Four Years After, Where are Ogbonnaya Onu’sPencils?

Ogbonnaya Onu


By next Wednesday, the Federal Executive Council will be dissolved. I am sure many Nigerians will heave a sigh of relief as some of the ministerial dead woods will be allowed to just go

Hmmmm, you never can be sure with President Muhammadu Buhari. What if he chooses to retain them all?

Never!. He will not try that. It could provoke a national protest.

Protest? Is not within his right to appoint whom he likes? You would have understood in the last four years that Mr President is not persuaded by those public outcry; otherwise the hue and cry over the ineffectiveness of the Service Chiefs would have led to a change. But what did Mr President do? He renewed their tenures. His ways are not our ways!

Are you implying that people like DrOgbonnaya Onu, the minister of Science and Technology would remain in office again?

Pray, what would be the justification?

 Why not, if the President thinks him fit to continue?

That will be the day! Do you remember that of all things crucial to Nigerians, this minister, and first executive governor of Abia State, in his first major outing in January 2016, said that Nigeria would soon start producing pencils? Yes, pencils! As if that is not bad enough, more than two years after, the pencils are nowhere to be found. Hey, where are the pencils which he said its production could fetch 400,000 new jobs? Did he also not say Nigeria would soon start producing six-cylinder engines? Cylinder my foot! Now the cabinet is winding up in few days, we neither saw the pencils nor the 400,000 new jobs. Or do you want to remind me of any tangible achievement, beside making speeches at conferences, creditable to the Ministry of Science and Technology? 

Please speak of the Igbo chief with some respect and honour. Remember he is an engineer and holds a Ph.D.

Rubbish! I think he is even too neat for an engineer. Wearing permanent white outfit fitted with red cap is not what makes a functional minister. He can go and assume traditional stool at home and leave the cabinet for those who can make impact.

You talk as if he is the only minister who underperformed.

Ok. So now you agree that he under performed. Sure he is not the only such one. In fact the question might be, who among them all, made any impact? Is it the Minister for Water Resources? How many Nigerians had access to clean potable water in the last four years? Or is it the Minister for Power, Works and Housing?Did our dear Babatunde Fashola not fail on all three fronts? Has electricity supply not even worsened? How many houses were ever built for the ordinary Nigerian? Or are our roads lesser death traps now?

Don’t be too hard on the ministers. You don’t know how many battles they had to fight. Don’t forget the National lawmakers were a hurdle on their own. Cash flow was another issue. And you know that ….

(cuts in)… and you know that what? Why are you generating excuses for them? Don’t you know many of them were just feathering their own nests? What impact did many of them make? Or is it the Labour minister who spent the entire period settling labour disputes and swimming into crisis after crisis?

Be fair. You cannot dismiss the huge efforts made by the Agric minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh. Are you not aware that Nigerians are now more food secured? Are you not aware that the huge assistance given to farmers has led to huge local production of many crops including rice, tomato, yam, cassava etc? Has rice, chicken and eggimportation mot massively dropped? And do you know how many people the farms have now employed?

Or do you want to ignore the massive revolution in the rail sector? Have you not seen the uncommon commitment the Transport Minister, RotimiAmaechi has shown in driving the rail constructionscheme, so much that even the Chinese contractors have been hailing him for his devotion and commitment? Do you think it is a joke that rail now runs from Warri to Itakpe and from Lagos to Abeokuta and soon to Ibadan? And that there are plans to connect the whole state capitals and all ports in the country  with rail transport?

Or have you not heard of how agencies in the ministry like NIMASA and NPA have been swelling the government treasury with huge income, unlike the order in the past?

Or would you neglect to notice the quick response strategy of the health ministry in tackling various epidemics in the country? Or you think it is by accident Ebola virus has not hit us again like Liberia or DR Congo?

Don’t talk about health ministry please. Do you know how dysfunctional our Teaching Hospitals are across the country? Pray, why does MrPresident not have faith in the health services in the country to make him use them instead of flying to UK every time for his medicals? 

Hmmm, don’t forget, we are a developing country. And I am sure those draw backs would be the focal points of this Next Level operations in the next four years. Believe! That’s all I ask.