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Planning for governance in 2023 is not too early

Planning for governance in 2023 is not too early

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By Moshood Isamotu
Rev. Matthew Kukah is a man of ideas and very intelligent. He said sometimes ago that he attended a Conference in the US on human capacity building for leaders in challenging environment. Of course, Nigeria squarely fitted the narrative of the environment in focus.
At night, his American peered colleague at the Conference shared with him his ideas of governance as he planned to run for a State Governorship seat in the US, eight years time. Yes. Action plan for a project 8 years ahead. According to Rev Kukah, this guy was so detailed you would think he was waiting to be sworn-in in a few months time. He said he was stunned and got further critical insight on leadership failure in his home country, Nigeria.
And now here, some people are saying it is too early for politicians to discuss or plan for “Nigeria Decides 2023”. To them, such should not be a matter for discussion now at all since 2023 belongs to the future and only God should be involved in projects beyond the immediate. I disagree.
Honestly, we spiritualize everything here and even resign to fate on issues God has given us control to meditate over. Didn’t God even charge us in the Bible to count the cost before settling down on building a house?
For emphasis, another President will be sworn-in in Nigeria in 2 years, 11 months’ time. For a president of a country with gargantuan problems like ours, 3 years is too long to plan? I laugh. Is governance a ‘templated’ project or a project with precise how-to-do-it list? Common, let us get serious. For somebody that wants to make serious impact in governance at the top level, three years of serious planning cannot even be enough.
Consider this. A serious president of Nigeria in 2023 should by now be studying while some nations failed and are failing and while others succeed and are succeeding. Why has Nigeria not worked despite all what is blessed with?
A serious 2023 president of Nigeria should be busy now studying on how to arrest the army of unemployment youth, keep the nation secured, fund infrastructure development, manage debt crisis, reduce cost of governance, tap into technology, invest in social system and industrialization, develop sound diplomatic policies etc. And somebody believes all these should not start until 2022 when the electioneering heat can roast the person. Even now a serious minded 2023 President will be updating the list of his cabinet so that from Day 1, effects are being given to policies.
Please, get me right, let us leave religion to those who want to sheepishly rely on God for everything including saving for the education of their wards in future, thinking the future will take care of itself. But for those who want to administer us in 2023 there is nothing like playing God putting strategy and tactics together NOW.
There must be a projection of what unemployment, debt service obligations, etc. will be in 2023 and plan made and updated as events unfold. That is how it should be and not a tardy arrangement and try and error approach to governance.
Okay! Why should nations have long term development plan? Why should somebody taking up an appointment today start thinking about his retirement in decade’s time?
Obama started community engagement and build what we call here grassroots followership early enough because he had his eye on the White House.
Politicking and governance are serious business for growth-focused nations. But politicking is what we give much attention to here. And that is our bane.
So, are you interested in 2023, please start the drum now and some of us will sing with you. But you must convince me how you will be different from the lots we are used to.

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About Demola Abimboye