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IT was already seven o’ clock in the morning.
A set of two black salon cars screeched on a sudden halt. Right in front of the magnificent Presidential Office at the Rock Castle.
Precisely at the heart of the capital Gardon City.
The drivers hurried down and turned around the parked cars to let out their owners.
Two suited men stepped down from the sleek steel horses in a moment. Led by an aide, the two men walked up in quick sprints towards the most powerful building in Kimberland.
The duo was made up of a Professor Ojo in his mid-thirties and his predecessor, a Dr Oye in his late fifties.
The two brilliant chaps were the men behind the management wheels of the Kimberian economy.
They were renowned experts in the field of economics and money matters, with outstanding national and global contributions.
President Jimi Jacobs had appointed the younger Professor Ojo to take over from Dr Oye as the new Minister of Finance and Economy in his new administration.
He’d also chosen Ojo to lead the financial committee he’d set up when he resumed office.
The two men were led into the big, elegantly furnished office of the President.
‘Welcome and have your seat, Gentlemen.’ President Jimi Jacobs’ voice boomed with a deep tone where he sat behind the large office desk.
He motioned towards the comfy sofa set across the office room. The two men sat while Jimi crossed over to the seats with a set of stacked papers in his hand.
He spoke as soon as he took his seat. His words were fast paced and the tone decorous. ‘I’ve gone through the report and, I must say, you’ve done only half well.’
Jimi sat up at once as his eyes ran across the two seated men for a moment.
‘Well, I analysed the internal revenue and foreign investments generated per annum.
‘But still, gentlemen, you didn’t put the objective of the committee in mind with what I read here.’ He tapped on a set of typed papers in his hands.
‘I set up the financial and economic committee to show me how our yearly revenues can take care of the national projects my administration wishes to carry out.
‘But your committee only came up with lengthy pages of money flow and shortages, without relating them to the project needs on ground.
‘Now, let’s take it that there’s not so much money generated each year to take care of the projects; then, how do we make things possible, huh?’
The younger man was the one to speak. Professor Ojo.
‘My President, sir, we presented how we can improve the economy. We have a table and a chart flow on page 17.
‘The table details three aspects of the economy market where to expect a little rising difference. And the chart shows the expected growth curve in the next four years.’
Jimi reclined in his seat and took a deep breath. ‘That’s okay,’ he breathed.
He turned to the older of the two listening men. ‘Dr Oye, can I hear your response to the things I said.’
Oye sat up and cleared his throat. He was about to take over the wheel of the conversation and purposefully stir it his own way.
No, not the wheel of a mere conservation. But that of the entire country.
Dr Oye was a short man with a bold round face.
He had a full moustache and a short, greying goatee. He also had his head cleanly shaven and wore a pair of dark tinted glasses over his sunken eyes.
The fifty-six-year-old man spoke up.
And the candor in his deep, husky voice sounded in the ears like that of a glorious crown prince.
The press release made by the Mayor of Kakakhi City, Western Province of Kimberland, had set up a boiling thrill in the heart of a young man.
Teo, the handsome twenty-seven-year-old architect, had found a giant screen for his act and he wasn’t going to let this pass him by.
The ambitious professional sat on a tall stool in a small room space, staring at a 3D architectural plan he’d projected on a wall screen.
He’d partition the room space out of the large studio space he leased for his budding architecture company in the heart of Kakakhi City.
The small room space was where Teo brought the structural ideas in his head into life—in drawings and 3D pictures.
Teo had a fair complexion and soft, supple skin that gave off a radiant gloss in daylight.
He had a handsomely bold face, a straight nose and a pair of pink lips. He also had a neat haircut and a clean shaven chin.
On a regular day, Teo was always dressed in a fitted T-shirt on a pair of jean trousers and sneakers.
Teo’s entire lifestyle was sort of a triangle for him.
With the right side of the base angles pointed at a charming relationship with Foye. A warm beat in his heart since about a year ago.
The left base angle pointed at a serious relationship with his career, his one drive through active life.
The apex of Teo’s triangular lifestyle pointed towards a devoted relationship with God.
The One Teo had learned to fully trust since when he wrote his final paper in the University.
That day was an unforgettable one for Teo, when the youngster knew it’d take only God to save him out of a serious scandal.
And he became devoted as a Christian ever since God rescued him.
It was an unforgettable experience the young architect would recall in weeks, when he’d arrive at a similar crossroads.
Teo guessed a new era was forthcoming for his career with the announcement of massive project of the Kakakhi Artificial Nature’s Park.
Teo had only designed plans for private companies as well as for residential projects.
But then, he’d always dreamed of putting Kakakhi in the league of those Kimberian districts and cities that gloried in natural features.
Kimberland earned about 65% of its internal revenue from tourism.
The Southern African country boasted of clusters of natural wonders that wouldn’t be found in the same large numbers in other parts of Africa.
