Education for Entrepreneurship.

Agriculture

Healthcare

Niger Delta

Oil sector

Electricity

Education
To reform and restructure the education sector to empower and develop the citizenry to acquire skills and knowledge that would prepare them for the world of work”-Mission statement, The Federal Ministry of education.

Nigeria has 125 universities, 95 polytechnics and possibly 37 colleges of education. Despite yearly increment in the number of students enrollments nationwide, there has been a significant growth in the number of tertiary institutions in the country mostly by private organizations and individuals. Some of the identified problems are:

  • Declining financing.
  • Insufficient and irrelevant learning materials, including outdated equipments, books, and run down infrastructures.
  • Poorly paid academic staff and lack of accountability.
  • Expansion of enrollment leading to oversupply of graduates.
  • Curriculum not designed for 21st century and globalization.
  • Students disruptions like unrest and gangsterism.
  • lack of incentives for innovation.


The quality of graduates produced are so inadequate that employers often need to provide prolonged internship training and education for new hires. This expenditure adds to overhead costs and imparts the bottom line and competitiveness.

Financing

Earlier this year, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a conclusive study that demonstrated a significant positive correlation between cognitive skills and GDP. The report persuasively argued for prioritizing education on a policy level. From the data available to us through The World Bank Edstats database, Nigeria’s percentage of GDP on public education continue to decline despite the facts.















1981

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6%2%1%2%1%1%1%



Education is a mandatory long term investment towards economic growth, education policy that increases education spending and improve quality in 2011 will yield palpable economic dividends in 2030-2035 when today’s young students become significant members of the workforce. Interestingly, South Africa’s education spending over the same time frame in the above table has been consistently 6-7% while Ghana’s 3-4%.



Quality of Education

In our flat world, employment across international borders and collaborations demand a 21st century education system that puts particular emphasis on the latest communication and computing technologies. The Nigeria University Commission, NUC, is among other moribund parastatals of the Ministry of Education. This body will be an independent agency funded both by the government and the private sector. It will be tasked with revamping current academic programs with focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. It will be responsible for devising periodic assessments of tertiary institutions academic staff. It will also work with these institutions to determine staff compensations and salaries.

Because of the unique position of tertiary institutions in the education structure, they provide far more opportunities to individuals and directly infuse trained work force into a growing economy.


Academic Staff compensations

The NUC will work with the tertiary institutions to design a special salary scale that’s tied to performance. More importantly, we know that people chose to become lecturers largely because of their love for teaching, research and other academic endeavors. We also strongly believe invention and innovation must be rewarded. Its been shown over and over that people respond to incentives, rewarding innovation encourages more of same.

Every tertiary institution will be mandated to have a registered “College Company” that will:

  • Co-ordinate researches in all departments.
  • Arrange for patent filings of inventions
  • Handle licensing of inventions to private sectors
  • Handle compensations that will be distributed between the institution and the inventor(s)
  • Manufacture and market inventions as they choose.

The initial financing will come from the government through a special Innovation Fund that is repaid overtime following commercialization of the invention. The fund managers will aggressively scout for ideas and innovations with commercialization potentials and help the institutions in recruiting experienced managers from the private sector.


Students unrest and closures

Unrest and closures are inter plays reactions and counteractions resulting unreasonable government policies that over the years have further weaken our education system. It becomes difficult to tailor programs and make employment projections as enrollments numbers completely disconnect from graduation numbers.

Campuses gangsterism is a criminal act that must be treated as such. Every institution will have an anonymous reporting system by phone, e-mail or physical contact co-ordinating with the local law enforcement agents. Deploying “Say something if you see something” campaigns will be encouraged.

This will be corrected by a robust education policy that demonstrate the government’s understanding of the importance of education and incorporate all the ideas described above.

Primary and Secondary Education system

Increasing education funding will allow for rebuild of all our primary and secondary schools. RNP considers this a national emergency that must be given a war-time like attention. We regard this as a basic right of ALL Nigerians, it makes economic sense and it is the right thing to do. We can not have a lasting democracy without an educated electorate. Economy growth curve will flatten without a sound policy that guarantees steady inflow of well educated workforce.

It is not enough to simply increase the number of enrollments as indicated in the MDGs but also important that students graduate with enough skills that prepare them for tertiary institutions.

