Leke Alder Profile picture
24 Oct, 22 tweets, 7 min read
1. My dear son, the elephant in the Nigerian parlor is the subject of federalism. It’s a pity it’s rather been reduced to two things – control of natural resources and the question of state police. #NigeriaNotes
2. So framed, the idea becomes foreboding. The issue of control of natural resources raises the question of economic viability of certain regions; the question of state police raises the specter of the feasibility of a dismembered Nigeria. #NigeriaNotes
3. Truth is, when you study the mineral map of Nigeria, Nigeria is a mineral dump. We have 52 minerals. There are actually more minerals in the North than in the South. #NigeriaNotes
4. What federalism does is leverage the logic of a region to produce prosperity for the people. Economics gives us a statistical window into the advantages of federalism. #NigeriaNotes
5. Poverty is our biggest challenge. Our poverty rate is high. In Sokoto, Taraba and Jigawa states it’s above 87%. In Ebonyi, Adamawa, Zamfara and Yobe states it’s over 70%. #NigeriaNotes
6. Poverty is why our problem with security persists. If we tackle the poverty challenge, we solve a myriad of problems. #NigeriaNotes
7. We need to follow the natural logic of a state or region in terms of the resources, the climate, the economic skills of the people and the cultural disposition of the people. #NigeriaNotes
8. When these are layered on top of each other it becomes easier to solve the economic challenge and reduce the threat to nationhood. We just need to progress the natural logic of the states and regions and we’ll produce the right policies for economic development. #NigeriaNotes
9. The North for example has an abundance of sunlight. It should be solar powered not relying on hydro powerplants. That will free up space on the national grid. #NigeriaNotes
10. A proper energy policy in the North will create a net positive, which can then be sold. Solar tiles will be used on roofs. That will crash the cost of energy per household. #NigeriaNotes
11. Electric cars will be the prevalent mode of transportation. They should be driving Teslas in the North. There should be super chargers lining the highways not petrol stations. This is the natural logic of the North. #NigeriaNotes
12. What I’ve just illustrated is energy policy progression of federalism. You can apply the template to any region in the federation. #NigeriaNotes
13. Let me show you another progression of federalism. Let’s go to the East. For some reason Easterners like manufacturing. The East ought to be the China of Africa – doing contract manufacturing. #NigeriaNotes
14. If that is the case the education policy in the East ought to focus on creating a manufacturing base. The universities should be polytechnic – focused on practicals and manufacturing science. #NigeriaNotes
15. The finance industry will of course be tailored to the logic. Even the health industry. There’ll be specialty in factory injury. These would be deliberate policies. You don’t create a viable nation by accident. #NigeriaNotes
16. Federalism therefore ought to take advantage of local competences, natural endowments, weather and culture. This will dictate the investment in education, transportation, health services and other sectors. #NigeriaNotes
17. The federal policy then takes political recognition of these regional strengths. #NigeriaNotes
18. If we don’t follow the simple logic of the constituent elements of the federation, we’ll keep on struggling with our one cap fits all concept and keep generating inefficiencies, afraid of shadows. Poverty is the biggest threat to the nation. #NigeriaNotes
19. But even if we have to dimension federalism wholly politically, we should be open to ideas. The general consensus is that what we have is not acceptable to all. And it’s too expensive. #NigeriaNotes
20. If indeed the budget for newspapers in the national assembly is N135m then something is seriously wrong with our federalism. Newspapers nowadays are accessed on phone. But it’s another proof we’re not getting things right. #NigeriaNotes
21. What we have is mass-producing poverty. Our concept of federalism is flawed. Extract and distribute is not federalism. #NigeriaNotes
22. Your Dad, LA. #NigeriaNotes

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More from @LekeAlder

26 Oct
1. My dear son, this is my seventh and final letter to you on Nigeria. I hope I’ve stirred your consciousness. #NigeriaNotes
2. Given the incredible resources of the country, Nigeria ought to be great. I’m not talking about natural resources, I’m talking about the human resources. #NigeriaNotes
3. Our youths should never have visa problems, they should be in high demand, recruited before we’ve finished minting them. #NigeriaNotes
Read 23 tweets
25 Oct
1. My dear son, let’s discuss a little bit of policy this morning, let’s look at the educational system. Your generation is going to take over soon, and you’ll need to design policy. #NigeriaNotes
2. The high-level unemployment you’re seeing is an indication something is not quite right with our educational system. #NigeriaNotes
3. Of course, it will be wrong to ascribe all the factors to the educational system. The economy plays a huge role in employment creation, but the fact remains a good educational system creates jobs. #NigeriaNotes
Read 25 tweets
20 Oct
1. My dear son, today I want to address a fundamental issue. It’s so fundamental it’s affecting our approach to governance. You see, we have a choice. It’s either we run a country, or we run a nation. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
2. Running a country is about administrative chores – files, bureaucracies, meetings, parastatals, memos, departments, mindless directives... Running a nation on the other hand focuses attention on the people. There’s empathy. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
3. You can run a country and not a nation, and we seem to have a predilection for ablutions of governance to the detriment of concern for the people, whereas it ought to be about the people. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
Read 26 tweets
19 Oct
1. My dear son, when I was young, I used to hear the phrase “fejerun”. That was a Lagos slang. They came up with it same way your generation came up with #sorosokenodeydisguise. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
2. It’s the picture of a man manually powering a bike strenuously uphill. Unlike a motorized bike, it is said to run on human blood, hence “fejerun”. “Eje” is blood in Yoruba. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
3. To me that’s the picture of Nigeria. We’re powering uphill, and the reason Nigeria is a strenuous effort is because we like to turn logic on its head. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
Read 19 tweets
18 Oct
1. My dear son, let me tell you your main advantage over my generation. You’re digital natives, we’re Neanderthals. There’s a digital divide, a middle wall of partition separating my generation from yours, to use a Pauline-speak. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
2. To build the future of Nigeria you have to bring digital tools and digital thinking to the game. It’s how Elon Musk changed the game in the car industry. He replaced the dashboard in the car with a tablet, brought Silicon Valley thinking to car manufacturing. #NigeriaNotes
3. Technology creates culture. Our political culture needs radical change. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
Read 24 tweets
17 Oct
1. My dear son, I was very proud you took part in the demonstration yesterday - very proud you didn’t consult me, you and your sister. She’s at the barricades in Lagos. #NigeriaNotes #EndSARS
2. I was discussing with my law school set on our WhatsApp platform the other day and I told them our generation just witnessed a phenomenon – we just watched our kids take over from us. #NigeriaNotes #ENDSARS
3. My generation doesn’t exactly get it. There’s no visceral connection. That’s because we’re used to taking another road to fight these issues, and we’ve gone too far on that road to appreciate your approach. We’ve invested our lives. But we identify with you. #NigeriaNotes
Read 19 tweets

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