Your Excellency,
Ahmed Bola Tinubu
President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Aso Rock Villa


His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio
President of the Senate
Federal Republic of Nigeria


Right Honourable Tajuddeen Abbas
Federal House of Representatives

Your Excellency Sir,
With due respect, I wish I could have an opportunity to discuss with you between our four eyes, the pressing issues of our dear country whose stewardship Allah, in His infinite mercies, put in your hand. Unfortunately, I do not know how to even start the Protocols of seeing a President. Therefore, I resort to writing an open letter to you on Social Media with the hope that sharing its content with many citizens may eventually end up with somebody close to you or even Yourself Sir. I regret any inconveniences or breaches of due protocols deserving a President that this write-up may cause.

Your Excellency Sir, the Organised Labour Unions – NLC/TUC – have been pressing you to come up with a new living wage that could cater for the “Basic Needs” of a common public servant in our dear country. They demanded for increased minimum wage for Nigerian public servants and a reversal of the recent electricity tariff hike. In your wisdom and experience, you have inaugurated a Tripartite Committee (TC) that was shouldered the responsibility of coming up with a reasonable National Minimum Wage (NMW) after some deliberations. Currently, the TC has finished its work and has submitted its recommendations to you and, at the same time, the NLC/TUC also made their recommendations to you. All eyes are now on you, Your Excellency.

The common man who is not earning monthly salaries is also looking up to you for the outcome of your wise decision on the new NMW.

Your Excellency Sir, you may wish to recall that all these demands by the NLC/TUC are products of inflations that hit almost all essential basic commodities needed by the common man to live a decent life. Many attributed such inflations to the fuel pump price that almost tripled since your assumption of office as a result of subsidy removal.

Moreover, the recent inflation in the prices of essential commodities has gone beyond the predictions, explanations, laws and theories of macro and microeconomics. The hike in prices has become a norm to the extent that almost every day, no one is certain to buy what s/he bought some few hours ago not to talk of a day or more.

Your Excellency Sir, of all the countries I was opportune to visit in my life, I have never seen a country and people the like of our dear country, Nigeria. Many countries and businesses reduce prices of almost all goods and services during festive periods such as Ramadan Fasting, Christmas, New Year, Sallah or any national or local occasion. Customers used to delay mass purchases and wait for these festive sessions to enjoy discounts. On the contrary, it is only in my country, Nigeria that businesses are targeting these festive seasons to increase prices. What a wicked, inhuman, unsympathetic and unpatriotic decision.

Your Excellency Sir, it is only in Nigeria that I have seen and bear witness that a citizen would buy a bag of 100kg bag of grains, for example, beans, at a rate of N40,000 to N50, 000, hoard it and happily sells it at N155, 000! This means making a profit of over N100,000 per bag, yet s/he is happy, sleeping well and enjoying the proceeds with his family. Only in Nigeria could this inhuman and wicked thinking happen. Only in Nigeria could this kind of heartless, wicked, unsympathetic and unpatriotic citizens exist while their fellow citizens, brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces, cousins, nephews and name them are dying of hunger and abject penury. This and other reasons are the brains behind the NLC/TUC’s demand for a new NMW. In fact, if care is not taken, these kinds of wicked people would not mind making a profit of N200,000 or more per 100kg bag of grains. Things are really hard for the commoners, Your Excellency Sir.

Your Excellency Sir, the way out of this problem is that your government need to do something urgently if only to stop and reverse the increasing prices of essential commodities so the commoners can have an easy life. Some countries are putting subsidies on electricity and essential basic commodities to ease the sufferings of their citizens while others are subsidising the basic inputs for manufacturers of these commodities. But in Nigeria, no matter how much is put to subsidise the commodities, a few wicked people would connive with the manufacturers and buy and hoard the products to create artificial scarcity so that prices could go up. Hence, in Nigeria, subsidies for these commodities would not work.
Your Excellence Sir, I recommend a legislative establishment of the National Goods and Services Pricing Regulatory Agency (NGSPRA) under a Director General who would be answerable to the Honourable Minister of Budget and Economic Planning. The agency’s primary objective is to ensure that all goods and services in Nigeria are coded with a special code number relevant to them for ease of identification. These coded goods and services would have a price attached to them individually, which is covered by the law. This means for any single service’s or item’s price to change, there must be proper legislation to that effect. Therefore, nobody individually or in groups and no company has the right to increase the price of any commodity without writing to the agency who would forward the same to the legislators for all the legislative protocols. This would mean the request for an increment in any price of goods or services must be debated and passed into law, otherwise no price increase.

However, this recommendation may seem impractical to many Nigerians especially those who are in the business of hoarding and manufacturing, but the truth is that it is really practicable with the proper people in places of authorities of the agency. Other countries are doing something similar to this and are safe from the arms of unnecessary inflation and inhuman price hikes.

Your Excellency Sir, since Nigeria’s economy appeared to defy many economic laws, theories and or predictions, then the approach to resolving such problems means a Nigerian approach. One such approach is the establishment of this kind of agency with strong power of authority to severely deal with defaulters and law violators. Coming up with such an agency, Your Excellency is not going to be easy. You have to be strong, determined and straightforward if you decide to establish it. Many individuals and groups would challenge the decision but I assure you it is going to bring an end to the sufferings of the common citizens.

Your Excellency Sir, hold me responsible if this giant gesture does not guarantee your second term bid. Even the fiercest of your opposition would come to bow down to you with this decision. If you wish Your Excellency, Sir, you could even bring down the NMW if prices are reduced by the agency to the barest minimum, for example price of years before 2015!

Consequently, Your Excellency Sir, I am urging you to forget about coming up with the new NMW and invite the NLC/TUC and other stakeholders to deliberate on how to establish the NGSPRA. I am sure the organised labour would give you a listening ear because all that they are after is easing the sufferings of the masses. The organised labour and the stakeholders would study the possible challenges that may likely confront the agency and would at the same time come up with proper solutions to them.

Permission has been granted to any individual, group or Press House that found this write-up worthy to share, reproduce, print and or circulate.

Long live Our President
His Excellency Ahmad Bola Tinubu
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Jamil Mikhail Yahaya
Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education
Federal College of Education (Technical) PMB 060 Gombe,
Gombe State

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