By Ralph Olajide Sabo
Congratulations on your recent election as the President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. As the leader of our great nation, I am confident that you have a clear understanding of the challenges that lie ahead, particularly in the areas of the economy and employment.
I write to offer my recommendations as an ordinary Nigerian citizen on how to address the economic challenges facing Nigeria.
Your excellency, It is crucial to prioritize policies that promote sustainable economic growth and job creation. Nigeria is currently facing significant economic challenges, with high inflation and rising unemployment rates. The urgent need to address these challenges cannot be overemphasized. As a result, I believe that your administration can make a meaningful difference in the lives of ordinary Nigerians by prioritizing the following areas:
Job Creation: The high rate of unemployment is one of the most pressing challenges facing Nigeria today. Your administration can create job opportunities by investing in infrastructure, providing tax incentives to businesses, and promoting entrepreneurship. The government could invest in infrastructure projects such as road construction, renewable energy, and water supply systems. The government could also provide tax incentives to businesses that create new jobs or hire unemployed Nigerians. Additionally, the government could support the growth of the informal sector by providing microfinance loans and training programs for entrepreneurs.
Economic Growth: Sustainable economic growth is essential to reduce poverty and improve the living standards of Nigerians. Your administration can achieve this by attracting foreign investments, promoting diversification of the economy, and ensuring sound fiscal policies. To attract foreign investments and promote economic diversification, the government could create a more business-friendly environment by reducing bureaucracy and improving transparency in regulatory processes. The government could also encourage foreign investments by providing tax breaks or other incentives to foreign companies that invest in Nigeria. Furthermore, the government could promote economic diversification by supporting sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and technology.
Education: Education is crucial for economic growth and development. Your administration can improve access to quality education by investing in schools and teachers, providing scholarships and grants to students, and promoting vocational training. The government could invest in building new schools and renovating existing ones, hiring and training more teachers, and providing scholarships and grants to students from marginalized communities.
Health: A healthy workforce is crucial for economic growth. Your administration can improve healthcare delivery by investing in healthcare infrastructure, training healthcare professionals, and providing affordable healthcare for all Nigerians. The government could prioritize healthcare infrastructure development by building more hospitals and clinics, providing medical equipment and supplies, and training healthcare professionals. The government could also subsidize healthcare costs for low-income families and improve access to healthcare in rural areas.
In addition to these areas, your administration could focus on creating an enabling environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This could be done through the implementation of policies that encourage investment and provide incentives for companies to hire and train Nigerian workers. Initiatives could also be created to support small businesses and entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary resources and funding to succeed.
Furthermore, I would like to highlight the importance of investing in critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and power generation, particularly in the rural areas to ensure holistic development. Such investments would create jobs and stimulate economic growth not only at the center but also in the rural areas, where access to basic amenities is often lacking. It is essential to create an environment where businesses can thrive across all sectors and make Nigeria the commercial capital of Africa (the China of Africa).
I woul also urge your administration to prioritize the fight against corruption, which has been a significant obstacle to economic development in Nigeria. By ensuring transparency and accountability in all sectors, you can build trust and restore confidence in the Nigerian economy.
Your Excellency, I am a septuagenarian but I have come to realise that Technology is the new Oil, (a case study of Dubai). Therefore I would like your administration to pay more attention to the development of Nigeria’s Technology sector. Below is a few suggestions of how technology can play a crucial role in improving the economy and job creation, attracting foreign investments;
- Encouraging the Growth of the Technology Sector: Nigeria’s technology sector has been growing rapidly in recent years, and there is great potential for further growth. Your administration can support this growth by creating policies that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, such as providing tax incentives, funding research and development, and investing in technology infrastructure.
- Developing Digital Infrastructure: Nigeria needs to invest in digital infrastructure to support the growth of the technology sector and enable businesses to operate more efficiently. This includes improving access to high-speed internet, investing in data centres, and supporting the development of digital payment systems.
- Promoting E-commerce: E-commerce has the potential to create jobs and stimulate economic growth by enabling businesses to reach new customers and expand their operations. Your administration can support the growth of e-commerce by creating policies that encourage online entrepreneurship, such as providing tax breaks for e-commerce businesses, and investing in logistics infrastructure to support delivery services.
- Investing in Education and Training: Nigeria needs a skilled workforce to succeed in the technology sector. Your administration can invest in education and training programs that provide Nigerians with the skills they need to succeed in the technology industry. This includes funding programs that teach coding, data analytics, and other high-demand skills.
- Encouraging Foreign Investment: Nigeria can attract foreign investment by promoting its technology sector as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Your administration can encourage foreign investment by creating policies that provide tax breaks, reduce bureaucratic hurdles, and provide legal protection for investors.
- Supporting Startups: Nigeria has a vibrant startup scene, and your administration can support the growth of these startups by creating policies that provide funding, mentoring, and other resources. This includes creating a startup fund that provides seed funding to promising startups and creating an ecosystem that encourages collaboration and networking.
While I wish you all the best as you begin your tenure as the President of Nigeria, I am very confident that under your leadership, Nigeria will experience significant progress in economic growth and development as you did in Lagos, making it the commercial capital of Nigeria Today. However, for emphasis, Your administration should focus on job creation, economic diversification, education, healthcare, small businesses and entrepreneurship, critical infrastructure, encouraging technology. The fight against corruption is essential in addressing Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Your Excellency, I want to end by saying that I am proud to see you prove bigots wrong who said a Muslim-Muslim ticket couldn’t work. We always knew that you would make your decisions based on merit and that you will not let such prejudices influence your judgment. Thank you for your attention.
Engr Sabo writes from Lokoja, Kogi State.