Mr. President-Elect, I want to congratulate you on your election as the President of the nation Nigeria.
Majority of Nigerians have demonstrated their trust in you and in your ability to change the nation for the better by electing you into the office of the President for this term 2019–2023, which are four determining years for our nation. They are years that will determine our fate; whether we will experience the development and rapid growth that we all envisage and anticipate or remain in this deplorable state or even deteriorate.
In prayers about eight years ago, the LORD promised me that when Nigeria is 60, it would begin to enjoy rapid development, just like Isaiah 60.
Jerusalem, stand up! Shine! Your new day is dawning. The glory of the LORD shines brightly on you.
The earth and its people are covered with darkness, but the glory of the LORD is shining upon you.Nations and kings will come to the light of your dawning day.Open your eyes! Look around! Crowds are coming. Your sons are on their way from distant lands; your daughters are being carried like little children.When you see this, your faces will glow; your hearts will pound and swell with pride. Treasures from across the sea and the wealth of nations will be brought to you.
Isaiah 60: 1-5 (CEV)
Nigeria would be 60 next year, and I believe you have been brought into power for such a time as this. The question therefore is, will you yield yourself to the will of God to bring us into this glory? Will you be that hero that Nigerians will live to remember? We cannot afford another four years of setbacks, corruption and under development. If we would ever get it right, this is the time and you have been uniquely positioned to lead the charge and steer this ship called Nigeria into the future!
I woke up three weeks ago from a vision, with the voice of the Lord speaking to me. Take note that I am not an Economist, neither am I a politician. But as a prophet of God, I only speak what I have heard and seen. And what the Lord spoke to me is a simple summary that brings to the fingertips what we need to focus on as a nation.
He said to me, demand and supply affect price. When demand is excess of supply, prices go up.Although this sounds like a simple economic theory, yet pay attention to what He said next. Then He said to me, when demand is in excess of supply, it leads to shortage. Shortage leads to desperation, and desperation in turn leads to corruption and inflation. The final result is poverty.
The reason for poverty in your country, the Lord said to me, is because the demand for everything is always more than the supply. The demand for housing is more than the availability of houses. The demand for education is more than the supply of schools. The demand for transportation is more than its supply. The demand for jobs is more than the availability of jobs. Therefore, to develop your nation, he further said to me, build infrastructures that make supply in excess of demand and focus on these seven areas.
Then he highlighted to me the seven infrastructures that our nation must develop. Please note that I have added scriptures and a little research to enhance these points.
1. Learning Infrastructure:
“Destruction has overtaken my people because they have no knowledge;”
– Hosea 4:6 (CEV)
With an estimated 13.2 million children out of school, over 35 million illiterate adult population, prevalent infrastructural deficit and decay at our schools, underpaid teachers, and less than 10% budgetary allocation to education, the education sector in Nigeria continues to suffer neglect and requires urgent attention.
In 2017 alone, only about 550,000 out of over 1.8 Million candidates who sat for the University Matriculation Examination were offered admission into tertiary institutions, reducing the prospect of our nation’s workforce by 1.3Million Nigerian youthsin that particular year alone.Something drastic has to be done to save this abysmal situation. This is why providing and improving access to qualitative education for all Nigerians should not just be a campaign promise, but must be the foremost empowerment pursuit of our government.An increase in the number and quality of our learning infrastructure will ultimately increase Human Capital Development and help us to produce the caliber of minds we need to develop our nation.
In addition to this, there should be specialized schools for every trade to cater for multi-disciplinary pursuits in human capital development of our nation. We therefore need to revisit our educational system and revise our curriculum from primary to tertiary level, basing its content on the necessary information and training set that can fit into the 21st century market place, thereby producing the human capital necessary and sufficient to build the nation we desire. There is also the need to build sufficient schools at all levels and fields, and adequately fund their operations, granting autonomy where necessary, while also financing citizens to school through sponsored educational programmes and scholarships.
