An open letter to President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Letters, Opinion

An open letter to President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari

Posted: Apr 23, 2015 at 5:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Congratulations. As you transit to lead our great country, the Almighty will grant you wisdom, courage, and strength.

Before you won the election, there is no doubt in my mind that you have visions for our country. Please permit me to add one more to your visions in case you have not considered it. It is for Nigeria to massively embark upon manufacturing of goods for export.

General Muhammadu Buhari

General Muhammadu Buhari

We must steer away from the thinking that Nigeria (or any country for that matter) is not in the business to manufacture goods. A country can be involved in any business it wants to develop and lead. If you recall, Nigerian Post and Telegram (P&T) was once owned by the Federal Government. So is the former National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). The USA government wanted space exploration to flourish when it formed and operated the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA is now going through privatization. Most recently, USA government spent $151M to build LG Chem of Michigan where Lithium ion batteries are manufactured. This is to make sure that their country is in the forefront of the electric vehicle business.

Nigerian government should build and own factories to manufacture and export the goods that they produce. Later, the business can be privatized. Two factories per State, capable of employing at least two hundred workers is a good start. Lending money and guaranteeing loans will not get us far. Leading by example is what is needed.

Further, financial incentive should be awarded new manufacturing infrastructures that produce goods for export when the establishment employs at least 200 staff and they maintained their staff and certain export level for at least one year. The financial incentive should be re-invested for expansion purposes.

Extraordinary issues require extraordinary measures. Unemployment level in Nigeria is an extraordinary situation; it is rampant and the main source of majority of our social ills. Hungry people are parading our streets, angry. Most of them are university graduates, the same group that are bubbling with energy and begging to be challenged and yawning to unleash the full potential of their creativity.

Pragmatics and creative thinkers must be assembled and begin to think outside the box. Nigeria is in a unique position to become a power house in exporting goods to West African countries and beyond. A detailed proposal is available and can be presented upon request on how this feat can be achieved within a reasonable time frame.

Please give this issue a serious consideration. It will add to the greatness of our nation. One of the yard sticks with which to measure the successes or failures of a president is how many jobs he/she created during their tenure. George W. Bush (a former USA president) is still hounded for losing 4.4 Million jobs, while one of the legacies of Bill Clinton (also a former USA president) is the 22.7 Million high paying jobs he created. Clinton achieved this goal due to the economic policies he introduced the moment he assumed office.

We must not let this opportunity pass us by. We have the prerequisites to begin to massively manufacture goods for export. We have the will, the determination and technology. We have the manpower and resources. What we need now is leadership. You can provide it.


•Charles Amanze, Southfield, MI 48324