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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo and other notable Nigerians have stressed that the way to boost economic prosperity and peace in the country was to start addressing leadership challenges and insecurity.
Other notable people that spoke on the matter included Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, Dr. Victoria Ekhomu and Sotonye Inyeinengi-Etomi. They spoke during the second edition of a one-day International colloquium organised by The Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, tagged: “What Do Nigerians Want? extensively brainstormed on the kind of leadership the country needs presently and how to rescue the country from its current debacle.
The former governor of Anambra state and presidential aspirant, Obi lamented the huge indebtedness of the country, which he blamed on unproductivity due to the inimical situation of high unemployment rate resulting to over 80 million Nigerians being jobless.
He blamed the cumulative failure of government over the years on insecurity, failure to migrate from sharing formula to production formula to transform the power sector and the need to focus and support the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Speaking on the topic, “The Economy Nigeria Needs to Break Forth,” Sekibo stressed that in achieving the transformation the country needs, there was urgent and need to address insecurity, which according to him, was the foundation of prosperity.
He pointed out that no nation would achieve much where the is no peace.
Sekibo, who was represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy & Business Solutions, Segun Akanji emphasised that for security purposes, there must be an established functional and value adding identity system in place.
“On a higher note, I think one of the things that we need to achieve as a country is the issue of functional and value adding identity management, which is still far away from us, although, some people know that we have BVN, NIMC and a few other identity capture systems but they have not been as functional and value adding, like the social security number that most people in advanced economies carry,” he stated.
Sekibo further explained that to achieve a prosperous economy, Nigeria needs to find ways and means by policies to build dual circulation economy which thrives on three pillars.
“We need to make our people are productive and stop putting subsidy in unproductive zones. When you give subsidy to people with inadequate or no income, they really cannot add value to the economy, and money has a way of flowing away due to import of consumables from other countries and because of this, a larger portion of every consumption or cash given as subsidy gets out of the country,” said Sekibo.
In his paper titled, “The President Nigeria Needs,” Ighodalo harped on the need for leadership change.
He argued that what the country needed now are leaders who have vision and are ready
to sacrifice for the common man, stating, “things must be done differently”.
Ighodalo believed leadership remains the bane of Nigeria’s transformation, stressing that once we get good leadership other things will fall in place.
Also, Oyewo while speaking on the topic “Restructuring and True Federalism,” was of the view that some responsibilities needed to be decentralised like the police, power provision and railway.