We must say no to barbaric systems and bottlenecks that prevent private sector participation in the development of our education system. We must be open to public-private partnership at every level and in every state.
Mr. President, I know you know this, but it is not just something to debate or delegate to the office of the Minister of Education. It should be your heartcry, and every Nigerian must participate, down to the Local Government level in prioritizing this educational reform.
2. Working Infrastructure:
If you don’t sharpen your axe, it will be harder to use; if you are smart, you’ll know what to do.
. – Ecclesiastes 10:10 (CEV)
As at the last quarter of 2018, Business Day analysts put labour productivity in Nigeria at under $2 per hour, underlining the need for urgent measures to boost the productivity of the Nigerian workforce.In this age where many developed and developing nations continue to leverage on ICT and artificial intelligence for enhanced productivity, it is sad to note our continued reliance on obsolete technologies in offices, schools, and government parastatals. The provision of state of the art technologies in our schools, ministries, research institutions, etc would go a long way to improve working conditions and boost the productivity of our workforce, so that our work processes can be simplified, swift and effective. Also, working environment should be clean and customer friendly with well qualified personnel offering services without unnecessary bottlenecks, red-tapes and bureaucratic roadblocks.
3 Investment Infrastructure:
The business climate in Nigeria at the moment can be said to be quite hostile and discouraging to local entrepreneurs and would be investors. For instance, our ICT professionals are arguably amongst the best globally, but the lack of conducive business environment has continued to see massive brain drain from the sector to other nations like India, Mauritius, USA and South Africa where their counterparts have greater access to funds and government backed resources and schemes that encourage innovation. The same cannot be said about Nigeria as only a few months ago, the Federal Government was said to have outsourced the logo design of the national carrier, Nigeria Air, to a Bahraini company. This is just one out of several instances. But in charting a way forward, we must demonstrate our readiness to promote, protect and encourage local entrepreneurs.
Also, investors around the world continue to look for viable investment opportunities and locations. Nigeria should be strategically positioned to leverage on our abundant natural resources, human capital and geographical advantage. We can learn from the success story of Dubai which has successfully diversified its economy to ensure that despite its large oil reserves, oil revenues only account for 5% of the total GDP. Also, some other nations like Kenya have successfully established their tourism sector as a major source of revenue. We need to create an enabling environment for foreign investments to thrive by making policies that encourage innovation, facilitate investment and create a business friendly environment while protecting our local interests.
4. Transport Infrastructure:
Commerce thrives when transportation network is in excellent shape, as the supply of goods and services is largely predicated upon the transport infrastructure in a country, but the current narrative in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. For instance, it is far cheaper to transport goods from Europe to Nigeria than it is to transport same goods from Ikeja to Apapa wharf within Lagos, due to the Apapa traffic gridlock that has defied solutions for several years now. According to findings by a think-tank, the Apapa gridlock of January to September 2018 “resulted in N15bn – N36bn in forgone profit” for one of Nigeria’s leading food business firm alone. Note that the impact on capital plus cost of funds in the same industry was not even considered in the research. Other industries were also not considered, and this is besides other losses owing to the deplorable state of our roads and airports.
This narrative must be urgently reversed. We can no longer look the other way: our aviation industry, railways, road networks and ports should get the needed renovation and upgrade to support, sustain and expedite the flow of resources within the nation so as to return Nigeria to the path of economic growth and development.
5. Life Infrastructure:
A glad heart makes a healthy body, but a crushed spirit makes the bones dry.
– Proverbs 17:22 (BBE)
When anyone chooses to live in this country, will he feel safe and happy to live here? Will he have access to adequately equipped healthcare facilities when he is sick, recreational centers when he chooses to relax, insurance cover for losses, security for his life and properties, and other amenities that guarantees him a good life?
