TURNING THIS ADVERSITY INTO OPPORTUNITY
Henry Nduka Awuregu
The heaven is not shutdown; that’s why we still have rain and sunshine. So let us forget about what is dead and look out for what is still alife.
Our oil is dead today but don’t worry because when the oil was alife, over 95% of us never saw, touched or felt it’s revenue; as the oil well owners, brokers and barons coupled with our top corrupt political office holders rather banked and transacted abroad with these oil monies mostly in frivolities. These class of people do not use our local products and services, so our SME’s never benefitted from them. That’s why INNOSON VEHICLES produced in Nigeria are not patronized with the oil money.
It is important to note that we as a people existed before oil and will continue to exist without oil.
TEN PROACTIVE WAYS FORWARD
1. We must tell ourselves the truth now because we have dwelled in falsehood for a long time. What is our true population? How much is our actual income and expenditure? How much salaries, allowances and security votes go to the President, V. President, Senators, Reps, Ministers, Governors, State Assembly members, Commissioners, LG Chairmen, etc? These are for our leaders to sincerely and urgently handle otherwise it will soon be so publicly discussed.
2. We must sacrifice all we have today to produce what we will need tomorrow. Governors please donate your security votes for industrial revolution, legislators donate those excessive benefits and let those construction of stadiums, airports, parks, flyovers and other lofty projects stop with immediate effect. We need to redirect and engage our youths in various industries ranging from agro production to processing and waste management. Our agriculture must provide raw materials for our industries.
3. Our paper certificates must be replaced with practical strategies. Our schools must become skill acquisition centers.
4. Our wastes must be turned to wealth by harnessing and processing our solar energy, wind energy, domestic and industrial wastes for our use and reuse via recycling. Our mineral resources must now be mined and processed by ourselves and not foreigners.
5. This is the time to put square pegs in square holes. Let titles be replaced with tasks. Please let us cut down the cost of governance immediately by slashing down the number of political office holders. Let not more than 5 commissioners serve a state, while others should go to farm.
6. Then relax this lockdown as we really need to urgently commence work. You can make a law that vehicles should start carrying one passenger par seat; let the motor parks be littered with tanks of water with soap for compulsory washing of hands before and after the journey and every human being on the street/public places must wear nose masks, carry hand sanitizers and avoid handshakes/body contacts. With these measures and God’s help, we can contain the COVID 19, maintain and sustain lives.
7. Let us convert all convertibles around us into tools and mechanisms for massive productivities. Our car engines can serve as machines in the farms and industries. Some parts of our apartments should become offices, even large church auditoriums can carve out some spaces for industrial uses.
8. Tax holidays should be given to industries and businesses that can employ up to 10 youths for now. Shops, electricity bills and other amenities should be given to serious minded SME’s free of charge for a period of one year to enable them create employment and place food on people’s table.
9. We have to deliberately suspend importation and focus on exportation in almost all commodities. Our goal should be to feed our nation first before feeding the world thereby creating a gigantic and robust economy.
10. Use of locally made products then becomes compulsory.
Am sorry if I have stepped on toes so far but if we fail to go this way, it will become obvious to us, in few weeks to come, that we can not pay salaries, provide public services, provide security, etc.?
Then what shall we do when armies of frustrated hoodlums and criminals take to the streets, looting and killing people, in search of something to eat?
What I have mentioned so far represent those things we must do now to be able to secure and sustain our tomorrow?
I now call on the think tanks, professionals, planners and various captains of industry who would help us curb this impending doom to kindly advance this discourse as I am sure we are not banking on the various security agencies because they may not have enough bullets to kill the number of protesters that I see gathering momentum. We can’t even trust the local vigilante groups because they may be the ones doing the looting and killing. Basically, how are we going to balance this elephant on the top of a needle? The list of questions is endless.
We definitely have to repair our engine room now which is the PRIVATE SECTOR, that is warehoused by the chamber of Commerce as SME’s, manufacturing and mining industries, agro farms and corporate entities.
We need to galvanize our leaders and thinkers into a brainstorming platform using technology such as WhatsApp or any other common medium.
We need to hear everybody’s voice now.
This is no time to be tribalistic or partisan.
Our leaders should consciously turn this problem into a shared one. Let no one see anyone as the major cause of our problem.
We need to Plug the leakages in our system starting with the so called “security votes” which I still advise our Governors to donate immediately for industrial use.
I also Call on the illustrious sons and daughters of this land to be convinced of the urgent need to join in planning for and in funding our local industries especially for gainfully employing the youths, the poor and vulnerable.
Thank you for your kind attention.