By Adedayo Akinwale
The Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs’ has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and all the 36 governors to allow entrepreneurs provide solutions to all the country’s socio- economic challenges.
Its National Head, Mr. Olubunmi Oluwadare, in an open letter to President Buhari and the 36 governors, said the organisation had taken its time to re-identify all the major challenges facing the country and was now appealing to the federal and state governments to allow deliberately stimulated entrepreneurial interventions all across the board.
Oluwadare noted that from its findings over the years with the Nigeria government institutions, he had come to realise that thousands of young visionary entrepreneurs local and from abroad, even foreign investors, had shown interests either now or in the past to solve the nation’s housing deficits, power challenges, road construction, water supply, manufacturing sectors, mining, agricultural development, among others.
He however lamented that government bureaucratic bottleneck, insecurity of lives and property, unstable government policies, bad laws, unfriendly monetary policies, bribery and corruption and delay in issuing needed permits and documentations, had been l major impediments.
Below is the full text of the open letter:
Good afternoon to all our Excellencies, most especially our dear Mr. President.
I am using this medium to call on your Excellencies to allow entrepreneurs to provide solutions to all our socio- economic challenges which we have been battling with for decades.
We have taken our time to re-identify all these major challenges and we are appealing to the Federal and State governments deliberately stimulated entrepreneurial Interventions all across the board.
It’s a known fact that our various governmental institutions Governors said thaterent leaderships have tried various programs /proposals with huge budgetary allocations in billions and trillions over the years to fix all these challenges, without any tangible results to show. Nigeria is still paying a steep price for those years of abysmal policy failures.
What do I mean by entrepreneurial Intervention, the practical example is not far-fetched and we all know that various governments from military to democratic regimes have spent huge sums of money to build, maintain and run the 3 crude oil refineries we have in Nigeria (Kaduna,Warri and Portharcourt refineries) without any tangible result recorded until all the refineries went moribund.
Having illustrated the story above and to buttress my point on what entrepreneurial Intervention is all about. Aliko Dangote,a Nigeria born serial entrepreneur stepped in when it dawned on us all, that government cannot muster the political will to do anything to revive the three moribund refineries ,the result of his Dangote industries’ Intervention is the ongoing construction of Dangote refinery, a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project under construction in Ibeju-lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
It will not be an understatement to state that Mr Dangote’s entrepreneurial initiatives alone and with other local/foreign entrepreneurs that is keeping our economy running by their investing billions of dollars in banking, agriculture, manufacturing, commodities exportation and road construction plus lots of humanitarian activities across Africa. Their interventions especially in this Covid19 pandemic has been notable.
There is an urgent need to create an enabling environment for enterprise to really thrive in Nigeria. Nigeria should deliberately encourage foreign direct investments (FDI) and our legal and regulatory environment should protect investments, the unsavory experiences of the Virgin Atlantic investment in the defunct Nigeria carrier and Bi-Courtney consortium issues with FG is still fresh in our memory and a clear disincentive for any prospective foreign investor.
From our findings and that of my own personal involvement over the years with the Nigeria government institutions. I have come to realize that thousands of young visionary entrepreneurs local and from abroad even foreign investors have shown interests either now or in the past to solve our nation’s housing deficits, power challenges, road construction, water supply, manufacturing sectors, mining, agricultural development, cultural and tourism development and educational development, security challenges, healthcare challenges and many more but one major impediment has always stood in the way; government bureaucratic bottle necks, insecurity of lives and properties, unstable government policies, bad laws, unfriendly monetary policies by CBN, bribery and corruption and delay in issuing needed permits and documentations.
These and many more are the stumbling blocks to private driven entrepreneurial interventions.
Fixing all the major problems facing Nigeria is not such a herculean task, neither is it rocket science, it can be done and it’s time governments at all levels in Nigeria face the real work of governance, which is to provide enabling environments for the people who know how to make things happen to do their works.
Honestly we don’t even mind again, if government can use all their budgetary allocations to pay salaries, enjoy life and buy cars, after all Nigerians are now used to huge budgetary spending’s without any tangible results to show for such fund allocations.
We entrepreneurs know all these socio economic challenges and we are ready and so sure to fix them one after the other within a reasonable timeline
In conclusion, pharaoh (The Egyptian former President of old) faced an unprecedented economic crisis in which none of his inner cabinet members could provide solutions to.
Pharaoh understood the importance of private initiatives and called for one. This created an avenue for Joseph to step in with entrepreneurial knowledge which was what triggered today’s knowledge economy to provide sustainable solutions to the problem facing Egypt the rest as they say is history.
Entrepreneurial intervention is the developmental tool that is being deployed by the western world, Asians and the emerging economies of recent for good governance.
It is time that your excellencies take a cue.