The life expectancy in Nigeria may have risen above 50 in the last year, but the growing number of deaths in the North East and North Central due to acts of terrorism, especially from the notorious Boko Haram sect and the rampaging Fulani Herdsmen has remained worrisome. Many who have the means would rather relocate abroad than remain to develop our nation. This should not be allowed to continue. We must place a priority value on the life of the individual Nigerian by pursuing healthcare provision, food and drugs administration and control, crime fighting, and promotion of policies that protect human lives and values in a bid to improve the quality of life and standard of living of every Nigerian.It is our responsibility to make Nigeria a place where everyone can have a good life.
Let’s not continue to waste time arguing and fighting, debating and making long speeches. I call on the Senate to make it a daily point of duty to make laws that will see all these things becoming a reality.The Senate should in sincerity compare the average cost of governance in this country to that of their counterparts in other nations. If this is done we will see a gross reduction in the cost of governance which has made political office a hot cake and our elections a do or die affair. Let us shun partisan divide and the temptation to use our offices to only enrich ourselves and our families. We must remember that no matter how much we have and how many buildings and properties we acquire overseas, your money can never change your nationality. Therefore, a poor Nigerian is a Nigerian. A rich Nigerian is equally a Nigerian. If Nigerians are depicted as bad people, then with all your riches, you are just another rich bad man. With this understanding, let us make the name Nigeria something every Nigerian would be proud of, and that the world will seek to associate with. May God give us this understanding.
6. Production Infrastructure:
The energy crisis, which has engulfed Nigeria as a whole has continued to have paralyzing effects on industrial and commercial activities in the country, and it continues to be one of the reasons for the spiking cost of production.
Also, access to finance has continued to bedevil the production sector of our economy. The cost of money which translates to the interest due over a loan periodin Nigeria ranges from 5% to 30%, making it very difficult to access funds that can be used to build or grow profitable businesses.In 2017 alone, the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria puts the number of major firms that closed up due to recession to 272. This is in addition to 45 that closed down in 2016 as a result of foreign exchange restrictions.
We must therefore focus on tackling the shortage of power supply and lack of funding as a matter of national emergency while creating both the policies and the environment that enables businesses to thrive in these next four years. To do this, we must shun nepotism in appointing officials to oversee the power sector, focusing on qualification and experience, issuing deadlines for these changes that we want to see. If we take the issue of power for example, when would we have uninterrupted power? There should be a specified date of completion, the most qualified persons assigned to the job and backed with the necessary power to break through the barrier set by the cabals who benefit from the epileptic power situation in the country.
7. Justice Infrastructure:
When we see criminals commit crime after crime without being punished, it makes us want to start a life of crime.
– Ecclesiastes 8:11 (CEV)
The aforementioned infrastructures cannot operate successfully without a viable justice infrastructure. Nigeria has to be a place where people have confidence in the judicial system.
In the present day Nigeria however, the average Nigerian would rather let go of wrongs done against him because it is always cheaper, easier and less stressful to let the wrongdoer alone than to involve the Nigerian Police or to seek redress in the law court.It is because of this that crime rate is on the increase. Also, there are those who perpetuate evil because they know that nobody will prosecute them. In this term, people should know that the long arms of the law will always catch up with those who do wrong.
It is also the opinion of many that our Nigerian Police and justice system is largely available for rent, as many Nigerians continue to groan as a result of abuse of power by members of the Armed Forces and the political ruling class, with little or no respite coming from the judiciary.
Every Nigerian has a right to fair hearing. Those who are arrested should be given swift hearing at our courts and not remanded in prison unjustly. Cases like Tammy’s abounds, who according to Divine Life Foundation was arrested on the eve of his wedding in a mass raid in Oshodi area following the murder of a prominent political figure years back, and had to stay in jail for 15 years without trial, only to be released during a prison decongestion exercise without hope of ever finding justice for his unlawful detention. This is an aberration that must be corrected.
