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Restructuring will aid sustainable development, say experts


Deputy President, Nigeria Institution of Surveyors (NIS), David Oluwamotemi (left); Executive Director, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Ambassador (Dr.) Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu and Chairman, Lagos Branch of NIS, Adesina Adeleke at the 14th annual Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Lecture, organised NIS in Lagos

Experts have stressed the need to restructure the polity, build consensus on fundamental issues and prepare the citizenry, particularly the youth, for effective leadership.

They said only a restructured nation could guarantee economic, human capital development and the survival of the country.

Leading the call at the 14th annual Adekunle Kukoyi memorial lecture organised by Lagos State branch of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu said a restructured Nigeria portends the attainment of peace, unity and sustainable development and sure path to nationhood.

The former Nigeria Ambassador to the Netherlands, who delivered the lecture titled: “Nigeria: Redefining Nationhood”, said one of the keys to nationhood and, indeed, any nation’s success is the ability to build a consensus around goals within a shared destiny.

According to her, our aspiration for rapid national development naturally entails that we consider human capital development as an absolute priority, especially in the face of the existential threat of the consequences of not keeping pace with a fast-changing, knowledge-driven world.

“ If we factor in the fact that those changes will lead to a very significant reduction in global demand for fossil fuel and, therefore, our nation’s revenue, we would understand just how real the danger is.

“We need to forge a consensus on massive investment in human capital development (education and health) because therein lies our hope for economic and social advancement and, more importantly, political stability.

“If years of experience under a unitary system have taught us anything, it is that it is unrealistic, inefficient and inappropriate to attempt to administer a country as diverse as Nigeria from a central government.

“Undoubtedly, therefore, a fourth wave of redefinition of the Nigerian nationhood is long overdue and the need for it has now assumed an exceptional urgency.

“We may have started out as a ‘geographical expression’, but we possess the capacity to transform into a nation if we take the right steps. The first step, is to adopt a system that would guarantee equity and justice for all, regardless of ethnicity or social class, within our borders”, she noted.

According to her, the only way forward, towards true Nigerian nationhood, is by putting in place a suitable constitutional framework, in other words, a return to a Federal Constitution.

“I would also like to submit that a return to the parliamentary system of government is should be given serious consideration as we restructure the polity.

In his remarks, NIS Lagos State chairman, Adesina Adeleke lamented the absence of political ideology among politicians hence they defect anyhow if faced with little provocation,

He extolled the virtues of late Pa Adekunle Kukoyi, the first president of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors in Nigeria in which memory the lecture was held.

Also, the institution’s president, Alabo Charlesye Charles noted the challenges of the surveying profession in the country because of bad leadership.

The president, who was represented by the Deputy President, David Oluwamotemi, expressed optimism that with collective interest the challenges will be overcome as his administration has put in place measures to address the problems.

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