Currently, public primary and secondary education is funded by all the three tiers of government in a poorly delineated arrangements. The lower 2 tiers of government almost exclusively derive their revenues from the Federal Government. Even though there are the so called state government and local government/community run primary and secondary schools, these schools constantly look for the FG’s help because of neglect. The FG’s institutions have also suffered the same fate over the past 3 decades. The private sector has beautifully stepped into this void of confusion and neglect but the tuition has made sure that the majority of the students are left behind.

The result of this will be an unacceptable education and economic gap that will badly reflect on our economy and society in the next 1-2 decades. We believe it is the job of

the Federal Government to ensure that quality primary and secondary education is free and a must for ALL citizens:

  • Increasing education funding. We will recommend a 7% of GDP. A number that may even be increased after righting our infrastructures.
  • All primary and secondary education must be free and mandatory.
  • All primary and secondary education must be directly funded by the Federal Government.
  • Hire qualified teachers who will get remedial training before stepping into classrooms. They will also be interned at the job before a tenure is granted.
  • Annual assessments and rankings of teachers based on students performances
  • Annual nationwide test at all levels at the beginning and end of every school year to allow for students’ improvement assessments and comparison from state to state and between very local Government.
  • Data base of ALL primary and secondary schools including enrollment census, students-teacher ratio and reports of annual test performances.
  • Community engagement and participation to be organized by the state and local government. Every community will have a council constituted by the Local Government Chairman and the local traditional ruler who will see to the community engagement of these institutions and ensure local supports such as human security and property protection.

The motto of an organization determines exactly what it gets out of it’s activities. Our motto should reflect that we understand that basic education is a human right, a necessity for democracy, and that cutting edge education that focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and global competitiveness is the only way out of our national poverty.

Our current motto at the beginning of this section is rudimentary and a 19th century education mission statement.


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Agriculture

Preoccupied with oil wealth, Nigeria neglected agriculture since the 70s. The growth rate of agriculture GDP per capita was close to zero in the 80s and 90s! Historically, agriculture growth fathered the rise of England in the 18th century and Japan in the late 19th century. The recent rise of China, India and Vietnam was preceded by rapid agriculture growth.

No economy grow without a strong agriculture sector and this makes a lot of economic sense because it is directly linked to other economic sectors. Incomes from agriculture are spent on domestically produced nontradable goods and services. In the countries mentioned above, agriculture surplus from higher productivity was partially taxed to finance industrial development.

Some of the problems identified include the following. We tacked on our solutions:

  • Desertification. With the Sahara Desert making incursion at the rate of about 0.6km/year, 10s of thousands of farmers are loosing their livelihood and villages. The Federal Government’s National Action Program (NAP) has been largely ineffective despite a robust World Bank help; planted trees are either felled for firewood or simply dry up for lack of follow up care. Yet more money is spent on tree planting.

Some of the 8 affected northern states have set money aside to plant Gum Arabic trees to serve both as a shield and source of income from gum export. This plan will be reinforced. Added to this will be a vast network of drip irrigation system that will convert the affected areas to farmlands for other crops and pastures.
  • Unreasonable taxation on agricultural exports and fees that eats into farmers bottom line leading to disinterest. These fees are unnecessary in a sector that seriously need help and incentives.
  • Lack of investments in the sector. Simply because the government has not pointed the nation’s market in the sector’s direction.
  • Non-sustainable agricultural practices. This include overgrazing, overuse of chemicals, poor land management that encourages erosions etc. Nigerian land use and pollution can easily be monitored by our satellite system NigeriaSat-1. An information that can both be used in planning and intervention policies.
  • Farmers outreach programs through local farmers unions to demonstrate practices such as crop rotation and diversity, use of crop waste, livestock and human manure. We discover that outreach becomes easy when Farmers Unions are involved, the information can directly target the beneficiaries in a cost effective way.
  • Absence of rural infrastructures. More than half of the country’s population live in the rural and largely farming areas. Lack of basic infrastructures and opportunities have led to movements to the urban areas. This phenomenon continue to drain the traditional agriculture work force and also overwhelm the structurally archaic urban centers.

The reported annual economy expansion in the country is not felt by the common man largely because of the weak agriculture sector.

