Nigeria as a country has many challenges but her situation is not exclusive. Other nations identified top priorities to achieved desired development, like Ghana (leadership), USA (private sector) Malaysia (oil palm), Philippines (mariners), Japan (literacy), Kenya (coffee), and Gambia (tourism). In your own view, what is that crucial missing link that must be prioritised to help lift Nigeria to her desired level of development, and how should it be applied?
* Nigeria has always identified with agriculture moreso naturally and ab initio. Unfortunately, we lost this vital identity to colonisation and over westernisation. We neglected ourselves and concentrated on export crops for our colonialists and their collaborators. We even degenerated to over-dependence on imported goods and services at the detriment of our economy and citizens. We must go back to agriculture to satisfy our basic needs like food, shelter and housing e.t.c. that majority of Nigerians still lack till date. We can regionalise crops like groundnuts, oil palm, cocoa and rice for a start now.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State
* The crucial missing link is power…electricity.
– Mr. Biodun Aiyegbusi, Engineer, Lagos State
* Quality leadership is the only link that can lift Nigeria to her desired level of development. Flies cannot perch on a hot stove. Bad leadership led to massive looting of public funds in the country, leading to the recession we are going through today. Nigeria should put a leadership in place that can fight corrupt people squarely for our great nation to be set on a track record of development.
– Mr. Samuel Akaahenda, Makurdi, Benue State
* Corruption. It should be fought wholly, not partially or on selected selfish interest, lack of fear of God and public interest. Public funds are no one’s money, so anybody in public position wants to take his or her share from the national cake. These are some of our impediments to development.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna
* Good and competent leadership!
– Mr. Sonny Okobi, Lagos State
* Unity; I see unity as the crucial missing link to Nigeria’s development. We have all that is there as a country; talk of natural and human resources, they are there in abundance. Our problem is if it’s not my own, then no one else should have it. If we continue like that, how can this country develop? We must unite in seeing Nigeria greater than any other person before we can fulfil the desire of its development.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna
* For me the missing links are more than just one. First is electricity; second is agriculture, and third is selfless leadership.
– Miss Nana Opoku, Lagos State
* Nigeria is a country that is eminently endowed to become the byword for power generation in Africa, if not the world. Adequate power is the missing link. The US is known for a vibrant private sector. Here we should harness and harvest our huge potential in power and the world would become our oyster.
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R. Associates, Apo, Abuja
* The selling point of Nigeria ought to be electricity, but it is still epileptic.
– Mr. Fapojuwo Opeyemi, Lagos State
* The missing link is the bad ordinary citizens we have in Nigeria. The main reason we have bad leaders is because they were bad followers to begin with. Yes, change does begin with the individual and it must not necessarily start from the leadership alone. If the ordinary citizens do not give or take bribes, do not cheat or engage in illegalities, do not defend corrupt persons due to religion or region, are patriotic to the nation, blow the whistle on criminal acts anywhere and refuse to elect leaders based on selfish and ethno-religious interests, then things will begin to fall into place. Every bad leader that has served in any capacity in Nigeria was at one point in time an ordinary citizen and also complained about bad leadership. This shows those of us blaming leaders without introspection how we ourselves actually are. Leaders are a product of the society that produces them.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State
* We need skilled visionaries with demonstrable leadership competence and infrastructure development.
– Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State
* Lack of transparency, accountability and probity is the architect of the missing link to our development process. Our leaders should have fear of God over how they siphoned funds meant for development. It is very bad and uncalled for from our leaders. I believe in this government and how they are handling the development process; rather than few people diverting the money meant for development.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State
* Shipping; and application and enforcement of Cabotage Act. That is all!
– Mr. Taiwo Akinpelumi, Apapa, Lagos
* To me, the crucial missing link is still agriculture, specifically agro-processing. If this sector of agriculture is fully embraced, wastage will be eliminated and greater value will be added to all agric products especially perishables like vegetables, fruits and aquaculture products. This will in turn lead to greater employment opportunities for youths who can channel their energies into processing and there will be more food for all with increase in revenue generation right from the cottage industries to the huge mechanised enterprises. Both local consumption and export will be taken care of at the same time. All the government needs to do is make interest free loans and soft capital available to the growing number of agri-preneurs and Nigeria will take off like a rocket.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State
* Rice farming and agriculture generally.
– Mr. Duru Nnamdi, Abuja
* Our missing link is true technology. Nigeria is politically too un-organised to take the right decisions at the right time. Ajaokuta Steel plant took off at the same time with Brazil, yet their helicopters are in Nigeria. Instead, dishonesty is prodding us to trade blame always. Malaysia got sample of our oil palm seedlings and today we import red oil from them. Awojobi, Abalaka and even Victor Uwaifo’s double-headed guitar, palm-kernel cracking machine at UNN, our herbal medicine e.t.c. all got ignored as tax-payers’ scarce funds must foot our elites’ expensive hospital bills abroad. Education, research, electricity, security, and social infrastructure are treated with disdain. Yet the real poor are always at the receiving end. We must change our mindset for the better now, please.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos
Top missing link: Real leadership
Second: Power generation (electricity)
Third: Improved agriculture
Radical tip: Good citizens!
Total no of respondents: 16
Highest location: Lagos (9)
Next Week: Can the Police Really Enhance Whistle-blowing?
Some analysts have called on members of the Nigeria Police to join the fight against corruption in the country, adding that their active involvement in whistle-blowing on official corruption can help unravel massive looting and allow the federal government to recover looted funds hidden around the country. The argument is based on the fact that the Police are usually involved in the movement of large sums of cash around Nigeria. Given the general public perception of the Police as a very corrupt organisation, do you think the Police can really enhance the whistle-blowing process in the country?
Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (February 16 & Monday, February 20) to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, February 23