The cities and districts that abounded in tourist attractions had always been considered as the backbone of Kimberland’s economy.
But then, Kakakhi was a valley city with no natural attraction.
The absence was luckily made up for by the city’s vastness.
Its bigness and vastness occasioned the establishment of a University campus in Kakakhi as well as various companies and trade centres.
And Teo had always imagined him making his district a tourist attraction with his architectural skill and creativity.
And this life dream had kept Teo’s eyes awake all night.
Teo stared at the slideshow projection of avant-garde 3D architectural plans around the world.
He glanced at the phone tablet in his left hand. Its screen bore the online press release of the office of the Mayor of Kakakhi.
The press release stated the intention of the Mayor’s administrative office to build a park with artificially created nature-like scenery.
The Mayor called on innovative architects to submit design proposals towards the construction of the Artificial Nature’s Park.
Teo placed his phone tablet on the drawing table in front of him, got up on his feet and folded his arms across his chest.
He muttered. ‘Man has built cities on water; made machines to act like man; and flew with the birds and with the planets…’
He breathed. ‘What can man not do?’
Dr Oye had his response ready for the president.
‘My President, sir,’ he began, ‘I understand the yearly revenue wouldn’t be able to take care of your projects at a go.’ He paused for a second, to let the words sink.
‘But then sir,’ he went on, ‘I guess using the basic scale of preference concept is just something we have to resort to.’
He paused again for emphasis, and raised a keen eye into those of his all-righteous President. And then, he went on in a bit.
‘Your administration can take the projects one at a time, with the most important and necessary first.
‘We can first of all invest in yieldable areas of the market economy, since that’s the most crucial thing for the nation now.
‘And then, we embark on the most crucial of the project list annually, from the resources of the past and present.
‘Of course, that’s while we wait for your administration’s investments to yield and catch up with the present.’
He waited a moment and watched the people’s man sunken in thought.
And then, he finished his words in a hesitant, stammering voice. ‘Although it’s more like waiting patiently for a heavy rain on crops in desert lands… really! But we just can give it a try all the same.’
Jimi heaved a deep sigh.
He turned to the younger of the two men, the Professor. ‘Hmm… experience, people say, is the mother of knowledge.
‘Ojo, I believe you still have a lot to learn from Dr Oye. You really do have a lot to learn.’
The president’s response was clear applause for the outgoing Minister of Finance and Economy. And Dr Oye very well knew that himself.
When it was first announced that the fifty-six-year-old Oye would be handing over to a man far younger and more learned than him, the older man was disappointed and sad.
But within a few months of working with the young, incoming minister, Dr Oye had had come to realise the young Professor was simple.
And that he hadn’t learnt the ropes of the other world.
That had assured him and he didn’t feel threatened by the younger man anymore.
With the president’s slight dish on Professor Ojo and his recent bias for Dr Oye, the latter was beginning to reestablish his own place even in the new administration.
Jimi turned to Dr Oye; it was time to question his proposition.
‘Well, back to your point, Dr Oye,’ he began. ‘Kimberians can’t be patient with a president they put so much hope on for a large scale development.
‘And I’m really sure doing one development project per year is not where you are driving at. I know that already.
‘Why, we can’t do one thing per time while waiting for investments to grow and yield returns. Until when will that be, uh?
‘That’s like telling a farmer to eat one meal per day until his crops yield, isn’t it? Tell me; how is that possible?’
It was the young Professor who seemed to catch the president’s fervour. And his reply was pretty instant.
Ojo interposed. ‘My President, sir, I completely agree with Dr Oye. I didn’t think of it from that perspective before.
‘We can do the project one after another using the fund we have on ground.’
Dr Oye gave a little smirk while Jimi burst into a long, hysterical laughter.
‘Of course, Ojo!’ Jimi said, stifling his laughter with a hankie. ‘You put down your agreement as if it were a debate. This isn’t a debate, Mr Professor.
‘More so, I’ve agreed already. It’s not like your disagreement will add or subtract from the issue.’
Ojo scratched a corner of his head and sat back.
He’d realised he was doing rather too much to want to impress the president. And his effort had only been falling on the awkward side from the very beginning.
Jimi’s next words flowed with a matter-of-fact tone of voice.
‘Please, stop drawing us back,’ he said. ‘We’ve put behind agreement or whatever.
‘What’s pressing now is how we can take three square-meals a day while waiting for our crops to grow?’
Dr Oye’s lips turned up in a little smile. ‘Give us just three days more, my President. I’ll desperately search out something for our desert crops.’
Jimi chuckled. ‘Oh, another table and chart on Page 17, right?!’
Oye smiled. ‘You can expect something really practical from me.’
The president nodded with acknowledgement. ‘Mm, that’s right.’
Professor Ojo couldn’t bear the dish on him as well as the clever sideline. He slightly cleared his throat to register his presence for one last time.
Oye glanced at the young man and chuckled.
Professor Ojo gave up trying to beat Oye altogether.
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