have today become reality to many and it was such that led to heated arguments about north and south presidency penultimate to the current season. You could see a semblance of disdain for the power to return to the north and such was visible in the build up to the PDP primary elections. It only took the emergence of an Atiku Abubakar to douse such tension and this made me understand the importance of networking and liberality.
Furthermore, economically and structurally, the northern Nigeria has never been at a low ebb like now and I will be suspecting that the north may not be ready to relinquish its only piece. This makes it expedient for anyone with discernment to look deeper into the issues going on in the ruling APC especially as regards the recommendation for the power to shift to the south in that party. The party actually boxed itself into that level through its management of perceptions and relationships throughout the country. Whether such will be in the best interest of the north and its power brokers remains to be seen in the availability of a sound option like Atiku who is trying for the fifth time. Remember that in all honesty, the north does not posses the sort of patience and buffer needed to survive a perceived or realistic bias against them.
This piece is just a realistic analysis of the issues based on history and recent happenings and does not in any way represent a state of mind. We wish for the country to come United but equally believe that the actions and inaction of the leaders will be instrumental to that.
May the best man lead Nigeria.