State of the Nation: OPEN LETTER TO MR. PRESIDENT

Tinubu portrait
Tinubu portrait.
State of the Nation: OPEN LETTER TO MR. PRESIDENT

Let’s Loose the politics and gain the future

Dear Mr. President, H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu,

In the spirit of constructive engagement and with the highest respect for the office you hold, I write to you. Recognizing the enormity of the challenges you face in leading Nigeria, a nation of vast potentials yet grappling with significant economic and social hurdles, I offer thoughts inspired by the spirit of patriotism.

Your leadership comes at a critical moment, following a global pandemic that has tested the resilience of nations worldwide. It is a time when leadership is not just about making decisions but about making the right decisions for both the immediate and long-term welfare and unity of the nation.

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As someone who deeply invest in the future of Nigeria, I write to you not just in admiration of the burdens you bear in leading our nation but also with a sense of shared responsibility toward the task of nation-building.

The challenges that lie before us are immense, yet I believe that with strategic planning, collaboration, monitoring, and decisive action, we can steer our country towards a brighter future.
In the aftermath of the global economic challenges, our nation, like many others, is at a crossroads and struggling to bounce back. The path we choose now will determine our prosperity and stability for years to come. Drawing upon the observation of what is going on in the country, I offer the following advice as a Nigerian living in a rural area of Adamawa State and seeing the realities people face every day.

Below are some suggestions for your consideration:

Immediate Strategic Actions
Enhanced Financial Transparency and Consolidation: Initiate a thorough audit of national revenues from diverse sources such as oil, gas, and taxation, ensuring a detailed assessment of financial inflows. Mandate all federal ministries and agencies to submit comprehensive financial reports, including current balances and outstanding liabilities, within a stringent two-week timeframe. This will enable you to understand what is going on in the public finances for you to make more informed decisions and strategic fiscal management.

Strategic Streamlining of Government Functions: Organize a comprehensive retreat for all ministers to critically assess the structure and functions of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). The goal is to achieve a substantial reduction in operational overlap by consolidating up to 50% of these entities. This initiative will not only aim at cost reduction but also at significantly and strategically improving the efficiency of public service delivery, ensuring that government operations are leaner, more agile, and better suited to address the populace’s needs.

Deepened Engagement with Diverse Political Stakeholders: Facilitate a series of strategic dialogues with key political stakeholders, including opposition parties, the judiciary, and legislative bodies. Present a comprehensive governance reform agenda cantered on reducing governmental expenditure and streamlining operations and also request their support. This will help you build consensus and foster a collaborative spirit, ensuring that all key stakeholders are aligned with the national objectives and contributing constructively to the nation’s governance framework for the next two years.

Comprehensive Focus on Essential Human Needs: Prioritize interventions in critical areas such as food security, housing, and national defense. Establish strategic partnerships with other countries to improve immediate national food supply and the food supply chain. Also, ensure immediate availability of grains and essential agricultural inputs like high-quality seeds and fertilizers promptly before rainy season. Implement fiscal incentives, such as tax holidays for construction materials, to facilitate access to affordable housing. Develop a robust national security strategy, empowering service chiefs with clear directives and the resources required to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty and ensure the safety of its citizens. Trust the leadership of the security services to motivate and empower their security force.

Targeted Short-term Strategies for Key Sectors: Instruct ministries responsible for health, education, and other vital social services to devise and present targeted short-term action plans within two years. These plans should focus on addressing immediate challenges within their sectors, leveraging innovative solutions and best practices to meet urgent public needs while laying the groundwork for sustainable long-term improvements. The sectors include; Health, Education, Women Affairs and National Orientation.

Promotion of Governance Over Political Gamesmanship: Encourage political figures to transcend partisan interests and focus on the overarching goal of national development. Emphasize the importance of grassroots engagement and the mobilization of broad-based support for governance reforms, aiming to foster a culture of public service and accountability over political maneuvering.

Unified Approach with State and Local Governments: Engage actively with state governors and local government officials to coordinate a unified national response to pressing emergencies and developmental challenges. This collaboration will ensure that local and state-level initiatives are in sync with the national agenda for the next two years, promoting cohesive and effective governance across all levels of administration.

Strategic Alliances with Global and Domestic Partners: Actively pursue partnerships with international development agencies, global organizations, and the domestic and international private sector. These alliances should be strategically aligned with Nigeria’s two-year strategic vision, aiming to pool resources, expertise, and support to accelerate the nation’s developmental objectives and foster an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth.

Rigorous Monitoring, Evaluation, and Accountability Framework: Establish a comprehensive system for continuous monitoring and evaluation of governmental performance against predefined objectives. This system should ensure transparency, reward efficiency, and effectiveness, and rigorously address instances of corruption or maladministration, thereby reinforcing the integrity of public institutions.

Forward-looking Reflection and Strategic Planning: After the conclusion of the initial two-year period, undertake a detailed evaluation of the strategies implemented, analysing successes and identifying areas for improvement. This reflective process should inform the development of an ambitious medium-term strategic plan aimed at consolidating gains, addressing persistent challenges, and setting the stage for sustained national development and prosperity
Long-term Strategic Vision
Beyond the immediate, it is imperative to start laying the groundwork for a medium-term strategic plan. This plan should focus on economic diversification, infrastructure development, and the creation of a robust social safety net to protect the most vulnerable in our society. This may include:

Diversification of the Economy: Beyond reliance on natural resources, prioritize the development of other sectors such as technology, manufacturing, and services to create a more resilient and diversified economic base.

Investment in Technology and Innovation: Establish innovation hubs and technology parks to foster research and development, supporting startups and encouraging the growth of a knowledge-based economy.

Education Reform and Skills Development: Revamp the education system to focus on skills that are relevant to the modern economy, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), digital literacy, and critical thinking.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs): Encourage PPPs to leverage private sector expertise and efficiency in infrastructure projects, including transport, housing, and utilities, to improve public services and stimulate economic growth.

Enhancing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): Simplify regulatory frameworks and create an investor-friendly environment to attract FDI, focusing on sectors critical for economic growth and job creation.

Sustainable Urban Planning: Adopt sustainable urban development practices to manage the growth of cities, focusing on public transport, and affordable housing to improve living standards.

Strengthening Social Safety Nets: Implement comprehensive social protection programs to support the vulnerable, including health insurance, unemployment benefits, elderly care, orphan care, and poverty alleviation initiatives.

Environmental Sustainability: Invest in renewable energy and sustainable practices to mitigate environmental degradation and capitalize on the global shift towards green economies. Also address issues of competing claims for natural resources that lead to conflicts
Anti-Corruption and Governance Reforms: Strengthen institutions and legal frameworks to combat corruption, enhance transparency, and improve public trust in government.

Regional Integration and Trade: Promote regional trade and integration to access larger markets, share technology, and foster economic cooperation, reducing dependence on external markets.
Mr. President, the task before us in Nigeria is daunting, but it is also filled with opportunities. With a focus on strategic planning, inclusive governance, monitoring, and decisive action, I am confident that we can navigate the challenges ahead and lead Nigeria towards a future marked by prosperity, stability, and justice for all its citizens.
I am not a politician but I stand ready to support your administration in any capacity necessary, driven by a shared commitment to the well-being and success of our nation.
Yours sincerely,

Aliyu Aminu Ahmed,
Consultant, Monitoring and Evaluation Institute, Nigeria.

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