tyro Profile picture
Jul 25, 2018 22 tweets 11 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
To start, I view Nigeria today as the sum total of policies today and those taken in the past. In that sense, I like to view Nigeria as the result of ideas. If you do A, you shouldn’t expect any other result than B. @TheLiberalForum @nonso2 #TheLiberalForum
So Nigeria today is working as designed, whether the design was intentional or not. As bleak as things might be now, there’s a real chance - for this generation - to un-design a lot of what’s clearly gone wrong @TheLiberalForum #TLFPoliceTownhall
Every successful country I can think of went through a period when the ideas were good, the better of reform was grasped and real change came about. Not often painless or easy but it was done nonetheless #TLFPolicyTownhall @TheLiberalForum
In Nigeria’s case, my view is that the 70s - under the high of oil - was when a lot of really terrible ideas (with hindsight, because they looked good at the time) took root. The centralisation of Power and resources was almost total #TLFPolicyTownhall @TheLiberalForum
Land in particular was a big one. It’s such a fundamental part of wealth creation in any society. Yet the power over land was centralised in government hands in the belief that Govt knew best #TLFPolicyTownhall @TheLiberalForum
Centralising power and resources in a big diverse country comes with an incredible amount of responsibility that, even with very competent and honest Govt, will be a big and tall order for any country #TLFPolicyTownhall @TheLiberalForum
All said, the past cant be undone. But the future is a blank sheet of paper. You have options as to what gets written on that paper. So let’s think in 40 year timeframes - what do you do today to ensure there’s stable electricity in 2058? @TheLiberalForum #TLFPolicyTownhall
Or to put it another way - NNPC is untouchable and unreformable today but was it untouchable in 1980? It took a while to get here and it will take a while to change the future as well #TLFPolicyTownhall @TheLiberalForum
There was no stable electricity in 1978 and there’s no stable electricity in 2018. It is very possible to arrive in 2058 and there’s still no stable electricity @TheLiberalForum #TLFPolicyTownhall
If you radically alter the education system today to teach kids how to solve practical problems, to understand how to respond to incentives and engage with information, how will 2058 look? #TLFPolicyTownhall @TheLiberalForum
So my first big idea will be a radical redesign of the education system. Not buildings but what is inside the education being dispensed itself. #TLFPolicyTownhall
Lately I’ve seen enough to know that a lot of area boys and political thugs are probably software engineers born in the wrong place. So an education that frees people to go look for answers by giving them the basic tools @TheLiberalForum #TLFPolicyTownhall
There are also many questions that have not been answered because they have not been asked. What kind of Govt do you need and what do you need it for? Resources will always be limited and every naira will be competed for #TLFPolicyTownhall @TheLiberalForum
If you’ve somehow arrived at the point where the vast chunk of your budget is spoken for in advance and everyone is fighting over scraps in reality, your Govt is automatically severely constrained in what challenges it can rise up to #TLFPolicyTownhall
What will 2058 look like if you’re spending more than 80% of your budget today paying salaries and running Govt? Infrastructure to cope with an increasing population doesn’t build itself #TLFPolicyTownhall
So a big/hard question has got to be who gets what and why? Behaviour/habits tend to compound so even if oil goes to $200/barrel, Nigeria will find a way to spend more of it on recurrent stuff. Things won’t just change just because #TLFPolicyTownhall
‘Diversification’ or extra tax resources won’t solve the problem either. The country has to learn to operate within certain hard constraints. To constantly be spending money with one eye on the future #TLFPolicyTownhall
If you operate within that hard constraint, then you’ll build infrastructure. You can’t eat a bridge - you build it to solve problems for today and it will be there tomorrow. #TLFPolicyTownHall
As things are, you might as well not have a Govt because its capacity to respond to any problem is severely limited as a result of choices made in the recent past. It cannot rise to the education challenge, or health or security. And they keep coming #TLFPolicyTownHall
What kind of problems will you like your Govt to be able to to respond to and what needs to be changed today to make such a response possible? If the response requires funding, how do you reorder priorities towards such a response? #TLFPolicyTownHall
So I think the problems are of such a broad nature. I’m not so sure recommending policies into dysfunction is anything more than putting plaster on internal bleeding. As much as there are problems today, the future could be worse #TLFPolicyTownHall
Education. Repurposing government. Reordering public finances. Dedicating one eye to focus permanently on the future. They are hard things but they are not impossible. And they’re harder when you don’t even talk about them ✌🏾 #TLFPolicyTownHall