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Healthcare

“Nigeria is the only nation to have never eradicated polio”-USAID

Nigeria officials and their families travel overseas as a habit for their medical care, same nations that depend on Nigerian trained physicians and nurses work force to run their health systems. On close observation of The Federal Ministry of Health, we interestingly discovered practical and actionable policies often designed with the assistance of WHO and other international health agencies. The problems we identified are largely on implementation and poor co-ordination between all the departments of the ministry and poor collaborative initiatives between ministries. For example, there is no policy level collaboration between the ministry and ministry of education which we consider a great opportunity missed.

The NHIS, National Health Insurance Scheme, is a laudable idea and that’s been what it is, and idea. Since it’s creation in 1999 it has only been able to care for less than 10% of the population. How could the program claim to provide accessible and quality healthcare to subscribers when the nation does not have accessible and quality infrastructures?

Let’s look at this important issue in some unconventional ways:

Infrastructure

For the NHIS to achieve measurable goals such as reducing maternal mortality and child mortality rate, combating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, improving national life expectancy etc, we must increase the number of health facilities and equip them with functional and practical equipments and trained personnel.

Linking a really nice water pump to a drive well is what we did with the NHIS. Most Nigerians avoid government hospitals if they can, rightly so because of poor service from half committed staff, decayed infrastructures and lack of medications. What use is a medical insurance when you will have to bring your own hand gloves and syringes to be treated?

Providers

The States and Federal Ministry of Health lack the ability to collect data on the hospitals and clinics. Without accurate data collection, it becomes difficult to monitor and regulate this sector and this has exposed the NHIS to fraudulent claims. The states and local governments should be made to periodically collect data on every health facility under their care. This will include operators, annual censor inspection reports and mortality rates. This information must be promptly updated in the national data base

Fraudulent NHIS claims due to States and Local Governments officials negligence should attract fines on both the operators and the responsible authorities.
The Nigeria Medical Association will be charged with:
  • Constituting a task force to design preventive care guidelines and diseases screening schedules based on scientific evidence.
  • Producing guidelines for evidence based and cost effective diagnostic and treatment methods on the nations common admission diagnoses.
  • Encourage data collection and reporting among members.
  • Work with the The Federal Ministry of Health to form epidemiology intelligence agency that is deployable at a very short notice to an area of outbreak or suspected outbreak. This agency will have the capability of field testing and information gathering and recommending measure to control outbreaks.

Consumers

Through persistent health education campaigns, citizens will learn practices that can prevent sickness and hospital visits. Education and outreach programs are the only ways to discourage those cultural practices that may lead to serious health problems.

Malaria costs the sub-sahara Africa an estimated $12 billion/year and millions precious young lives, it kills upward of a million Nigerian children before age five. It can be eradicated by supplementing current efforts with smart grass root health education. Same with preventable diseases as polio. Without outreach programs and education, people may decline immunization for cultural or religious reasons.

A standard patient bill of rights in all local dialects will be designed by the Federal Ministry of Health and made available on their website for downloads. It will be an enforced standard procedure nationwide for every patient to be provided with a copy at the point of healthcare delivery. Signs asking patients to demand for bill of rights must be conspicuously displayed at multiple areas in every healthcare facility.

These are just few of the measures that we believe put responsibilities into the hands of the people and also hold all the players accountable. In such a system, implementation of policies occur as a matter of cause. Imagine a system where a patient looks at his bill of right and knows how he should be treated and where to turn to with complaints.

Once again, Nigeria has a robust and practical healthcare policy but needed smart implementation and addressing infrastructures simultaneously.

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Niger Delta

Direct Government Investments in infrastructures a la Abuja. Direct responsibility by the office of the presidency. Public and Government accountability. Aggressively combat spills by empowering NOSDRA. Oil spill is a national problem and not a regional one as it’s been handled.

The 9 oil producing states get derivation funds amounting to 13% of the nation’s oil revenue, an arrangement that has done nothing to change the lives of the residents in these areas. A politician suggested raising this to 50%. A bill by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to the National Economic Council is requesting that the fund be paid directly to the oil producing communities through commissions created by the states.

The question is, how about doing the things that the people wanted? These fellow Nigerians are simply asking for opportunities, jobs, infrastructures and disciplined operations by the oil companies that respect environment, control spills and take responsibility for accidents. A few thousand Naira a year for every household is a insulting joke.

