Okon Bassey in Uyo
The former deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, has asserted that the country was at the hour of its maximum danger and that it could no longer be business as usual.
He made the declaration in his paper titled ‘The Nigerian Economy and Society Today: Why Are We Where We Are?’ Presented at a two day workshop organised by Chief Anthony Ani Chair of Public Finance, Department of Economics, University of Uyo (UNIUYO).
Dr. Mailafia who was the lead speaker called for a coalition of patriots from different sections of the country and fields of endeavour to build a new momentum for social, economic and political transformation.
He linked the danger being faced in the country to the part played by the foundation the colonial authorities laid and the failure of post-independent leaders to work for genuine change.
According to him, the colonial authorities, apparently deliberately, left the country with an extremely weak and externally dependent economy and a federal structure of government which “violated some of the key principles of federalism.” and was therefore positioned to fail in due course.”
The former deputy Governor of CBN maintained that the elites that took over power from the colonial authorities “were essentially a fractious ethnic-oriented oligarchy that tended to perpetuate pre-existing structures and their entrenched privileges.”
He said “failure to create the developmental state, failure to frontally address binding constraints, the original sin of corruption and failure to resist external meddling were parts of the failure of post-independence leaders.
“We are today paying the price of these failings in the inability of the economy to create needed job opportunities and the resultant unemployment, poverty increasing criminal activities and insecurity, and generally difficult living conditions in the country.”
He said a crop of true nationalists and genuine patriots in positions of authority across the country is needed to rebuild the economy and the society and move the nation forward.
Mailafia posited that tackling insecurity, launching a nation building process anchored on restructuring to create a more viable federation, and a frontal attack on the problems of power supply and infrastructures, human capital development, agriculture transformation, industrialisation, and inclusive growth should form the national goals for the coming decade.
He called for patriotism, faith and commitment to the Nigeria project, and sincere service from every Nigerian.