by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
There are three most important things I would have done, if I’m in the position of President Muhammadu Buhari – to reverse the situation in Nigeria currently ravaged by Boko Haram, bandits and kidnappers.
A Dangote-groomed entrepreneur and business tycoon, Shuaibu Idris (Makati) widely known as “Dangote Boy,” disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Kaduna recently.
He said the three most important areas he would’ve concentrated in turning around the country’s challenges, if in position of Buhari, would’ve been health, education and energy sectors, respectively.
A director in several manufacturing and service-oriented companies, Shuaibu Idris also delved into the cause of country’s inflation and gave insight on reasons for the astronomical increased in prices of goods and services in Nigeria.
“I want to boast and be proud to see the about 220 million Nigeria population healthy, because one in every 5 black men on the earth planet is a Nigerian. But are we getting the dividend of our demographic population? The answer is capital “No;” and why?” he queried.
According to him, the adage that “Health is wealth” is key, adding that a healthy population translates into healthy workforce everywhere in the world. “If I have a healthy population, it will translate into good workforce whether within or outside the country.
Mikati also explained that, “It is not just education but education that’ll be able to sustain individuals not necessarily for white collar jobs but for production of self sufficient labourers, who could courageously reject invitation for white collar jobs.
On energy, he said he is for energy in totality, whether in petroleum product availability at reasonable prices or in sustaining continuous electricity in sufficient quantity.
“To crown it all is the energy in totality, whether petroleum product availability at reasonable cost or a sustained continuous electricity in sufficient quantity. Believe me these three things, if addressed by any leadership, are what I could conveniently describe as complete vaccination against insecurity, be it bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram or terrorism.
“When we were young, as children, we were vaccinated against polio and other diseases. To vaccinate a population against insecurity, whether bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram, get the citizens engaged and give them sufficient skills and education; that will make them useful to themselves,” he explained.
He also explained thus: “Yes, you can pump money into security but, if you can’t pump money into education for knowledge and to invest in agriculture where the people will be gainfully employed, you’re not helping matter. An ‘Idle mind is a devil’s workshop,’” he said.
Idris also said, “We need a total reorientation of our education system, not necessarily for white collar jobbers but for production of self-sufficient labourers, who can say To Hell to anyone who wants them to come and do x-y for white collar jobs.
Idris, who contested for Kaduna Governorship in 2007, said running the country Nigeria is not a big deal but the process to presidency required serious courage and huge resources.
On high commodity inflation in the country, Idris, who attributed the problems to what he described as “abnormal increase” in prices of goods and services, said it was largely due to some certain economic factors.
He further explained that in elementary economic, “There is inter-relationship between demand and supply. When demand outstrips supply, chances are that prices will increase because of fewer goods in market against enormous amount of demands, and vice-versa, before prices will come down and equilibrium position could be established in the market.”
He said this is also applicable to when electricity bills increase; manufacturers also increase products by way of passing the increments to consumers through pricing, saying, it’s also the same thing with fuel hike, diesel and transportation-related prices.
“It’s also applicable to increase in labour, salaries and allowances of workers, as this could lead to increase in goods and services to consumers,” he said.
On interrelationship between Nigeria’s economy and international economy since no country could claim to be an island because of globalization, he said the chances are that, increased in prices of goods and services in international market items lead to increase in other countries, especially in a country like Nigeria where importations are high from other countries.
“The same thing with financial increase in interest or exchange rates put together, are factors that affect movement of market prices,” he said.
According to him, “Agricultural commodities are not exempted, especially grains, as assured, but that is not true because it has to be transported from hinterland to the urban cities through trucks and vehicles, not through donkeys, horses and camels, among others, like insecticide products coming from outside for use for other things produced internally causes inflation of price increase, including government policies.” About late Sani Dangote, he described him as selfless fellow with high level forgiveness of heart, who held no one in mind as a Pan-African business mogul. He averred that four weeks to his demise, he called and asked him to prepare and become director in one of his companies, describing Sani Dangote’s death as a big loss to Nigeria and African continent generally.