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More from @DoubleEph

Oct 5, 2018
Yesterday I listened to an audio recording of a phone call between 2 people. Some random chap and a lady who appears to be a state of the Lagos Taxman, LIRS. They were discussing the many sins of Ambode and why he’s lost his seat
As @RemiAdekoya1 pointed out, a skillful politician relieves you of the burden of having to think for yourself. So the first sin they attributed to him was ‘deviating from the Lagos Masterplan’. Well done to Tinubu for this genius narrative
But as I’ve said before, economic development comes down to whah people believe. And that conversation showed that you’re not going to get a Singapore out of Nigeria anytime soon. The country is destined to remain this way for a while
Read 9 tweets
Sep 26, 2018
But the Nigerian Govt does NOT know how to spend money. There is simply no capacity or institutional knowledge or pipeline through which what you’re saying they should have done could have been achieved. Quite harsh
Saving was fine to do. Mobilising the private sector to roll with the government in the same direction is the tricky but most beneficial part. The current Govt does not even believe in that so it’s a non starter
Imagine the FG announcing something like New Deal right now. It will be an absolute nightmare. Go back to Keynes - if you concentrate economic power in Govt hands you encourage people to mobilise and make unrelenting demands on Govt
Read 9 tweets
Aug 20, 2018
Today is Monday, which means it's a good day to remind you that Buhari and his acquiescent party, APC, were 100% responsible for the economic crisis 2016. The recession was avoidable and caused by them. Issa thread
In 2008 July, oil prices hit a high of $147/barrel. Life was good and the cash was flowing in reuters.com/article/us-mar…
Yet by December, the usual swing had happened and oil prices dropped below $40/barrel. One of the biggest falls ever seen in recent times and definitely a bigger fall than the one in 2014 theguardian.com/business/2008/…
Read 13 tweets
Apr 20, 2018
I'm still vexed by Buhari's comments on education. So I want to do a thread with some numbers to show how shallow his thinking on this matter is
So, companies in Nigeria, by law, pay 2% of their profits as an education tax. Now on a good day, this is a very good and stable source of funding for education that can do good stuff. But Nigeria has turned this on its head
The money goes into TETFUND. According to a NEITI audit 5 years ago, N366bn went into this fund between 2007 and 2011. This is money that supplements the FG's education budget
Read 13 tweets
Mar 8, 2018
Never looked into Visionscape before yesterday. Just took the ‘story’ at face value. A bit of digging now and ...sigh. What a hot steaming pile of 💩
This company - ABC Sanitation (wicked people tell me it’s Alpha Beta) owns 15% of the Visionscape SPV. On their website you can’t see any information about who they are abcs.com.ng
So I went to check out the CSH Environmental that’s UK based. At least it’s been around for a bit. But note the company’s address - same place as Visionscape in the U.K.
Read 8 tweets
Jan 13, 2018
Some (more) thoughts on #Shithole - specifically the narrative that African immigrants are highly educated. American politics is colouring the argument in ways that stop a useful debate
A simple question to ask is this - how is it that immigrants from a poor continent and countries with overall terrible education systems are sending highly educated people to America? It’s worth a ponder
Important to note - unlike Australia or Canada, America’s immigration system does NOT select for skills or education per se. 70% of immigration to America is ‘family reunion’. They don’t have a points based system (Trump wants this)
Read 10 tweets

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