by Darasimi Oshodi
Mr. President, I find it incumbent upon myself to write this letter to you as a way of contributing to the development of our dear nation, Nigeria. Let me first congratulate Your Excellency on reaching the 100 days milestone in your administration. I sincerely believe you have started our nation in the right direction though some of us would have been more comfortable if the appointments you have made so far had been more sensitive to our nation’s geopolitical make-up. I am writing at this time because anytime from now, you will send your nominees for ministerial position to the Senate for screening and approval. Uncle Bob Dee has always affirmed that you are a listening president, and you confirmed this when you invited him for a chat after his ‘desperate’ letter to you. Uncle Bob Dee’s attestations that you have listening ears gave me the encouragement to write this letter to you. So I really hope you get to read this letter or hear about it from your media relations team. And I want to state here that I am not writing to get an invitation to have a chat with you. I dare not class myself in the league of the Dele Momodus and Japheth Omojuwas of this world, at least not yet. But I really really desire that after reading my letter, you will sound out Professor Willie Siyanbola or make your findings about this wonderful Nigerian. That does not mean I do not desire to meet you, Mr. President (who wouldn’t?) or that I do not want to enter Aso Rock? But that is not the aim of this piece. My aim is to see Nigeria move forward.
I will like to state here, Mr. President that I am one of those who are anxious to see your administration perform creditably. Just like many of your numerous supporters, I have taken a lot of flak for throwing my support behind you, and at the risk of sounding sycophantic, I have not had any reason to regret supporting you and casting my vote for you. Though I honestly would have wished things could move faster under your administration, I understand that these things take time and that many of us not privy to the information at your disposal may not appreciate the enormity of what you met on ground upon taking over government. I also understand that slow and steady wins the race (Sincerely, no pun is intended here; those calling you Baba Go-Slow will come to appreciate your style of governance).
So Mr. President, my aim of writing this letter is to suggest to you a wonderful Nigerian, a gift to our motherland, a patriotic Nigerian, an astute administrator, a scientist per excellence and a well-travelled Nigerian for the position of the Minister of Science and Technology, and whatever other ministries you decide to combine in with the Ministry of Science and Technology. Mr. President, if there is any man you need to man the area of science and technology in your administration, Professor. Willie Siyanbola is the man! Professor Siyanbola is the right man to drive Nigeria’s development through science and technology. If there is anyone with with the qualifications and enormous experience to give impetus to the science and technology in Nigeria, Professor Siyanbola is the one to give the job. At the risk of sounding repetitive and myopic, I want to say that Professor Siyanbola’s track records prove that if Nigeria is to move of out the doldrums into the promised land, he is the best man for the job!
Professor Siyanbola is a man who understands clearly, the steps Nigeria needs to take to achieve the development level of ther developed nations. Mr. President, you only need to sit with this man for a few minutes to realise that he is unmistakably the right person to lead the way out of Egypt and into the Promised Land in the area of development. It took Professor Siyanbola ony a few minutes to convince President Obasanjo to spare many agencies of the Ministry of Science and Technology that were to be scrapped then. He was also able to convince former President Obasanjo to elevate the status of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) from that of a parastatal to an Agency. These are only a few examples of how much this unusual Nigerian convincingly talks about science and technology, and its importance to any nation that is serious about development.
Professor Siyanbola led NACETEM to play a vital role in the development of the new national Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy for Nigeria. It is noteworthy that for the first time, based on the input of NACETEM, the concept of “innovation” was introduced into the Policy. Mr. President, being the person who spearheaded the review of the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation, I believe professor Siyanbola is in the best position to jumpstart the implementation of this Policy, so that in a few years from now, the nation can begin to get experience the prospects outlined in the Policy. And may I add Your Excellency, that some countries are now using Nigeria’s new STI policy as a template for developing their own STI policy.
While I am not unaware of the fact that you have been making consultations on who to appoint as your ministers, I want to say that if you have delayed until now in nominating your ministers, you should still be able to consider the candidature of Professor Siyanbola a serious thought I am making this passionate appeal because I am convinced you want to see Nigeria move forward. Please find out about this rare gift to our nation before taking your decision on who will take charge of Nigeria’s science and technology ministry. I do not need to suggest how to get information on this genius God has blessed this nation with but contacting the last four of five ministers of science and technology might be an option, or contacting the permanent secretaries who have served in the ministry.
Mr. President, my appeal is borne out of a patriotic desire to see Nigeria make the quantum leap in technological development. I want to see Nigeria ride up the ladder of development. I want to see Nigeria take its rightful place in the league of developed nations. I strongly desire to see Nigeria a preferred destination for investors, tourists, students and persons form all walks of life. My overriding desire is to see your government perform creditably and change the fortunes of this nation. I want to see your administration lay a solid foundation for development for succeeding administrations. i want to see your administration succeed. I want to see your name etched in gold in the history of our dear nation.
I look forward to a positive response to this letter, Your Excellency.
Darasimi Oshodi is a blogger. Read his blogs at darasimioshodi.blogspot.com
Follow him on twitter @Aristotle274