Nigeria @ 63 – The Technology Side of Fuel Subsidy (Part 1) — Chris Uwaje

Nigeria @ 63 – The Technology Side of Fuel Subsidy (Part 1) — Chris Uwaje

Is the fuel crisis in Nigeria an economic crisis or a truth-deficit governance model turned into a pandemic?

The befitting response can be summed up as: “an oil-rich nation with energy-poor economy built on ferocious hatred for merit-first deterministic development model”.

The technology side of fuel subsidy palaver in Nigeria is yet to be fully explored and unveil its cancerous disaster.

Regrettably Data sits at the epicenter of the complexities hunting-down the national economy and development in almost all domains of existential activities.

Nigeria is acclaimed as Africa’s biggest oil producer, with fossil fuels accounting for 60% of government revenue and 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Therefore, how important is electronic database to equitably resolve the endemic challenge of fuel subsidy syndrome at the doorstep of emerging renewable energy solutions?

First. It is perhaps important to understand that governance apparatus most times dream without control of commensurate datasets. This limitation builds cumulative illusions and delivers the deficit to fully understand the fundamental strategies required to travel across the digital universe of economic leadership and development governance. But if we must travel into the future of innovation, it is important that our thoughts wear a planetary spectacle!

According to Stephen Hawking: ‘I have led an extraordinary life on this planet, while at the same time travelling across the universe by using my mind and the laws of physics. I have been to furthest reaches of our galaxy, travelled into the black hole and gone back to the beginning of time’.

Application of deep-thinking model is required, with a mindset to anticipate how to apply data -science as development accelerator to travel into the future’s future.

Data has become the oxygen of life and represents the epicentre and pillar for sustainable development and national security. It occurs at and are extracted from primary, secondary and Tertiary sources at the intersection of national and international cultures and relations.

National Data and its intertwined sservices are accepted as tested vision and strategic framework on how scientists and researchers across all disciplines can find, reuse, and publish data.

It is an international federation of data providers, data aggregators, community-specific federations, publishers, and cyberinfrastructure providers. In this conversation, the submissions compiled and delivered in 4 parts, intends to fully interrogate the disruptive compass of data as the emotional-intelligence and temperature of governance in development matters.

It casts an analytic light on disjointed national database as the principal agent for the denial of focused, accelerated, trusted and secured national planning for sustainable development.

Many years ago, I sat down with a longtime friend, Daniel Molina (from Houston, USA). Dan Molina is a journalist, former Correspondence for NBC News and Film Producer. Both of us participated as Panellists at the 2014 MIT Smart city Workshop.

Now, let’s get started. To straighten this conversation in the right perspective, what you are above to read is about a decade old. And like old forms of technologies, it can be disrupted through innovation governed by human emotional intelligence and cultural attitude. Fast-forwarding this concept therefore, the recurring fuel-subsidy attitudinal culture at this stage, qualifies as a measurable indicator to the STEM consciousness level of the nation.

The central message of the national fuel subsidy removal and related economic crisis is: “The Industrial Era has ended, and the Information Society Era has commenced”.

I call it the era of digital knowledge Olympiad. All these noise about oil, gas, oil, and gas – yes, removing the subsidy has created hardships, but focusing on this and identifying or calling it our central problem, is like chasing a shadow.

Fact is, Governance is constructively and visibly disconnected from the people – of which over 65 percent are youths! Full digitization and automation of government processes, access to and delivery of e-Government services, data security and trustworthy national database system constitutes a significant part of the eluding solutions.

The entire fuel subsidy crisis can simply be defined as a beehive of an intentionally un-organized information cacophony. Indeed, it equally qualifies as an inefficient data environment, myopically entangled in blindfolded consumption and stampeded development opportunities.

Instead, we can perform better by viewing our current national dilemma as a crisis of national information resources and governance. It helps to refocus our compass.

A nation of 200-plus million population is an enormous asset to her people and the world. But without due diligence attitude, guidance and obedience to data governance, the race we run will ultimately lead to failure – when data speaks.

And as I code out this conversation, I can still recollect the conversation with and contributions of Dan Molina during our numerous engagements.

His amazement and love for the abundance of data on human and natural resources of Nigeria is so compelling to the extent that he sometimes calls Nigeria ‘our country’ (instead of your country). The beauty is that we drank immensely from each other’s knowledge base.

There comes a time in the life of a nation to rely of facts needed to recondition human existence and aspire to redesign, re-construct and build monuments from ashes.

With technology, the time has come to surprise ourselves and the world – like Singapore did, by shifting our focus away from our unproductive dependence on consumption and concentrate instead on seizing the immense new opportunities for building within.

And firmly, finally, controlling our own data-story and destiny. These are the opportunities presented by high technology and the Information Age that presents us with the assurances of digital promise.

By understanding them, and by applying them, we can surprise ourselves and expand prosperity. Then we can proceed to appreciate the power of resilience and continue to surprise ourselves with abundant love and empathy required to manage our country properly.

In so doing, we can drastically reduce the chances of those unforeseen economic and social earthquakes such as our current fuel subsidy crisis will occur. Indeed, at 63 years, Nigeria has arrived at a defining moment in its history. Our problems are real, and, in darker moments, we may fear they can overwhelm us. But this climate of anxiety, of fears for our future, need not exist at all.

The answers are within our grasp – we can see them through the performances of our great minds in the Diaspora – in numerous credible actions all over the world.

The answers have to do with the new tools, the new way of thinking that is the Information Age. This demands a lot from us. It will help to engage and foster a deeper comprehension of the path to building a merit-centric, knowledgeable, prosperous, wealthy and peaceful future – driven by Information Technology.

And this can and must be done. The ominous headlines about Nigeria now being read around the world shout the message to us – we must clean up the cord webs and birth vision-bearers to build formidable and sustainable structures from the current ashes to monuments. Do it must we not.

The Information Age, the high Technology Society is here, and we cannot continue to wish and carry on as if we still exist and live in the feudal era. The old man describes the present approach as prescribing Panadol to treat leprosy!Cobbing the swamps of Nigeria at 63, our primary focus should be on applying a deterministic degree to which mandatory education and Information Technology can accomplish large-scale, permanent change for a better and sustainable Nigeria.

And, by extension, the future of nations throughout the African continent. Technology skills can effect positive change in the most immediate matters of everyday living. Visionary missions such as more innovative and effective methods of governance, education, information exchange, dialogue-based communication technique, agriculture, better data management and use of natural resources.

Others include general economic development, health care, everyday communications, social vibrancy – and perhaps most important, the conscious need conflict management and gradual minimization of reasons for physical conflict and warfare, the spread of peaceful alternatives.

Follow me as we explore further under Part 2.

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