CONGRATULATIONS are in order as the nation marks sixty one years of independence. The mood however, should be one of contemplation as so many promises remain unfulfilled.
To redeem itself, Nigeria’s political establishment should embark on deep introspection about the state of the nation and the need to create a more edifying future.
A good model here is that of the architect of modern Italy Garibaldi who asked the nation to brace up to the most critical issue in admonishing that: “We have created a geographical expression known as Italy; how on earth do we now create the Italians?”
Reflections make nations stronger. What we have to do now as we move towards a reinvigorated union is not rocket science. For a start, the country must ensure macroeconomic stability to stem an increasing alarming rate of inflation as the first step towards the attainment of social justice, especially because inflation is a punitive tax on the least protected. In addition without fiscal stability it will be well nigh impossible to protect and expand the middle class which is the traditional buffer and stabilizing force of a democracy.
Furthermore, we need fresh perspectives towards retooling the strategic imperatives needed to arrest the insecurities rampaging parts of the country. The country can also no longer shy away from the constitutional amendments needed for the devolution of powers and electoral reforms, essential to create a conducive atmosphere for the forthcoming elections and transition of power. Without which urgently needed reforms the 2023 elections will fraught with dangers possibly leading to chaos.
Fixing the problem of electricity is crucial to sustainable development, and should be tackled under a devolved framework with power generation, transition and distribution taking off the exclusive legislative list not just into the concurrent list but possibly into the residual. We must also achieve domestic refining of petroleum to create the conducive atmosphere for industry and investment, thereby solving the contentious “subsidy” and petrol import calamities.
Nigeria’s future in the long – term is predicted on building the basic Industries such as iron and steel, machine tools, petrochemicals and so forth which should have been done in the seventies as well as unrelenting continuous investments in the physical and social infrastructure. The curriculum of the Education system must be revitalised to achieve local solutions and to produce skills necessary in a brutally competitive globalised environment.
This is because productivity will be make or break in diversifying economic activities in agriculture and mining. The future of the nation is enticing if we begin to create that future today.
Happy Independence Day anniversary to our esteemed readers!