Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, wrote a comprehensive letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on his performance and governance so far, and he had recommendations on steps Buhari must take.
“Mr. President, Sir. You have both a crisis and opportunity in your hands toturn around our country in the right direction. We pray that Allah gives youthe strength and good fortune to succeed,” el-Rufai wrote in the memo obtained by Sahara Reporters.
“This is an honest, frank and objective view of an admirer, a mentee, and a loyalist. I hope it helps, and I apologise if it displeases you. My duty to you is to tell you the truth as I seeit. I have no interest other than the progress of our party, our president, our government and our country”.
TheCable has reviewed the 29-paged memo, and presents you the top ten action plan, el-Rufai is recommending for the days to come.
EL-RUFAI TO BUHARI: RUN AGAIN IN 2019
“As I explained to you shortly after your election in April 2015, you have to run again in 2019 if your objectives of national restoration, economic progressand social justice are to be attained in the medium and long term,” he wrote.
“You must therefore succeed for the good of all of us – individually and collectively, and particularly those of us that have benefitted so clearly from your political ascendance”.
CONCLUDE SARAKI’S TRIAL ON TIME
The governor wants the judiciary to conclude the trials of Senate President Bukola Saraki, who he said is interested in political advancement that in commercial transactions.
He said Buhari must improve his relationship with the national assembly and the Judiciary.
“These relationships need improvement as well. The relationship with the Senate was marred by the betrayal the party suffered at the hands of many of its members, while the recent ‘padding scandal’ has created tensions with the leadership of the House of Representatives.
“These challenges are difficult, but not impossible, to fix once the Judiciary concludes the Saraki cases in a timely manner”.
He said Saraki, “Senator Lawal Shuaibu, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Senator Bukola Saraki, Hubert Shaiyen,Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Senator Bunmi Adetunmbi,” are seeking an “entrée into your government through the party and are concerned more with political power than commercial transactions”.
UNDO LOPSIDED APPOINTMENTS
El-Rufai agrees with a lot of Nigerians that Buhari’s appointment have been lopsided and must be corrected.
“A clear evidence of this is the lopsided nature of the appointments made so far, and the absence of any objective selection criteria other thanpure chance and closeness to a handful of people around the President,” he wrote.
“Another crisis is likely to be created if the current system (or lack of it) ofappointment persists with the composition of boards of parastatals. I havehad cause to register my concerns, which also mirrors the grievance of 23 APC Governors”.
CUT N’ASSEMBLY BUDGET TO N65BN, RAISE VAT TO 10%
El-Rufai also went for the sacred cows in the national assembly, by asking both the president and the ministry of budget and national planning to reduce the budget for the chambers to not less than N65 billion.
“Reduce the National Assembly budget for 2017 to not more than N65 billion and require the publication of all line items for all the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges (UBE,INEC, NDDC, National Assembly and NJC) in the interest of full transparency, and put every federal employee on IPPIS by January 2017″
There has been much talk about reviewing Nigeria’s tax policy, but el-Rufai believes that Buhari should raise value added tax (VAT) by 10 percent from 2017.
“Review tax policy and accelerate TIN registration nationwide to widen and broaden the tax net, reduce personal and income tax rates while raising VAT to 10% as fair compensation,” he suggested.
MERGE MINISTRIES, REVISIT ORONSAYE WHITE PAPER
The former minister, who worked with former president Olusegun Obasanjo, also wants Buhari to merge ministries and review the modus operandi of the bloated civil service.
“The 800-page transition committee report (summarized to 80 slides by Bain & Co.) went some way in recommending the merger of Ministries but implementation has been uneven and selective.
“Prior to this, the Obasanjo administration had done seminal work in merging ministries, (available on request) while the Oronsaye Committee has done some significant work in reducing duplication between parastatals and agencies.
“There exists therefore enough raw material to begin the needed restructuring of MDAs for optimal performance at the federal level. (Copies of both the Bain Summary and the Executive Summary of the Oronsaye Report are provided with this submission)”
SELL AJAOKUTA AND NIGERIA’S REFINERIES
He want Buhari to consider the privatization of other non-productive or potentially valuable assets in governments control.
“Evaluate some idle assets for privatization like Ajaokuta Steel, Itakpe Iron Ore, NIPP power stations, 40% equity in Gencos and Discos owned by FGN and State Governments, and capital injection to dilute FGN in development banks,” el-Rufai advised.
GIVE OIL LICENCE TO CHINA, INDIA
El-Rufai also wants Nigeria’s number one citizen to offer Nigeria’s expired oil mining lease to China, India and other interested investors and raise as much as $20 billion to $40 billion.
“Compile all expired OMLs and offer them to India, China and other interested investors to raise between $20 – $40 billion in signaturebonuses that can be deployed to (i) stabilize the exchange rate by raising the foreign reserves to $40-$50 billion (ii) increase the sovereign wealth fund and (iii) finance essential infrastructure and housing deficits”.
UNIFY BIOMETRIC CAPTURES TO DRIVE E-GOVERNANCE
“E-Governance infrastructure with a foundation in a national biometric identification system is almost non-existent.
“While the NIMC is struggling to register 10 million Nigerian adults out of some 100 million, we have wasted billions in parallel biometric ID systems (FRSC, INEC, PenCom, Nigeria Immigration Service,NCC, CBN’s BVN, etc. to mention a few) without a central,validated and rogue-free AFIS engine.
“The national potential todeploy these data and linking them with GIS, Land administrationand tax compliance has therefore not been realized.”
EXPLOIT NOLLYWOOD, KANNYWOOD
El-Rufai believes Nigerian talents in sports are wasting away, when they can be harnessed for national pride, job creation and revenue generation.
“The same attitude applies to service sectors like Art and Sculpture, ICT,Nollywood, Kannywood, music and other creative sub-sectors. Nigerian movies are now selling our nation positively and negatively all across Africa and the Black Diaspora.
“This is an important component of soft power which we have failed to think through, articulate to exploit tocreate jobs, wealth and prestige for our country. It is not too late to close this gap.”
The 56-year-old governor also requests that Buhari restruture the ruling party to ensure a candidate selection process, which would not be influenced by money.
“Those of us that look forward to presenting you again to the electorate in 2019 are worried that we need to sort out the party’s membership register, review the primaries system to eliminate the impact of money in candidate selection, and reduce the reliance of the party on a few businessmen, a handful of major financiers and state governments for its operations and expenditures.
“A surgical operation is needed in party machinery, financing and electoral processes if the future political aspirations we desire for you will not be made more difficult, if not impossible, to actualize.”