In a recent exchange that reverberated across Nigeria’s political landscape, Hon (Dr) Gbandi, a prominent Diaspora leader and former senatorial candidate for Delta North, issued a scathing critique of the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu. The minister’s controversial statement regarding Nigerians turning off their freezers to justify electricity price hikes amidst economic hardship sparked widespread condemnation, prompting Gbandi to draw parallels with past instances of governmental disconnect.

Recalling a previous federal minister’s assertion that telephones were not for the poor, Gbandi highlighted the glaring irony of mobile phone companies thriving on the patronage of low-income Nigerians. In 2024, Minister Adelabu’s suggestion that electricity is likewise not for the poor exemplifies a myopic approach to policy-making that fails to address fundamental issues of national energy policy and societal inclusivity.

Instead of advocating for progressive energy solutions such as renewable sources and increased generation capacity, the discourse remains fixated on individual sacrifices to compensate for governmental ineptitude. This shortsighted perspective, Gbandi argues, is detrimental to Nigeria’s development trajectory and exacerbates the plight of the most vulnerable segments of society.

In response to these systemic shortcomings, Gbandi proposes a revisit of the Diaspora Shadow Ministries (DSM), comprised of highly qualified Nigerian professionals residing abroad. The DSM aims to scrutinize governmental policies and offer informed recommendations rooted in international best practices, thereby complementing existing structures and fostering alignment with the interests and aspirations of Nigerians.

Contrary to misconceptions, the DSM does not seek to usurp governmental authority but rather to enhance governance by harnessing expertise from both within and outside the government. Minister Adelabu’s remarks underscore the urgent need for collaborative efforts wherein proficiency and innovation are leveraged to effect meaningful change.

As Nigeria grapples with unprecedented economic challenges, Gbandi stresses the imperative of inclusive governance characterized by foresight, innovation, and a genuine commitment to the welfare of all citizens. The time has come for a concerted effort to eschew policies that further marginalize vulnerable segments of society and embrace solutions that foster national prosperity and societal harmony.



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