Speakers at the 19th CVL Annual Lecture and International Leadership Symposium which held recently at MUSON Centre, Lagos, have posited that Nigeria still has the potential to succeed with the right leadership.
According to the Chairman of the occasion, former Permanent Secretary, Chief Philip Asiodu, going forward younger Nigerian leaders should be mobilized to take over the gauntlet of leadership so that over the next 20 years the fortunes of the country will be changed.
He said that was part of the aims of the rolling plans of the 1970’s initiated by the Super Permanent Secretaries but that the 1975 coup and subsequent military coups scuttled that dream, saying that the plan was that by 1979 Nigeria would have exited poverty and do for the black man what the Japanese did for Asians.
Other discussants and speakers at the event who include founder of CVL, Professor Pat Utomi, Chief Executive Officer, Ayo Teriba and Associates, Dr Ayo Teriba, Keynote Speaker and Presidential aspirant,Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, former Chief Economic Adviser to the President and Minister for National Planning, Prof Osita Ogbu, harped on the same issues pertaining to elite capture of the polity.
Their position, being that instead of the focus on economic growth, that the country should rather focus on economic development and production,stressing that all the nations that are making good are those whose economies are productive and innovative.
Professor Ogbu stated that the much harped notion that Africa is arising is a misnomer because while countries like Nigeria was enjoying economic growth of 7% some years back that poverty was also deepening and hence noted the need for the continent to add value in its endowed commodities via production and innovation.
He pointed out that non of the developed nations of the World attained that height as a result of what it has under-its soil as mineral deposit,asking which mineral does Japan have?According to him most of the first World nations achieved greatness via the root of human resources development and education.
Dr Teriba was of the view that Nigeria’s future could be determined by whether its cities enable growth of wealth or de-enable wealth creation and also the sought of elites it has whether her elites are those who will sacrifice to ensure that their country get better or the elites that want to feather their nest to the detriment of their country.
He said what we have witnessed in the last 22 years of democracy is a total elite capture of the polity and levers of power to the overall detriment of the economic and social well being of the populace.He advised Nigerian government to depart from its focus on loans to seeking for equity investments on its dead assets,saying that will catapult the country to new heights economically
Professor Chris Ekong stressed the fact that the West is tacitly against the dream of the continent to develop its economic and other potentials,saying if Africa develops what happens to their own economic interest. Even as he gave example with Congo Republic which has the richest deposit of minerals in the World but has been bugged down by political quagmire.
As he posited Africa as a whole has about 70% of the World mineral deposit yet they found hard mobilizing needed capital to turn alive most of its dead assets.