The third edition of the Raufnomics symposium rhymed with the counting down of the days to the end of the path breaking administration of the Ogbeni Governor, Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in the State of Osun. It is regrettable that the event did not receive the media coverage it deserved. This unfortunate lapse should be corrected in future editions. This is because the fusing of theory into practice which Raufnomics represents should be codified, in our opinion into a coherent practical philosophy of government.
This year’s theme is located in the decisive question of our time which centers around the development of the most important part of the development process of enhancing human capital. This year’s theme captures it well, “Functional Education as a Tool for National Development and a Gateway to Freedom”. Even before the widely commented upon remarks by the philanthropist Bill Gates, the issue of education in the development of human capital has been on the front burner.
In the State of Osun, the guiding philosophical thrust of Raufnomics has resulted in positive, hopefully irreversible gains.
The Osun State deputy governor succinctly captured the positive thrusts by pointing out amongst others, the Osun elementary and school feeding programme [ O’Meal], the reclassification efforts and the over 46 per cent pass recorded in the WASSCE results. Significantly, the O’Meal programme has captured national attention and is now the most often cited plank of the Federal government’s social intervention programmes, giving kudos to Raufnomics by confirming the adage that imitation is the best form of flattery.
Raufnomics has certainly played a key role in altering the direction of policy options in our country. Through theory translating into implementation, it has put the overarching need for balanced development back into the nation’s policy agenda. It has become a veritable tool in the fight back against the rentier state. Fundamentally, Raufnomics has helped to make the progressive position fashionable again and put it at the center of the nation’s development agenda. This has been done by upgrading the ”life more abundant “ thrust of the Action Group’s manifesto of the early 1950’s with Bashorun MKO Abiola ‘s 1993 ” Farewell to poverty “ and weaving it into a national development agenda.
Raufnomics will continue to be even more relevant for the decade 2020 – 2030 will be make or break for our country. The issues of a looming population cataclysm, inadequate social and physical infrastructures as well as the fiscal imbalances mitigating the creation of jobs and sustainable development will have to be tackled head on. We are of the opinion that Raufnomics will be at the heart of the policy response.