Abuja was built mainly in the 1980s mostly by a direct effort of the presidency, a national priority project. ARP sees a great opportunity in transforming the Niger-Delta region in a similar way. It can become the nation’s Dubai, a tourist and economic center. We can also make it the continent’s first IT
cluster! This is what the 13% derivation fund should do. This is building the nation and not just building Niger-Delta. It is about time we start defining the Niger-Delta problem as Nigeria problem.


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Oil Sector

According to the Oil and Gas Journal, Nigeria had an estimated 37.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of January 2010.

Monthly crude oil production ranged between 1.6 million bbl/d and 2.0 million
bbl/d. Oil accounts for more than 90% of the country’s revenue and more than 60% of government spending.

International Oil Companies:

Foreign companies operating in joint ventures (JVs) or production sharing contracts (PSCs) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) include ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, Eni/Agip, Addax Petroleum (recently acquired by Sinopec of China), ConocoPhillips, Petrobras, StatoilHydro, and others.

Refineries

In 2009, Nigeria consumed approximately 280,000 bbl/d of oil. The country has four refineries (Port Harcourt I and II, Warri, and Kaduna) with a combined capacity of around 500,000 bbl/d.

Sector Organization

NNPC regulates the Nigerian oil industry including upstream and downstream developments. It now has 12 subsidiary companies in order to better manage the country’s oil industry. The majority of Nigeria’s major oil and natural gas projects are funded through JVs, with the NNPC.

oilexport

Nigeria has 4 refineries; Port Harcourt I and II, Warri, Kaduna with a combined capacity of 500,000bbl/day. Estimated 0-15 percent of the refining capacity was operational in 2009, Nigeria used 280,000bbl/day same year. Importation and subsidies cost the FG $3-4bil/year. Poor maintenance, fire, theft and attack on oil infrastructures are largely responsible.

Privatization of the refineries and phasing out subsidies is an option to be considered. Truth must be told, the amount spent on importation and subsidies can only increase as demand grows with the population. Phasing out subsidy must be a process that parallels economic growth and infrastructure development. This is an economic tight rope but a possibility if inefficiency and corruption in the sector is curtailed. The nation also needs more depot and tax incentives to encourage investments in safe oil transportation industry.

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Electricity.

The following unfortunate facts are what we have in Nigeria currently:

  • According to a Energy Commission of Nigeria report in 2008, households spent about 796 billion Naira on self-generation while the industrial sector spent about 1.2 Trillion Naira on same.

  • Estimated 40% of population has no electricity access.

  • Manufacturing Association of Nigeria in 2005 estimated 820 manufacturing companies had closed or moved to other countries because of poor energy supply.

  • Studies have demonstrated that rural dwellers who are responsible for the agriculture sector are abandoning the land for the cities partly because of the lack of economic opportunities and quality of life that electricity generates.

  • Nigeria currently generates 3,500MW of electricity, less than half of the nation’s installed capacity because of poor maintenance of the generating facilities and transmission waste.

The so called “road map” is aiming at 8,000-10,000MW when the Energy Commission of Nigeria in 2006 rightly projected a demand of 119,000MW by the year 2030. Just 20 years away! The “road map” and many Nigerian analysts wrongly compare electricity generation to the wireless communication industry. Nigerian wireless phone providers did not and will not have to contend with tens of thousands of grid wires that will criss-cross the country’s rugged terrain to actualize the vision of the road map. Power generation involves huge investments that does not yield quick returns, a notion that Nigerian investors are not used to.

The promise of 24/7 electricity for Nigerians by December 2012 is not only technically unrealistic but a simple deceit. The NHIS has not had any noticeable impart on our health sector because we did not address the poor state of our healthcare infrastructures, providers and consumers concerns before it’s enactment. What use is a health insurance without real hospitals. The “road plan” is all about a super national grid, no substance on generation or renewable energy sources and partial privatization.

RNP’s national electrification recommendations critically look at the 3 main areas of the sector while paying particular attention to rural projects, a 3+1 insight. We shall briefly discuss these aspects sparing technical details:

  • Power Generation. Currently we have between 6000MW and 7000MW installed capacity of which about 33% is hydro (dams) and the remaining 67% from thermal sources (burning things like coal or natural gas). As indicated above, less than half of this installed capacity is actually delivered to the consumers. So, we not only have to generate far more but also a effective grid system to deliver it.


