Sunday, August 21, 2016

Building a sustainable Nigeria

Amina Asipita Abdulsalam

Amina's golden input

My input is in Food security, at this time of economic downturn and consequential hunger as experienced by many Nigerians. As a proponent of change management, one would expect that during a trying time such as this, palliative measures should have been set out to forestall our ongoing hardship. An instance is the regulation of Government driven fair pricing on staple food commodities by way of say a public operated market in value chains such as; Rice, Tomatoes, Maize, soya beans, Poultry and Fisheries. The increased unaffordability of the aforementioned imply a static income that is incommensurate with rising food costs. Although noticeable in recent times is Rice being developed for increased capacity. Moreso diversification is evident in the laudable advent of State driven Products e.g. "Anambra Rice" and the likes, but the impact is yet to be felt . So far, the information Minister isn't doing competently in getting the masses to understand the ongoing changes, not in the simplest of grass roots terms. No matter how global our acquired knowledge is, we must apply local content in our given duties. What is a village man's concern with "change" when he's lost on a clue to his family's next source of meal?

Oche Itodo
Oche's Pearl.

I would love to make a contribution on National identity. Nigeria is a great country with enormous potential to deliver the best life standards for its citizens and ensure the same for its friends across the world. We all know this part of the story.
However, who is a Nigerian? When we ask that question to ourselves, many would arrive at the point of awakening where we all will reach at some point. A National Identity crisis or existential crisis. For Nigeria to be able to rise up from its slumber and take its rightful place of responsibility within its borders and internationally, we must first all be on the same page as people who more or less share the same goals. We must first of all know what we stand for as a nation. We must define what separates us from other nations. The only nations that will survive the test of time are those who have painstakingly carved out an identity for themselves that is founded on concepts, of values and of virtues. Without that, we will continue to be seduced by short lived satisfaction of consumerism to escape our national existential crisis.
It is not difficult to build a ship, it is not even difficult to sail, but what is this journey about? Until we answer this question and communicate it across all levels in the simplest ways, the quest into oblivion will continue.

Jamil Dawaki

Jamil's Insight

Trust. Mutual trust is what we need in our lives in Naija if at all we want to progress.
Of course trust is earned, how to earn it is the biggest challenge we have to face in this country.

Ezekwesiri Nwanosike

My Perspective
"In vain we build the city if we do not first build the man".
"A tree twisted in 30 years cannot be made straight in a day".
What can you deduce from these quotes in the Nigerian context?
... You can say that the apparent economic downturn is a withdrawal symptom of "oil addiction", and you won't be wrong. Do you think the cure is increasing local content and diversification of the economy ?
I'm not going to discuss statistics and socio-economic indices (they may prove depressing)... I'm solution oriented... Let us steer positive change...
I'm going to chip in some points... These are by no means exhaustive... Your inputs would be greatly cherished...
• The solution to Nigeria's challenges lie within Nigeria. Internal transformation is crucial. Besides, complaining about the country's "woes" wouldn't solve anything. "Do not wish it was easier; wish you were better". Human capacity building is key. This ensures that we are better positioned to tap into the amazing opportunities of the 21st century, as well as overcome it's stubborn challenges.
• Corruption, insecurity, and economic hardship among other negatives... is a symptom. The cause is insidious: a manifestation of the average attitudes/ orientation of the polity and is a numbers game...
Our attitudes need reviewing, with a view to calibrating it towards positive if need be.
Strengthening and revitalising of private and public institutions (eg. Judiciary, health, Defence, labour, banking and finance and other agencies) is vital to engendering transparency and accountability...
Healthy reforms may be necessary and there should be continuity in the implementation of developmental policies.
Enough of the grammar; the culture of integrity consistently embodied in our institutions over a sufficient period of time can effect a dramatic change in the fortunes of this nation...
• Development from the bottom (grassroots) to the top is more sustainable, than the cosmetic one (from top to bottom). The rural areas should feel the impact of a caring government... Excluding the rural sector is sheer disaster...
• UNITY: Nigeria is my fatherland. Therefore irrespective of ethnicity and political or religious disposition, one should be addressed as NIGERIAN (FIRST) before secondary allegiances are factored in. Everyone is worth a pixel of the overall image Nigeria portrays... Let's build a Nigeria everyone would be proud of.
Meanwhile, a healthy balance should be struck between "federal character" and competence with regards to appointment into public offices. This would reduce political instability and insecurity (an appreciable cross-section of the electorate won't feel shortchanged).
• If the government fails to earn the trust of the citizenry, nothing will work...

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