I don’t how others reacted to it, but there was a feeling of utter relaxation and smug anticipation in my mind when I heard from the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, what I considered one of the germane campaign-issue argument this election season. Candidate Atiku promised to bring back Procter and Gamble (P&G) and General Electric (GE). What we heard from Mr. Abubakar was that P&G will be encouraged to revive its $300 million investment profile in Nigeria and GE will be convinced to forge on with that botched $2 billion-plus railway concession investment that this conglomerate mooted but the incumbent APC government frustrated.
If this isn’t the perfect campaign stump then I do not know what a good campaign stump is, but all in all, it shows that Atiku means business because he has shown that he understands what drives a national economy. The vistas for economic-growth stimuli that the P&G and GE investments profiles would open can only just be imagined, as it were, because crash of retail prices of popular key domestic items like Ariel detergent, the suite of “maxi,” “medi,” and “mini” kiddies’ napkins and other product that the P&G outfit can offer will ensure uptick in patronage and a consequent boom in that sector.
Regrettably, what is so obvious to GE is what the highfalutin Federal Ministry of Transport has failed to recognise, viz: Nigerians are social animals who take great pleasure in trans-locating from one community to the other in order to keep up their social and familial commitments and, really, that is why Nigerians are some of the happiest folks in the world today; this wide-area translocation means that there must exist a system of mass transit to move people from one location to another at affordable price regime, and this mass transit system need not necessarily be lines of expensively-imported Toyota buses emblazoned with the logos of some federal agency, some state government, or the image of the governor himself proclaiming “assistance to the masses” as if Nigerians are deservedly wretched.
This mind-set is the very reason for the acute inefficiency in the mass transit system of Nigeria, and the planners and investment analysts at GE must be absolutely certain that interconnecting railways lines linking the major towns and cities of Nigeria in the context of a national mass-transit system is the sure way to go for this company to agree to that huge investment outlay, very huge indeed by Africa’s standard. Since Atiku is committed to exploring these investment-opportunity window, Nigerians must listen to him and vote for him.
Sunday Adole Jonah,
Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State