By Olanipekun Olayinka
Our beloved country of birth, Nigeria is riddled with a lot of challenges, some foisted on us and others were created by us. All indices used to measure an ailing nations are present with us from lack of infrastructures in roads, health facilities, qualitative education, insecurity, pipe borne water, to mention a few. We seem to be bedeviled, in all indices of a functional state. The question now arises, how can we as a nation lift ourselves out of these messes and quagmires?
Two most crucial facts that stare us in the face are to determine what type of political and economic systems that should be embraced to midwife a new agenda for our nation. The present arrangement needs restructuring whereby each constituent or unit will be competing in a healthy way that will bring the best out of one another in terms of developments.
The next burning issue is how to build institutions that will drive the policies engender for the greater future of our country, both in private and public institutions that will be accountable, transparent and justice for all citizens.
Civil society should be empowered to play a significant role in educating the general public in engaging the state to allow freedom of information, ensure rule of law, encourage and deepen democratic culture.
We may have to go back to the first republic of 1960 to 63 that ushered in unprecedented developments in the annals of Nigeria, modify and backed it up with the advancement in technology of the 21st century, which would invariably help in acceleration of our goals and objectives. The untapped human capital development, renewed integration and good management of our teeming population and the desire for change for good governance will provide the necessary ingredients to get us to our promised land.
Let me make this point clear, that I do not believe in the breaking up of Nigeria, nor do I share in the sentiment of trickle down approach whereby states go cap in hand to the federal government at the center to share resources every month.
The current rent and feeding bottle system is not sustainable; it should be replaced with a workable arrangement that will encourage each federating unit to bring resources to the table using their comparative advantages.
Weaker states could be supported with incentives like a takeoff or marching grant, since all states cannot produce the same result but a mechanism put in place must be geared towards having equitable and fair arrangements that will push each federating unit to bring out their best at all times.
If these steps are taken, I believe Nigerian will be in a position to solve the intractable problem of unemployment ravaging our land presently. The multiplying effects will begin to show in all states and help in reinvigorating the entrepreneurial skills of our citizenry.
I strongly advocate for a planning and monitoring department that will be saddled with onerous tasks of measuring progress and feedback from the citizenry.
This is a clarion call that we must embark upon for us to reclaim our nation back from doldrums and under developments.
Olanipekun Olayinka writes from New Jersey, USA