THE MESSAGE IN BUHARI’S NAP.
“Nigerians Are Poor, NAP”
From the Presidential retreat to the inauguration and swearing into office of the ministers that have been saddled with the task of executing and enforcing the Next Level agenda of the Buhari led government, the message in the “Nigerians Are Poor”, NAP, statement by the President is clear and loud enough even for the deaf/hard of hearing to hear.
The President did not only admit that Nigerians are poor, he also charged the just sworn in ministers to “get them out of Poverty”.
Nigerians are not only poor, majority of them are insecure. From their insecurity stems the social vices the federal government is contending with.
Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, indicates that the economy plunged from a 2.38% growth in Q4 2018 to 2.1% in Q1 2019. This slide must be reversed urgently.
A leader who knows these challenges, who took time to hand pick men and women entrusted to carry out his vision for a better, more prosperous and secured country must be accorded the required support needed for national transformation.
“Nigerians are poor get them out of poverty” is the slogan in this dispensation.
Addressing the ministers President Buhari did say “I am pleased to note that each of you is committed to be part of an administration that will work for all Nigerians, part of a government that will do what is right and best at all times for our people, even when it is difficult. This is therefore an opportunity for you, it is a call to serve and collectively build a safer, more prosperous and fair nation” Buhari said.
The ministers through their Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, must carry out this duty without fail.
Transparency, Accountability, Justice and Equity they must ensure in the course of their duties.
Cronyism they must shun. Nepotism they must distance themselves from. The general good must supersede all other considerations.
Employments and contracts must be carried out in a clean, clear and very transparent manner.
Many of those employed in MDAs at the moment are sons and daughters, cousins and nephews of one big man or another-serving or retired.
In a paradoxical twist of fate, Nigerians who need the jobs to fend for their aged parents and siblings cannot get employed, those whose parents have the wherewithal to cater for them and their siblings are the ones who get employed in the MDAs.
If the sons/daughters of the average Nigerian cannot get employed, the long term consequences of such continuous neglect, irrespective of qualifications, across states/federal strata, ultimately, could be dire.
What Nigerians need from their leaders are not much.
Give them electricity, good roads, schools and hospitals and the enabling environment to carry out their businesses and Nigerians are good to go.
Conversely, if they have to struggle hard to build their houses, sink bole holes for water, contribute money to construct roads, buy/install transformers, convincing them to pay tax to states and federal governments becomes, increasingly so, very difficult.
The very wide margin between the rich and the poor must be bridged. The disproportionate manner in which national wealth has been distributed has to be reviewed if the wealthy are to enjoy their wealth in peace and the poor, assured of education and health for themselves and children, while hibernating in hope could be less restive.
“Nigerians are poor get them out of poverty” is a Presidential directive that must be carried out. No excuse will be accepted. Any unwilling, unable, unfit minister that cannot walk the talk must bow out now.
Those returning must get cracking. Those donning the ministerial title for the first time must know that the task is not ceremonial neither is their appointment one that confines them to their offices and files.
The “Nigerians are poor get them out of poverty” charge is not ambiguous. It is direct, clear and straight forward. It needs no interpretation.
For the minister of Transportation, the continuity is a welcomed development.
Let the Rails come alive. Let there be greater efficiency at the Sea ports. There must be synergy and greater collaboration between all federal government agencies in the ports.
The human element must be strengthened. Connectivity and intermodalism must improve. Training institutions must receive greater attention and funding.
We must excel in sports. When we go out to compete we must return with laurels.
No minister has any excuse. We shall hold them responsible and accountable.
In Agriculture, Power, works and housing Nigerians are waiting for action.
Medical tourism by our leaders is a show of shame. If they cannot be treated here and our schools are not good enough for their children what kind of leadership are they demonstrating?
We have the means and the resource. We have the men and women. Nigerian youths are very intelligent and very enterprising.
The time has come to provide the needed leadership that could galvanize and mobilize Nigerians into affirmative action.
The onus is on the ministers as foot soldiers and field men to act, act in national interest.
National cohesion should be strengthened and reinforced. Any action that further disrupts the imbalances and unsettles the people should be strenuously avoided.