• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Nigeria’s many failures weaken global role – Obasanjo

Presidentialism: Obasanjo still defends the costly system he foisted on Nigeria

Policy discontinuity by various administrations, poor leadership and insecurity have undermined Nigeria’s role in global affairs, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has said.

Obasanjo said Nigeria was only a potential jewel of Africa that needed to make efforts to attain that position as it has failed to live up to its expectations over the last 63 years.

“We are carried along by ego and emotion of self, selfishness and self-centeredness, ethnic and religious jingoism with total lack of understanding of the world we live in and a gross misunderstanding of what development entails and how to move fast and continuously on the trajectory of development,” he said.

The former president spoke at the launch of a book titled, ‘Reclaiming the jewel of Africa; a blueprint for taking Nigeria and Africa from potential to posterity’ authored by Olusegun Aganga Nigeria’s pioneer minister of industry trade and investment, in Abuja, on Monday.

He said that Nigeria has also failed to properly utilise its growing population through human capital development practices, and this has caused a surge in social vices, insecurity and other issues.

Speaking to the under-utilised human population, he flagged the over 20 million out-of-school children as well as the skill acquisition ignored by youths, which was contributing to banditry, Boko Haram, kidnapping and other organised crimes.

“Our population is made up of men and women almost in equal numbers. We have not given enough, appropriate and adequate attention to all aspects of preparing women for all-round development programmes for a community, a state, a nation, the continent of Africa and the whole world; If we fail to get all hands on deck, we will be diminished in all our instrument and capacity for development,” he said.

Speaking on poor leadership, Obasanjo said adequate emphasis has not been placed on leadership as a crucial and critical defining and decisive factor in managing the country, noting that leaders who cannot deploy peace, security, democracy and prosperity together cannot deliver good governance or contribute significantly to positioning Nigeria as a global power.

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“We are living dangerously on a keg of gun powder, driving more people into poverty through good policies poorly and thoughtlessly implemented or bad policy and no policy at all; policy is not much of our problem, its implementation and sustainability are the problem; If you ask most of our leaders why they want to be in the position they are craving for, you will weep for your nation over their level of emptiness as far as development issues are concerned,” he added.

President Bola Tinubu in his remarks, emphasised the importance of values, stating that leaders who are value-driven, empower the citizenry. Tinubu said building a team of value-driven leaders was a priority for his administration.

Represented by Wale Edun, his special adviser on monetary policy, Tinubu added that a strong and stable macroeconomic environment was an important prerequisite to achieving economic prosperity
“This government is prioritising addressing the challenges related to security and corruption, the success which will foster the appeal of Nigeria as a secure, reliable and viable investment destination through proactive measures, the country can unlock its potential of emerging as a top investment hot-spot and a beacon of opportunity in a landscape,” he said.

Speaking on optimising the teeming population and addressing the mass migration of people, he said his administration was focused on creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and for youths to excel investing substantially in education, research and technology.

Olusegun Aganga, the author of the book, stated that African and Nigerian politics and systems were still dependent on tribe, religion and money which he described as the ‘Political Bermuda Triangle’ to escape.

“Our political institutions must be organised to attract competent and values-based leaders and, to ensure that bad or incompetent rulers can be prevented from doing too much damage,” he said.