Massive Public Works Projects will Transform Nigeria

by Paul I. Adujie

NIGERIA! Elections occurred as planned! I am already looking beyond the forthcoming inauguration formalities! The inaugurations already here, in just a couple of weeks!

We have been discussing the elections’ aftermath. We heaved big sighs of relief, we should! There were no major catastrophes in Nigeria. I predicted that the election would not cause the skies to fall on Nigeria. And contrary to expectations by some, in certain quarters, the sky did not fall! And Nigeria’s corporate existence is unchanged, Nigeria, as a nation is unthreatened.

Thank goodness! These elections have been conducted and winners declared albeit, with imperfections or flaws. The best cure for imperfect democracy remains more democracy!

After the elections in April, the inaugurations in May, there is a new government in Nigeria. Electioneering grandstanding and posturing would be behind us soon! And the real heavy lifting to transform Nigeria in reconstructions, rebirth and transformation will begin in earnest. Just as April showers brings May flowers, Nigeria will be in full bloom!

The strategy for our new government must be, among other things, reassurances of all citizens, reassurances, in both actions and pronouncements, on matters of security of lives and properties in our country. There must be a removal of uncertainties and insecurities.

There should be renewed emphasis on national reconciliation and national unity by all and in particular, by the national government. It is noteworthy, that President-Elect YarAdua, has indicated that the Niger Delta imbroglio is his task number one, his job one. The new government must reassure Nigerian citizens, visitors to Nigeria and foreign investors, that Nigeria is safe, even as it continues to bream with boundless opportunities!

Massive Public Works Projects

A public reassurance on public safety and security, reassurances on the planned removal of uncertainties and insecurities, must then be followed by great public works.

In all probabilities, the fear of inflation which might result from massive spending on public works project, and the zeal to pay off Nigeria’s gargantuan and debilitating debts, informed the advices from every eggheads and certified economists to President Obasanjo, not to engage in massive public works projects, that would have had immediate benefits and immediate prompt impacts on the lives of average Nigerian. Which would have in turn clued the “man on the street” into the giant strides in efforts that President Obasanjo’s government was making audaciously, tirelessly and thanklessly, on the behalf of Nigeria!

There were crucially important items with which President Obasanjo busied himself with, during his first and second terms, paying up Nigeria’s national debt, domestic and foreign, were some of such items. Additionally, President Obasanjo was setting up super structures and systems, that will reverse Nigeria unsavory pasts. President Obasanjo has steadied Nigeria for a fresh start. EFCC, ICPC, Department of Due Process etc

And President Olusegun Obasanjo’s enshrinement into Nigerian history will be complete

Now, Nigerians should receive a new release of energy and new leash on life. The consolidation of the reform policies of the preceding 8 years must now translate in immediate direct impact on every Nigerian citizen. Nigerians have waited enough!

Massive Public Works Projects will achieve these direct impacts, benefits, and direct impacts that I speak of. Nigeria must now embark on massive public works!

Here is our chance to alter and change for good, the current sorry state of our public infrastructures! It is an open secret, that our public infrastructures were abandoned and neglected for decades and permitted to decay and remain in most egregious state of decadence! Here is our chance to build more roads and bridges, highways and byways!

Here is our chance to embark on the constructions and buildings of new schools and educational institutions. These decadences preceded President Obasanjo of course!

But now, we have a chance and the resources and the need to urgently engage in massive rebuilding of our hospitals and equip medical facilities to top notch modern medical facilities comparable to any, anywhere on earth! There qualified Nigerians at home, and, some are in every corner of the world, waiting to join hands in efforts to make Nigeria great.

The people of Nigeria will support massive renovations of public buildings and public structures nationwide. All Nigerians regardless of political, religious and regional affiliations, persuasions and attachments, all Nigerians support the creations of public squares and public playgrounds nationwide. It will create jobs, it will create sorely needed renewal of Nigeria and it will beautify and energize Nigerians and Nigeria.

Nigerian governments at all levels must participate in these renewals.

Land demarcations, street naming and numbering, must commence nationwide for easy access, for easy determinations of building addresses by postal service and all door to door delivery services of commerce and sundry transactions. There should be massive constructions of railways and waterways and stations that facilitates these services.

There should be street sweeping that would employ multitudes of Nigerians.

There should massive funding for research programs.

In order to benefit Nigerians directly, I propose we initiate massive public works projects, aimed at employment of Nigerians, economic growth, healthcare opportunities, and infrastructure expansions. There is a lot of work to do in Nigeria, work by all.

Such projects would include re-opening steel mills, building hydroelectric plants or green energy facilities, Shipyards, bridges, roads, high-rise buildings, tunnels, and renovating existing towns and cities. When government, business and industry start public works projects every business has a chance to capitalize on the increase of productivity.

A good idea or concept would be to start pilot towns nationwide, a deliberate creation of new hometowns in Nigeria, which would be built around the latest technologies such as hybrid and zero emission vehicles, broadband communications, renewable energy sources, mass-transit systems, and other emerging technologies that need to be tested full scale.

Massive Public Works Projects is a useful tool and instrument to create mass employment in great numbers! The Americans used it, before, during and soon after the Second World War. President Roosevelt used this machinery most effectively and the benefits are still visible in America physically and metaphorically. Perhaps the Kings of Egypt knew this, and hence the building of the monumental edifice the world renowned Pyramid. Ancient civilizations knew this, hence they built the Chinese Great Wall for military defense, while keeping Chinese citizen fully employed in the Great Wall’s construction? Perhaps the Kings of ancient Kingdom of Benin in Nigeria knew this same employment generation through Massive Public Works Projects, hence they build a moat around the ancient Kingdom of Benin for military defense, while keeping the citizens fully employed? There are trickle down effects, food sellers, shoe sellers, all those who cater those all those others, engaged in the physical remodeling of Nigeria.

It is the case, the economy thrives, if you keep your citizens employed and working and the citizens are productively engaged and they in turn have disposable incomes. Nigerian economy will thrive on big and bold ideas, not settling for something small. The new president must sprint, to begin his marathon of leadership of Nigeria. He should begin by ensuring that there full and complete national reconciliation begins immediately.

These Are The Things President Yar’Adua Must Do!

As May 29, 2007 inaugurations schedule is speedily approaching, I feel honestly as if I am already there! There are lots of things to do. There is work for everyone. All hands must be on deck, Nigerians, friends of Nigeria and investors of all stripes are welcome! Let the heavy lifting begin. Creating the Nigeria that we all want, begins NOW!

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sanya samuel June 28, 2007 - 5:39 am

nigeria reconstruction is very poor indeed.

karim adekemi yewande June 8, 2007 - 6:23 am

i quite agree with the writer of this article, what we need in nigeria is diversified economy and re-orientation. thanks

Cletus E. Olebunne May 17, 2007 - 9:55 am

Paul, my friend, your article is very insightful, but where do we get the money (funding) from? We do not want debt funding or else we may be back to owing more foreign debt again. We need to come out of the illusion that what Nigeria generates from monolithic oil economy can do it all. Nigeria do not have that type of money to embark in massive projects nation wide. I understand your sentiment with regards to building infrastructures, but it is sad to say, Nigeria (government) simply do not have the money. We must learn to take baby steps and build the essentials or what I call the critical three — energy, water, and simple transportation systems. The skyscrapers, tunnels, and mordern brigdes will come later. The key is diversified economy, and let the private sectors do what they supposed to do, create jobs.

It is about time we move ahead into diversified economy. No Going Back — Stability instead of Chaos.

Cletus E. Olebunne


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