If I Were President…
SIR: On October 19, 2010, 3.5 million people besieged Paris, France’s capital to remonstrate President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reforms, which included raising the symbolic and much-fought-for basic age of retirement from 60 years to 62 years. The greve generale (general strike) was intense on the sixth day as Sarkozy was forced to appeal for calm and responsibility after cars were burnt, shop windows smashed and at least two photojournalists were assaulted in Nanterre, west of Paris, and Lyon. The oil refinery’s participation in the strike brought everything to a halt. Just under 4,000 petrol stations of a total of 12,500 dispensed fuel.
Pathetically in Nigeria, civil servants remonstrate because they want the retirement age upped. They want to be in service until death do them part. The Frenchman knew that once he attained 60 years, the French government will never, ever renege as regards pension entitlements. This, lamentably is the bane of corruption in the system. As long as civil servants see their retired colleagues die in queues because of retirement entitlements (not benefits), this malfeasance will linger. The slogan (NYSC) – Now Your Suffering Continues should not be extended to pensioner who assiduously served their motherland.
Sometime ago, the former managing director of First Bank, the former CBN governor, and the erstwhile Emir of Kano, admonished his principal – (President Goodluck Jonathan) to jettison his seven-point agenda and embrace one or two of these points. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is one Nigerian whose encephalon can utterly develop this economy. In the words of Bernard Baruch – “Vote for the man who promises least for he will be the least disappointing”. This lucidly corroborates Sanusi’s theory.
As an undergraduate at University of Ibadan (1989 – 1993), I knew a friend who did not go home until he graduated. While on campus, he sent money to his impecunious parents. This guy was one of the few students that had clippers. Students were always on queue to crop their hair, female students who preferred low haircuts inclusive. This business thrived because of constant electricity. A nation can never, ever develop without constant electricity.
If I were the president, the national grid philosophy will be jettisoned and states will be funded to have their independent power projects. I posit that the ministry of power is too enormous and convoluted to be managed by an individual. Thus six energy aficionados should be transferred to the six geopolitical zones and are expected to meet the energy needs of these zones and report to the minister of power. We cannot continue to go round in circles.
I urge our indefatigable president, Muhammadu Buhari to look at this holistically and dispassionately so that this chronic joblessness everywhere is discontinued.
What Nigerians crave is Power! Power!! Power!!! (By NATION NEWSPAPER)