A public affairs analyst and pan-Africanist, Dr. Graham Hart, has urged Nigeria’s youth and student populations to devote more energy towards evaluating the agenda propositions thrust upon them by contending candidates in Nigeria’s 2023 elections, using the instrumentation of the Minimum Offer Bond, MOB.
Dr. Hart was speaking at a virtual event which is tagged “Countryside Agenda 2023” and launched to sensitize the Nigerian electorate on the Minimum Offer Bond, MOB.
The maiden event of “Countryside Agenda 2023” was hosted to strategically and singularly engage student unions and bodies.
The lead speaker at the virtual event emphasized that being that the Nigerian nation has not been availed of much advance in the 60+ years of Nigeria’s of Nigeria’s independence, experience in leadership on the part of the political gladiators should not count for much.
He cautioned against continuing to entrust the destiny of the nation within the precinct or regulation of persons who have acquired immeasurable “experience” in guiding Nigeria’s journey to Golgotha.
Dr. Hart enjoined Nigeria’s students to shun the cult followership around political gladiators and engage the candidates on the bases of the “new imagination” of Nigeria which the candidates advance.
Acknowledging that Nigeria is at a crossroads, participants at the virtual agreed that Nigeria must stop treating the symptoms of its disease and begin to confront the roots of the malaise, identified as the “a deficit of vitality and morale liberated by a non-performing economy.”
Dr. Hart stated that the students are in a good position to help less-discerning voters in making a meaning of the contest of “imaginations about Nigeria’ which should underline the 2023 elections. And that students have a duty to so do.
He urged students to provide the needed community leadership by championing the evaluation and judgement between the agenda narratives canvassed by the political gladiators, in a manner that would ensure that Nigeria’s communities are not left with the short end of the development bargain.
Countryside Agenda 2023” was organized by Lamprace to grow public sensitivity to the need for and value in the Minimum Offer Bond, MOB, as well as to support Nigerian communities in articulating “Community Aspires for Regrowth and Development,” CARD-Term Compacts.
In his contribution, the convener of the MOB convention, Emeka Ike, stressed that the MOB is the only recourse, the only course of action that will give meaning to democracy in Nigeria. If the duplicity of the political class is left unchecked, he stated, democracy will hardly deliver positively impacting governance.
He reeled out statistics to show that the Nigerian economy is in dire straits, and that the shrinking size of the economy relative to the growing population is reinforcing crimes and other insecurity.
Yes, he agreed with the lead speaker that Nigeria needs a new imagination. Nigeria in 2021, the convener informed the audience, earned N970.36 billion from oil, and N1.6 trillion from non-oil taxes (much more than oil). N2.8 trillion came in from a cumulative of other sources, yielding a total revenue in 2021 of N5.5 trillion.
Then, Nigeria spent N4.2 trillion repaying debts in 2021, leaving a paltry N1.3 trillion. But Nigeria’s budget of 2021 was N13.57 trillion. This means that Nigeria needed N12.56 trillion to finance the 2021 budget deficit, and this it had again to borrow.
This new borrowing was spent on paying workers’ salaries, fuel subsidy, official stealing, and stuff like that – none of which was going to bring in revenue to government.
With Nigeria’s borrowing at 36.9% of the GDP, Nigeria is very close to hitting the tolerable cap of 40% of GDP, at which sealing lenders would hardly lend more money.
What this means is that government would be left with no choice but to raise taxes (like VAT at something in the region of 25%), so as to get more money. This would lea to rise in prices of goods and services, job losses, further devaluation of the Naira, rising poverty and rising insecurity.
Nigeria’s challenge is huge, and even existential. This is why Nigeria needs a new imagination to reinvent the economy, grow its capital assets – power and energy, transportation infrastructure, internal and external trade, and healthcare – in a muscular bid towards industrialization.
This is why the MOB needs to be embraced to minimize the chances of electing an ill-equipped president, misemployed governors, and maladjusted legislators.
In the same light, the voters are cautioned to balance every MOB tendered before them against the pedigree of the tenderer. You do not go into contract, he noted, with a category E contractor who offers to build you a category A expressway.
MOB is a term social-compact conceptualized to hold politicians accountable to some of the campaign promises which they waggle before the electorate to gain their confidence and their votes.
A typical MOB is executed between the political office contender and his or her constituents. Styled in the form of a performance bond or advance performance guarantee, the MOB wills the candidate in guaranteeing the delivery of stated advances or milestones in some areas of development and within clearly defined timelines, and with an oath to resign from office in the event the promised milestones are not achieved within the timelines.