10 issues that need to be addressed over the next 12 months to prevent the #EndSARS protests returning with a terrible vengeance in 2021.
(1) Nigeria currently has 21.7m unemployed people, representing 30.7% of the workforce. That figure needs to be reduced to about 10m.
(2) National Assembly members need to at least halve their allowances, salaries and emoluments. Their remuneration packages are a source of anger to most Nigerians struggling to survive.
(3) Public officials have got to stop going abroad for medical treatment. If they are ill they should have to make a choice between remaining in office and dying in Nigeria or resigning and getting treatment abroad. Dying in the country is a patriotic sacrifice we should expect from its leaders. They have no moral right to demand patriotic acts from the citizens if they are not prepared to lay down their lives for the nation.
(4) This nonsensical federal allocation formula needs to end. Our states will never become self-reliant as long as they are oil getting handouts from Abuja. This so-called restructuring is not a political demand but an economic one. It is not a matter of if but when. No power on earth can prevent it from happening.
(5) This government needs to stop the arrogant use of nepotism in making appointments. It may think it is shoring up its support base by dividing Nigerians along ethnic lines but be guaranteed, it will ultimately backfire once the talakawas see there is nothing in it for them.
(6) This government has also got to end the practice of heating up the polity by making political enemies needlessly. It should immediately drop charges against the likes of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Omoyele Sowore, Nnamdi Kanu, etc and enter into dialogue with them.
(7) Our national minimum wage should be increased to N100,000 immediately.
(8) Members of the National Assembly, Federal Executive Council, state governors and top government appointees should be restricted by law to own no more than two automobiles, both of which must be assembled in Nigeria. We go to take loans from countries where their leaders go to work on the train while our own leaders revel in squandermania and ostentation. Clearly, there is something wrong with our brains.
(9) This government should stop the pretence of claiming it is unable to combat insecurity. We all know it can eliminate Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, armed bandits, etc within a month if it wants to. They just need to dispatch troops with the same efficiency with which soldiers were sent to Lekki. Has the power to Boko Haram’s enclaves ever been cut with the efficiency with which the lights at Lekki Toll Gate were turned off before? We are spending 20% of our budget on security but alas, we are not seeing any results.
(10) The APC and PDP need to distribute Covid-19 palliatives with the same efficiency with which they distribute stomach infrastructure at election time. In the run-up to elections, every Nigerian gets a gallon of cooking oil, a bag of rice, a sack of gari and tuber of yam. How come we did not see this during the pandemic?