As the New Year 2017 begins next week, Nigerians have a lot of expectations in governance to rescue the country from the claws of recession and set it back on the path of prosperity. But just like you have to break an egg to get an omelet, some things have to change in crucial areas of the economy and society, for the citizens of this country to enjoy the dividends of democracy and gains of development in the New Year. To you, what priority things must change across board (from government to the ordinary citizen) for this to happen?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* Genuine leadership properly guided by transparent fear of God, positive mindset devoid of indiscipline, dishonesty, corruption, fraud, unpatriotism, disunity e.t.c. Also decentralisation of power equally to all the stakeholders is best. We must give priority attention to good morals, energy, agriculture, information and research. Soft loans must be made available at the grassroots for intensive small-scale rice farming.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* Government must carry the people along with their policies.
– Mr. Feyisetan Akeeb Kareem, Coordinator, CDHR, Aniocha South, Delta State

* The kind of change required in Nigeria must be comprehensive affecting all facets of life. The change must affect four key areas of economy, politics, social and technological. Citizens should be educated about upcoming changes before they occur. The nature and logic of the change should be clearly communicated. Training and resources should be provided to the change agents. Incentives should be offered for co-operation and punishment should be applied to those who resist change. In addition, government should recruit change champions who are passionate about change, and are prepared to lead the process of change. They should be able to develop a clear vision and strategy for the change process.
– Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Abuja

* We have to focus on things that will make us happy first before pleasing others. By so doing we will have better 2017 and be good citizens of this nation.
– Mrs. Adetoun Moses, Lagos State

* The naira should not be allowed to dwindle further. Secondly, in other climes, political prisoners are celebrated when they are released from jail but Nigerians celebrate convicted criminals when they are released, in the name of ‘He’s our son’. The sad part is that those whose wealth was stolen are not even interested in having their stolen wealth recovered. They prefer their hero to keep his loot. This mindset must change if we really want to move forward.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Selfishness must change; the born-to-rule attitude must be discarded. Seeing each other better than self is important. Our leaders are typical idol worshippers; otherwise God looks at your inner being than outside to get applauded.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Our leadership must be completely overhauled for the better. Our methods of governance, politics and security challenges, excessive love of money, indiscipline leading to various types and degrees of moral decadence which brought Nigeria to her knees today must be checked. We need to draw our children closer to God through the church, mosque, mothers, and the community e.t.c. to have good hearts and be good citizens. Our future leaders must be properly and carefully moulded for a better tomorrow and society. God bless Nigeria.
– Miss. Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos

* Leaders must show moral example. Leaders from political, economic, religious and ethnic groups must provide moral leadership that encourages creativity, sustainable industry, tolerance, repercussions for crime against individual/society and peaceful coexistence. That’s the foundation of our collective prosperity.
– Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

* Despite the economic challenges in 2016, year 2017 is going to bring bumper harvest of agricultural products and other sectors that will boost our economy. The budget presented by PMB to the National Assembly for approval is a budget of hope to end recession. All hands must be on deck to ensure it gets accelerated debate for early approval for implementation. Nigerians don’t want to hear of budget padding again because we are hungry for change, the change they voted for. Let there be no delay in release of money for ministries to start working on projects, which should be monitored. God bless Nigeria.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* Our leaders from Presidency to Local Government bosses must demonstrate absolute honesty. The fight against corruption by PMB should be holistic and not selective. By so doing, anyone who still has the intention to loot public fund will know that he or she has no canopy to hide under. Women empowerment shouldn’t be toyed with especially the indigent women. Our health sector needs proper attention. We need healthy and functional citizens. This can only be possible if the health institutions are well equipped, funded and activities of health care providers well supervised and monitored. Wastages should be minimised.
– Mrs. Rosemary Nwaebuni, Asaba, Delta State

* To make Nigeria sweet again across board, we must all endeavour to treat others the way we treat ourselves, or the way we like to be treated. The recent fiasco between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Super Falcons (National senior female soccer team) is an example of what to avoid: forget you are a big shot, treat others properly.
– Mr. E., Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R. Associates, Apo, Abuja

* The mentality of the people from all sectors must change.
– Mr. Ifeanyi Nwankwo, Lagos State

* There should be attitudinal change towards one another in love and not in killing. Nigeria should not be dependent especially on imported rice, finished or assembled machinery, agricultural products e.t.c. Instead, we should be dependent on anything produced within e.g. agriculture, mineral resources. Government has to diversify on that even at slow pace but steady, with repair of airports, old railway lines e.g. Port Harcourt to Kano, Lagos, Jos, Abuja, Maiduguri to Kaduna e.t.c. They should not constantly invest in money-wasting projects that will remain uncompleted for years with no revenue yield.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Our phantom anti-corruption fight must be re-jigged. With corruption still thriving, Nigeria’s quest for development will remain a mirage
– Mr. John Ogunsemore, Lagos State

* There must be a total change in attitude for all Nigerians, from top to the bottom. Our orientation must change from what we can extract from the system to what can we bring in to make the system better for all. That is the way the average American thinks, collective impact through individual effort and contributions. This will create more servant-leaders in office and ensure more understanding citizens who are willing to make effort to see a better Nigeria. That is the way to go in 2017.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE RESPONSE

Top tip: Collective change in attitude
Second: Total overhaul in leadership
Third: Genuine love for one another
Radical tip: Stop celebrating criminals!
Total no of Respondents: 15
Male: 11
Female: 4
Highest location: Lagos (7)

Next Week: How Can Nigeria Best Tackle Inequality in 2017?

Inequality has been identified as one of the major hindrances to development globally. In Nigeria, there are unequal gaps between the rich and the poor, and despite quota system and federalism principle, inequality also exists among social, religious, educational and income strata, with the poorest in the society the worst affected. In order to nip growing masses anger in the bud and ensure an evenly balanced society and corresponding development, how can Nigeria best tackle inequality in 2017?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (January 5 & Monday, January 9) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, January 12