How Nigeria can survive as a country, by Nnia Nwodo
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo at the weekend faulted the country’s economic growth model, stressing that it must change for Nigeria to continue to survive as a country.
Reviewing the country’s economic growth model against its increasing population and the reliance by various state governments for their survival, Nwodo stated that the present arrangement on sharing of government revenue must give way to a new structure that would challenge and drive productivity in different regions across the country.
To achieve this, he stated that efforts must be geared towards constitutional restructuring which must take the country back to something similar to what was obtainable in 1963.He said: “This new model must take into account that factors driving productivity in today’s world are no longer driven by fossil oil rather the proliferation of a knowledge-based economy. The restructuring of Nigeria into smaller and independent federating units and the devolution of powers to these federating units to control exclusively their human capital development, mineral resources, agriculture and power is the only way to salvage our fledgling economy.
“Restructuring will devote attention to the new wealth area; promote competition and productivity as the new federating units struggle to survive. It will drastically reduce corruption as the large federal parastatals which gulp government revenue for little or no impact dissolves and give way to small and viable organs in the new federating units.”He continued: ‘‘Those campaigning against restructuring in Nigeria have painted an unfortunate and untrue picture that those of us in support of restructuring are doing so in order to deny the Northern states who have not yet any proven oil reserves of the ability to survive. This is unfortunate. The new model we propose for Nigeria recognises that revenue in the world today is promoted by two main sources namely, human capital development leveraging on technology to drive the critical sectors of the economy; and agriculture. Ten years ago, the top ten companies in the world were the likes of Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Total. Today the top eight companies in the world are represented by technology related companies.
They include Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.”Lending credence to the call for restructuring, Nwodo insisted that it would make regions of the country economic giants as they would now concentrate in the production of agricultural products where they have comparative advantage than the current reliance on oil, whose revenue is now being threatened by modern technologies.
“Our analysis here must be viewed from the background that datelines have been fixed by OECD countries and China for the cessation of production of automobiles and machines dependent on fossil oil. This development and the new technology for production of shale oil in the United States have made world dependence on Nigeria’s crude oil a rapidly declining phenomenon,” he said.
Speaking on the theme, “Economic implications of a restructured Nigeria” to mark this year’s annual lecture of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Business School, in Enugu, Nwodo noticed that the adverse economic situation of the country has made the youths destitute and without hope for a better future and have therefore become restive.
“The politically conscious ones amongst them have evolved into self-determination groups some of which include, IPOB, MASSOB, YELICOM, Arewa Youths, Niger Delta Republic and Middle Belt Republic.Of these groups IPOB and Boko Haram have been designated as terrorist organisations by the Federal Government,” he submitted.He suggested the need for the country to embrace restructuring as its last hope as it approaches the general elections, stressing that it might be dangerous should the call be ignored.