How do we generate cheap, abundant and reliable power without the potent environmentally dangerous waste of “burning things”? Renewable. Let’s focus on the three biggest renewable technologies available; Hydro, Wind and Solar. The main reason why we should not and can not build more coal plants is because we largely depend on nature’s services. Most Nigerian families live on the land and will suffer the consequences of pollution and impart of global warming. Imagine how many coal plants will have to generate the projected 119,000MW by the year 2030.

  • Hydro Power. The 33% of the nations energy generation is from Hydro power and almost exclusively from our aging 3 Large Hydro Power plants represented below.

hydropower
    It is estimated that the country can potentially generate 20,000MW of electricity from a mix of Large, Medium and Small Hydropower installations. The icing on the cake is the projection that 7 jobs will be created per MW of electricity we produce.

    As indicated above, it will be hard to entice the private sector into such endeavor that will take a lot of resources and time. The heavy lifting will have to be done by the government at various levels.

    We are proposing a resumption of the hydraulic studies of all our rivers and a build-a-dam revolution that engages the federal, state and the local governments. The latter 2 can qualify for federal government Power Grants for functional projects. Private sectors willing to help in this heavy lifting will get subsidies and exclusive markets with a pricing system worked out with the Energy Commission.

    • Solar Energy. Pricing is increasingly competitive and the technology is simple. It is becoming a common sight in Nigeria as in solar-powered street lights, solar water pumps and even residences. The country has favorable insolation and the technology is now part of many institutions curriculum. The calculation shows that covering 1% of the nation’s land area may generate 1850x103GWh of solar electricity per year, more than 100 times our present consumption.


    Rural populations may be far from the electricity grid and widely dispersed so that it might be uneconomic, even in wealthy countries, to provide electricity at a reasonable cost. Solar technology and Small Hydropower become reasonable alternatives.

    • Wind Energy. A meterology data from Enugu, Jos, Ikeja, Abuja, Warri, Sokoto and Calabar between 2002-2003 reported the annual wind mean speed at a height of 10 meters above the ground a range between 2.3-3.4m/s along the coast and 3.0-3.9m/s for highland areas. A few installations are currently used in villages northern Nigeria. So, we already have the technology and some degree of know-how. This can be rapidly replicated in many remote faming communities in the country.



    • Power Transmission. Most attention is paid to this component of the electrification project in the “road map” but as we pointed out earlier, you can not transmit or distribute what you do not generate or produce. The plan in it’s current form intends to privatize the management of the national grid while the government retains ownership. For strategic and national security reasons this is commonsensical but this is where the potential failure of the plan lies.


    In a country with complex political structures and lack of policies continuity with corruption to boot, managing a multibillion dollar infrastructure owned by the government scares serious investors. The opportunity to make money in such an environment is attractive but that will be the only goal since investors will always be at the whim of the corrupt leaders and inconsistent policies. This kind of situation yields poor services and the consumers suffer. This is exactly why investors will demand cast-iron guarantees on the regulatory framework and specifics on the role of the government.

    Again and again the Nigerian leaders have demonstrated no political will and lack of basic knowledge in tackling complex issues that directly affect the nation’s economy. The Bureau of Public Enterprise in 2008 admitted that only 10% out of 400 privatized firms in Nigeria were properly functioning. This doesn’t sound so great to any investor especially a venture that involves huge investments with long term returns.

    The “road map” will covert our current 33KV overhead lines to a 700KV Super grid at the cost of $3.5 billion over the next 4 years. This may be a technical dream considering the extent of our current 51,797Km lines, grossly inadequate, through rugged terrains. Also the projected 14,019MW power generation by 2013 falls far short of a demand that’s projected to be about 50,000MW.


    • Distribution. This looks at direct contact with consumers; homes and businesses and how services payments or resolution of customers defaults are handled. One of the critical failures of NEPA and it’s offspring lies in this area. Huge customers debt and difficulties with bills collection prompted the introduction of digital pre-paid meter systems. This initiative was enthusiastically welcome by Nigerians as it frees customers from the burden of monthly estimated bills


    This great idea does not address the poor revenue generation for the power company because it depends on electricity generation to start with. Remember you do not utilize your credit if there are blackouts so, it still all comes down to increased generating capacity as we indicated earlier. Also, our archaic grid and transmission system cause surges that burn the prepaid meters’ protective circuitry.

    Electricity impart on the economy does not happen simply by “providing 24/7 power”. It has to be widely accessible and more importantly cheap.


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