I want to put it in our conscience as a people that if only we can focus on building these seven infrastructures within this four year tenure, we would be able to put Nigeria on the right path towards economic growth and development.
Also Mr. President, I would like you to know that with your new tenure would come certain temptations, but we are praying for you that you would make the right decision always.
1. Beware of the temptation of persecution: run an inclusive government:
With your victory at the polls, and with the pressing problems of Nigeria which we just mentioned, you cannot afford to waste time persecuting those who criticized you, those who campaigned harshly against you and those who simply withheld their votes from you. As the newly elected leader of the nation, reach out to them and let them know that though they criticized you, they did it out of their love for Nigeria. Acknowledge and implement some great ideas that they might have which can move Nigeria forward. It is only when united that we can stand.
2. Beware of the temptation of playing politics; focus on governance: While it is true that politics brought you into office, it is only through governance that you can achieve feats that will move Nigeria forward. Do not be tempted to administer the nation along party, religious or ethnic lines. You came into office to serve the people, focus on delivering on your campaign promises to the nation, and running a government without prejudice, nepotism or bigotry.
Let me also use this opportunity to speak to our older politicians; the present clamour by young politicians not to be mentored by older politicians but to replace them, is a shame to our political system. The elders should rule well and mentor the younger to replace them. The wisdom and experience of the elders ought to be built upon by the younger. But in Nigeria, everyone feels that the problem we have is caused by the older politicians, which is a shame. Look at the United States or British Senate for example, you would find elder statesmen who over the years have served in several capacities and are currently still serving, using their experience to further the nation’s course. Therefore, age is really not our problem, but it is as though our elders have forgotten that success is not money but the succession you create. The younger politicians ought to be inspired by the older ones, and in due course succeed them, not to be in rebellion against them. This is not a good sign.
3. Beware of the temptation of nepotism: focus on making sacrifices for the nation: Nigeria is at a critical time, and we have a short time to enter into where we must be. As the person at the helm of affairs, the onus lies on you to lead Nigeria into that place. God has elevated you into the highest office in the land, and placed you as a steward over all the nation’s resources. Do not be tempted to build an empire around yourself and those who may have sponsored your campaign. Instead, assemble and work with the best team, and be guided by the resolution to give Nigeria something that was not there before with each passing month.
Although you have assumed the leadership of the nation at a critical time when many around the world continue to perceive our nation as a corrupt system, I want to reassure you that dealing with the problem of corruption is not as difficult as many people think. In fact, it does not need to be fought with military might or a violent revolution as some people might like to presume. Instead, it can be fought with two simple measures that you can help put in place.
1. Do not be corrupt: As the number one citizen of Nigeria, if you eschew corruption, you can set a precedent that others can follow. And the systems you design and put in place will be devoid of corruption. You cannot tout anti-corruption slogans while you yourself adopt corrupt practices in the discharge of your duties.
2. Do not tolerate corruption within your inner circle and among your officials. It is not enough for you not to be corrupt. You must also create checks and balances to ensure that those who work with you directly are not corrupt, and that corruption is not tolerated. Also, do not use the fight against corruption as a witch hunt against your political opponents, activist or clerics. Be open to criticisms, and if possible, invite those that oppose you to a discussion table to see if you can find a common ground.
Finally, Mr. President, a golden opportunity is before you to be remembered in the annals of Nigeria’s history as the hero of Nigeria. Will you be remembered alongside the likes of Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoumof Dubai, Abraham Lincoln of America, and Winston Churchill of Britain? Men whose names now outlive them because they chose change and development, rather than personal gain.
May the LORD bless you and cause His wisdom to be in your heart. May He protect you and give you favour in the league of nations, support among your people, the wisdom of Solomon, and above all, may Nigeria join the league of developed nations at the end of your tenure, that your name may be written amongst the heroes past.
May God bless you, and may God bless our fatherland Nigeria.
Dr. Isaiah Wealth
Snr. Pastor, Gospel Pillars Intl. Churches.