Sunday, January 21, 2024
[email protected]

The President and Commander-in- Chief,
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Aso Rock, Abuja,

Your Excellency Sir,

Happy New Year Mr. President.

wish you successful governance that is rewarding and that which offers the greatest good to the greatest number of the Nigerian people and foreigners residing and doing business in our beloved country.

Mr. President, you have demonstrated courage in taking a very tough decision that has continued to affect all social classes: the poorest of the poor, the middle class and the upper echelon of the elite. The twin policy thrust of subsidy removal and abolition of dual exchange has remained topical as your government continues to forge ahead in the renewed hope mission.

I am tempted to believe that the aforementioned policies that have been hurtful in all categories of people in social strata must be the right policy for the health of the country.

Be that as it may, it behooves your government to constantly evaluate the effects of the policies on the citizens, especially the poor who are the most vulnerable. They are truly hungry and angry.

Mr. President, you preside over the affairs of the ignorant, the angry, the greedy, the haters, and those with insular reasoning among other tendencies.

To assuage the frustrations of each group, much explanation through the relevant government agencies is necessary.

Mr. President, your government must think outside the box to bring more succor to the people especially as it concerns food. The sands in the hourglass of your government’s goodwill among those who truly believe in your leadership and capacity are fast depleting solely on the account of hunger occasioned by the high cost of staple foods.

Economic pundits are even forecasting a gloomy 2024 as regards the cost of food. Mr. President, if need be, let your government bend backwards in a holistic approach to prevent the catastrophes of hunger.

Mr. President, let me make it known to you that I had wanted to get involved in active politicking in the hope of helping the people, but realizing the satanic undercurrents inherent in the game in this clime, I backed out and decided to play my role as private citizen by venturing into agriculture with a view to helping in my own little way. (By refusing the temptation to exploit the poor.)to sell proceeds not as a “Shylock” but as an entrepreneur with a human face.

Mr. President, I doubt if the exchange rate is solely responsible for geometric rise in the costs of items; rather is more of taking the advantage of the current situation.

For instance, the cost of feeds for livestock, especially chicks has surged almost 100% since your inauguration till date, yet major ingredients in feeds are locally sourced materials. We cannot gloss over the consequences of security challenges also.

Your Excellency, you are a strong advocate of “one egg per school pupils per day”, but eggs have become out of reach for many families; even the rich also cry.

Mr. President, you must evaluate the viral effects of the present economic hardship on the poor and the vulnerable who are in greatest demographic bracket; many mothers are compromising their marital vows in search of extra incomes; many are in a very bad shape health wise; young school girls are becoming sex slaves; and because nuclear families no longer hold, young boys are now on drugs and they have embraced all shades of criminality as a career.

Mr. President, I urge you to declare a state of emergency on food crises and go to any length to bring succor to the people. Your reforms, when it fully yields results will be beneficial to all; but how many would have passed to the great beyond when the prosperity fully debuted?

Mr. President, another area that requires urgent attention is in the cost of purchasing medications for special health conditions mostly diabetic and hypertension. The “structural violence” meted to the citizens of this country by the successive administrations has led to serious medical conditions for many citizens. Many nurse diabetes and hypertension; those who are aware of their health status are either unable to afford the cost of medication and have had recourse to patronizing herbs sellers. Some are not even able to afford the cost of acquiring the public health facilities’ registration cards and therefore unable to know their health status especially on the aforementioned medical situation; diabetes and hypertension.

Mr. President, I am tempted to persuade your government to engage the pharmaceutical companies and their sundry distributors on how to provide succor as regards the cost of purchasing the medication for these intractable medical situations among your citizens.

Mr. President, another very important discourse is the issue of palliative from the federal government to the ordinary people. Without any fear of contradiction, it is a conduit pipe of waste and the opportunities for some groups and individuals to make illegal income. Please discard this process that is not working; that has opened a new vista for corrupt practices; and that has been an indictment for your government.

Mr. President, you may want to direct the appropriate ministries to work with the financial institutions with the aim of identifying those in the poverty bracket.

Many have embraced the banking culture and BVN is almost a perfect invention created by the previous government. It is possible to identify mothers in the lowest cadre of the poverty bracket and do monthly intervention to them by direct credit.

Mr. President, it may also help your government to revisit the process of the regional governments of the early independence years how they successfully conceptualized and created farm settlements. The federal government could ask state governments to furnish them with moribund farm settlements and new farm settlements for the purpose of providing basic infrastructure that allows for ease of transportation of farm produce to major towns and cities. The demand and supply theory is key to the cost of goods. In addition to basic infrastructure in the farm settlements, Civil Agro Rangers must be deployed to all the farm settlements across the country to prevent the plunderers from ravaging farm produce when it is harvest time.

Mr. President, it is high time your government re-invigorated the under listed agencies and parastatals in Nigeria for maximum efficiencies in their statutory responsibilities to the country’s economic prosperity:

1.Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN)

2. National Agricultural Extension, Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS)

3. National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI)

4. Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC)

5. National Root Crops Research Institute (NCRI)

6. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria

7. Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research

8. Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR)

9. Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS)

10. National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT)

May I also bring it to your attention Mr. President, that the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) can become a mini "China" machinery engineering hub if properly rejuvenated?

Part of what is draining our Foreign exchange is our over reliance on importation of all sorts of foreign goods; we can turn around our fortune in machinery needs through technology transfer, the void NCAM is ready to fill. Presently their machinery is expensive for small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

Mr. President I wish you a happy and prosperous new year and a successful tenure as the leader that ushers in a new Nigeria that flows with milk and honey for all and sundry.

Sincerely yours,
Olanrewaju T. Ajiboye