Managing Nigeria’s resources for growth and development
Nigeria as a developing country has come of age with the different successive government since 1960 (Both military and civilian government) and at the preliminary stage of Nigeria independence, we operated regional government, then a parliamentary government in which the regional government controls their resources and pay certain amount to the federal, this was a system that happened after the amalgamation of north and south protectorate. Most leaders of thought used their resources on their regions to develop their region. The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a leader that succeeded in this.
However after this brief regional government, we also witnessed the Unitary system of government of Aguiyi Ironsi that operated a central government with full authority at the centre, this led to the suspension of regional government where each region then used agricultural produce such as cocoa, timber, groundnut, cotton, hide and skin etc. to develop their region. Aguiyi Ironsi did witness a bit of agricultural produce usage for development until Gowon’s military rule where oil was discovered and this led to Udoji Award, and with this, there was the suspension of farming and all youth and farmers abandoned their agricultural tools and depended on oil. We have narrowed down our collective vision on only one product that is even for the rich and the elite group which by every standard is a small percentage of the society compared to the majority of other group that are not rich or elitist in nature, this non-elitist group are the majority that even need government action in all facet of human endeavour.
Subsequently, we started operating the presidential system of government which still depended on oil and unfortunately, the central government still depends on the proceed with huge salary payment to people in government coupled with the capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure relying on one product. The worst part is that the price of oil in the international market has reduced drastically and the effect is felt in the public and private domain.
Be that as it may, it is also important to reduce the cost of investment that will give return, and such return can be invested on shares in some companies, which will be in government and private partnership. With this kind of venture, it will be possible for government to have enough establishments in their disposal for teeming youths and other scholars to work and bring peaceful co-existence among the aggrieved and the less privileged.
With this jobs created, it will naturally bring joy to the teeming youth and other employable Nigerians in general. When this process of job cycle continues it will give room for growth and excellence that will last for a long time. Subsequently, existing companies can in turn pay taxes and VAT to government and the role of government will be met through constant light, good road, good communication system will best be appreciated. However, a true diversification of pre-revenue base should be predicated on seeing the nation’s full capacity in a true federation that move citizens and ensuring massive inclusive government.
The government must intervene in this period of high interest rate to enable the citizens meet the financial need of their involvement in agriculture, manufacturing, railway system, electricity, etc.
Government must also pay attention to critical infrastructure where it is lacking. Above all, for people to meet the demand of the new world economy they must be educated to the extent that their creative energies can be released and unleashed.
Also education must be seen as a pillar of democracy in which all the people can have a voice not only in governance but also in their market, this kind of education can only be allowed when the nation’s schools curriculum at the primary secondary and tertiary level are review to reflect the needs and value of Nigeria even in science and technology.
Rethinking the well being of Nigeria, of course, goes beyond just repudiating western models but raising a team of highly knowledgeable experts who would develop solutions to problems and development of the nation through local economic models is imperative.
The Nigeria economy is big and the potentials are limitless. Government’s role is to galvanize the potentials. The Federal government should lead by setting the nation’s priorities right and citizens will be proud of their nation.
Eromonsele, CEO Ostrich Business Venture, wrote from Lagos.
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