Here is a summary of Tinubu's 7-point agenda:
1) national industrial policy
2) infrastructure plan
3) tax credits and subsidies
4) credit-based economy
5) more electricity generation
6) government-backed home mortgage system
7) investment in agriculture
I find this amusing in Tinubu's address:
“We must realize that no populous nation has ever attained broadly- shared prosperity without first creating an industrial capacity that employs large numbers of people and manufactures a significant quantity of goods for domestic consumption or export”
I find it amusing because it is a careful rewording of an axiom that is generally applied to education - specifically public education - in the developed parts of the world.
We say that no nation has ever attained modernity, prosperity, development, etc, without laying a solid foundation in public education. The quality of your growth and development is proportional to the quality of your public education.
In a seven-point agenda (Yar'Adua is not even acknowledged) that is totally silent on education, a popular axiom commonly applied to public education in civilization is reworked and repackaged for industrialization.
Who does not know that an under-educated or diseducated citizenry will make everything in this 7-point agenda a non-starter? They will start by selling off the paper on which Tinubu's agenda is written and use the money to buy gala and lacasera in order to have enough strength to scream for 24 hours in support Asiwaju and his ilk in the political leadership of Nigeria. The ignorance of the people is the greatest wealth and the greatest asset of the Nigerian political elite.
Ask a Nigerian leader to choose between ten oil wells and mass ignorance of the people and you'll be surprised by his choice - if confidentiality were guaranteed. That is why everything that has happened to the Nigerian education sector is by design. The rot is purposed and deliberate. Too many of our citizens exposed to what we teach their own kids that they send to us here in Euro-America is not in their interest.
I have a five-year-old in Grade One. The civics assignments she brings home every day from school are a constant source of considerable sadness for me. Assessing how they are shaping her mind, the sort of latitude for critical thought and citizenship sentience they are opening up to her at 5 is often too much for me to swallow. I wince and gnash my teeth in agony every time because I understand what they are building and preparing her mind for the 21st-century world of the global knowledge economy and the future after that.
At five, she is already owning the global knowledge economy in a philosophized system that is preparing her for competition from Chinese kids and kids from Dubai and Japan in the race for the future. What they are pouring into this young mind is what will provide the genius and innovation to instrumentalize this 7-point agenda and deploy it for a holistic vision of a society of mutually-beneficial commonwealth. The democratization of that commonwealth is at the centre of the philosophy she is being introduced to.
You destroy public education, normalize the concentration of 180 million people's wealth in your minuscule elitist class, groom a vast national confederacy of ignorance to defend the concentration of the commonwealth in your 1% percent rank of political elitism at their own expense, and then turn around to market agendas that can only work on a foundation of massive investment in public education for the next 30 years.
Pius Adesanmi, an acclaimed literary and cultural critic, was born in Nigeria and now lives in Ottawa, Canada, where he teaches literature and African studies at Carleton University. He is one of Nigeria's major intellectuals and writes two weekly columns for the influential Sahara Reporters and NEXT newspaper. His first book, The Wayfarer and Other Poems, won the Association of Nigerian Authors' Poetry Prize in 2001.