President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's 7 Point Agenda: How Correct Are The Army Of Critics.
Since the statement credited to Dr. Lamido Sanusi, immediately after his confirmation as the new Central Bank Governor, hit the newspapers about three (3) weeks ago, a lot of Nigerians have queued behind him on the basis of justifying the correctness of his advice to the President, that the President should consider pruning down his administration's 7 point agenda to possibly a manageable 2 point agenda. The critics are possibly of the view that Sanusi's advice was not only correct but timely.
The army of converts to Sanusi opinion, that has tended to suggest that he- Sanusi, spoke the opinion of majority of Nigerians, informs this write up. If this writer may ask; which of the Agenda should be dropped for the most important ones? Is President Yar-Adua expected to, in the first place, package the 7 point agenda and deliver to the doorsteps of each and every Nigerian, to show that his administration's 7point agenda is working or has worked? Are individual Nigerians not expected to invest their various quotas towards the realization of the 7 point agenda, or at best what role are Nigerians from different walks of life expected to play towards the realization of the 7 point agenda? These posers must be correctly taken care of if anybody is to be taken seriously on his criticism of the President's 7 point agenda, otherwise, it may be taken as mere gossip.
Before Sanusi's attack of Mr. President's 7 point agenda, critics of president Yar-Adua's government had reasoned that the greatest problem bedeviling Nigeria as a nation is power issue. They are of the opinion that if president Yar-Adua should solve the power problem, other problems will fall in line. Honestly, this writer thought along this line, until I was told by an expert in power generation that even if Nigeria generates Fifty thousand [50,000] megawatt of electricity now, it will still be useless to Nigeria because power is not to be generated and kept for future use. When I told him, the expert that once power is generated, it will be used up immediately. He simply asked me, where are the industries that will utilize the generated power? When told that Nigeria will consume the 50, 000 megawatt in their various homes. He simply told me that it is only a small fraction that will be consumed by Nigerians at homes right now.
In justifying his stand, he said that most industries started folding up in Nigeria from early 90s, due mainly to low capacity utilization. He further said that almost all the manufacturing industries then were operating at ten  percent utilization or below. He attributed the low capacity utilization to paucity of foreign exchange for raw materials and associated problems. For instance, about seventeen  flour mills that closed down was purely on the basis of lack of raw material. Also, about four  breweries that were shout in the period under review was as a result of the same problem of basic raw material. The fact holds true for textile mills in Nigeria. From the foregoing, it will be safe to infer that the issue of power problem in Nigeria is not responsible for the closing down of our industries, in the first place. However, power is vital in the revival of the industries, but on graduated basis.
On the basis that power cannot be generated and kept for future use; and as we all know that majority of our industries are not working due mainly to lack of raw materials, attention must as of necessity turn to Agriculturefor the revival of most industries, where the generated power would be needed. Here, Nigeria needs sound Agricultural Policy to move the agricultural sector forward. If this is done, will the agricultural aspect of President Yar-Adua's 7 point agenda not be a reality? Closely following agriculture, is a result oriented Education and training.
Every Nigerian knows that the current educational system in the country is not result oriented, because of its little science content- not science oriented. The country's educational system has over the years succeeded in producing talkative art Professors, Doctors and so on, to the detriment of science equivalents. The resultant effect of this backward educational system is the army of jobless unemployed youths in Nigeria. With the right policy in Education that will provide for re-training of the teaming employed youths, to fit into a carefully thought-out and result oriented Agricultural Policy in the short run, so that these youths will be able to handle modern farm equipment like tractors, harvesters etc, the education aspect of Yar-Adua's administration 7 point agenda would have received a big boost. In the medium and long run, Science graduates would have saturated the system for a better and coordinated Agro ÔÇô Industrial relationship in Nigeria. In a nutshell, what is needed for Agricultural aspect of President Yar' Adua's 7 point agenda to become a reality is for well meaning Nigerians to come forward with workable policy frame work for comprehensive re-direction and re-positioning of the agricultural sector for greater efficiency, for onward implementation by the administration of President Yar'Adua. We can only begin to talk of the failure of Mr. President's 7 point agenda if he fails to implement a good policy forwarded to the federal government by well meaning Nigerians.
The sequence means that the Health aspect of the 7 point agenda will now complement the Agro ÔÇô Industrial sector. Of course, result oriented educational sector will automatically lead to efficient health system in Nigeria. In a nutshell, efficient and effective health system means that healthy workers will be available as workforce in the agroÔÇôindustrial sector. The end result will be high level of productivity. Also, good policies in both Transport andCommunication sectors will generally complement the AgroÔÇôIndustrial sector, so that both agricultural and industrial produce will be cheap and affordable in Nigeria eventually. Generally speaking, President Umaru Musa Yar-Adua's Seven 7 point agenda is not for the President's execution and delivering to the door steps of Nigerians, rather, it is a statement for action, better still, "call to action" from Nigerians by the President. This is what this writer means, if we as Nigerians reflect deeply into the meaning of Agenda, it will be realized that in our various community meetings, and other organized settings etc, we hear of "agenda". For instance, in a hypothetical community meeting, agenda A, B and C could be introduced by the leaders, in an enlarged sitting of the meeting for deliberation and adoption. As a rule, after the agenda is known, members of the association are expected to contribute on how best to go about each and every item of the agenda. This is exactly what the President has done as regards the 7point agenda. To this writer, the only point agenda exclusive to the President as the Chief Security Officer of Nigeria, is Security. The amnesty programme of federal government is in line with the security aspect of the agenda.
Sanusi Lamido's lecture on the need for reduction of the items in the 7 point agenda is mere dance to the gallery, at best, he is probably not aware of the meaning of agenda, and how to go about it. Besides, it is an established fact that the items in the agenda are interrelated so much so that they must go together. The administration of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua would have been deemed to have failed if it fails to implement or fund sound proposals on the agenda from Nigerians that are willing to help to reposition Nigeria towards the accomplishment of vision 2020.