Putting heads together on the economy?

 Although geographical location influence opinions on what should be Nigeria’s development priorities, the truth is that the country must focus on some key development issues to boost her development process. Although some want food security through improved agriculture, others prefer peace and security nationwide with crime and kidnapping curbed; and while some want massive investments in youths, skills and in employment generation, yet others want a proactive united fight against corruption and overall inequality. To you, what should be Nigeria’s biggest development priority right now, to help improve the livelihoods of majority of the 170 million citizens, and why did you choose this particular priority?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* Nigeria’s biggest development priority is focused agriculture through mass production and its durable security nationwide, while well-fed citizens’ general well-being is assured. Crime rate will summersault, foreign exchange therefrom will improve GDP, national budget, social cum economic infrastructure, agro-allied employment, and massive investment in youth e.t.c. thereby vigorously checking persistent corruption and security challenges ravaging us variously. Food on our tables is crucial to quality life, growth and development.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* Without peace, security and food, there can be no meaningful development. For example, in the North-east for the past six years, there has been no peace, no development; instead we have killing of innocent human beings, bombing of mosques, churches and destruction of properties. The rainy season has started in earnest, the fear of Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram is still fresh with the farmers, as they didn’t harvest their produce last year. We are at the mercy of God for absolute protection.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Nigerians need to be alive for all other priorities to be effective and this starts with economic stability for even the least individual.

Ms Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* I am seriously concerned that we get it right from this point moving forward. The government’s anti-corruption policy is continuing to yield appreciable sums of money; add to it the whistle-blowing initiative as well. Human capital development should be the focus. Meningitis just took the lives of about a thousand Nigerians; that is completely uncalled for in this day and age of advanced medicine. The North-east humanitarian crisis is still there to resolve, so please let us focus on developing the Nigerian.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R. Apo, Abuja

* Nigeria’s development priority should be sustainable growth and development of SMEIs. Creating a conducive business environment that ensures that indigenous enterprises are supported to grow and compete favourably on the African and global markets. Today, Nigeria has two generations of innovative entrepreneurs who are stuck in lethargic mode because the enterprise scene is very unfriendly to start ups. No financial support, no infrastructure, no advisory support, business regulation laws and taxes that stifles enterprise. Supporting the sustainable growth of SMEIs would leave the responsibility of youth employment primarily to the private sector, gainfully employed youths reduces the issues of crime and social vices.

Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

* Our biggest development priority in Nigeria today is constant electricity. When light is continually available, adequate developments in other sectors of the economy are bound to blossom proportionately. The manufacturing sector, foods, health, science and technology, infrastructure, security, economy, employment, name it. All will flourish tremendously within a short time and space especially if we remain focused, steadfast, patient, patriotically honest and united. God bless Nigeria.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* There should be greater focus on youth development.

Mr. Sumaina Kasim, Abuja

* Firstly, I believe we need greater forms of regulation in the informal sector of the economy in Nigeria. The banking sector, the real sector, the telecoms sector, and the oil sector all have numerous governmental regulatory bodies guiding their actions. The informal sector of the economy is basically allowed to do what they like. Regulation is certainly needed to check the way importers and traders increase the prices of their goods, just like other sectors of the economy are regulated. Secondly, in Nigeria, preventing a crime before it happens is the most effective way to fight corruption. Blocking leakages is still the most effective tool in fighting corruption. In fact, the current discovery of stolen cash in various places is linked to blocked leakages since it is no longer easy for banks to be easily used to launder money as in the past.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos Plateau State

* Agriculture should be Nigeria’s biggest development priority. If food, which is the special basic need given by God alongside clothing and shelter given to mankind is not there, then something has gone wrong. I think I may be repeating this present regime took a very wrong step in banning food import without proper homework. People are dying and we may soon have some prodigal sons joining pigs of the rich for survival. There must be food first before any other development.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Every state or local governments have problems that they need to solve through the help of the Federal government to finance their projects. But the problem is that our leaders divert funds meant for development for their selfish interests. Unless we eradicate corruption in governance, Nigeria cannot move forward. All hands must be on deck to support government in fighting corruption and we will have meaningful thinking. Corruption has kept Nigeria where we are now.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Nigeria’s biggest development priority should be massive investment in youths, through technical education, skills acquisitions, and entrepreneurship schemes, soft loans and agricultural incentives. The youths, who will one day take over the reins of this country, can thrive without depending on scarce white-collar jobs, and the government and other stakeholders need to ensure that youths are adequately prepared for the challenges of development in a recovering economy and a global village. This youth investment may well determine the future of this nation.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE FEEDBACK

Top tip: Economic stability & regulation

Second: Agriculture & food security

Third: Greater investment in youths

Radical tip: Kill corruption first!

Total no of respondents: 11

Male: 9

Female: 2

Highest location: Lagos (4)

Next Week: Should the National Assembly Arms be Merged?

Many analysts have always asserted that the cost of governance in Nigeria is too high and that the income structure is too top-heavy to allow effective and efficient development. Members of both Houses of Representatives and Senate reportedly draw fair salaries but mouth-watering allowances, even in the current recession period. The belief is that Nigeria can equally do well if both national assembly arms are merged into one strong efficient unit which can work well with the Judiciary and the Executive. In your own view, should the two Houses be merged to save cost of governance in Nigeria or not?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (May 4 & Monday, May 8) 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, May 11