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The Promise of Nigeria - Project 2012 NIGERIA

Healing the wounds from the elections and advancing the Agenda

By Dr. Baba J. Adamu





I would like to first pause and pray to honour the pioneering spirit and many achievements of our founding fathers. And uphold the honour and glory of our past’s rich history that are shared between generations with much love and pride, and hate. Let us take a moment to thank those who brought us up … who cared for us through thick and thin … and who challenged us to work hard, to do our best and never to give up. And let us be guided by the conviction that no government can build a safer, better nation alone. And that the great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom – leaving only the single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise.


In the twenty-first century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights, minimizing corruption and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people and assure their future prosperity. People everywhere want to be able to speak freely; choose who will govern them; worship as they please; educate their children - male and female; own property; have access to basic human needs and enjoy the benefits of their labour. These values of freedom are right and true for every person, for every Nigerian in every society - and the duty of protecting these values lies with the government of the day. This might well be the new era for Nigeria amidst inherent economic uncertainty. Nigeria is indeed a great place to live, work and raise a family. It is only by working together; we can make it even better. As we build on the bad of what we have and change what is necessary, we will improve the lives of everyone who calls our great country home. So let us work assiduously together for all Nigerians, regardless of our political persuasions.


The Challenges

Life in Nigeria - the world's sixth largest oil producer should be better.

Nigerians need jobs, water, electricity, roads, schools and hospitals.

Nigerians require decisive action on these issues: security, corruption, poverty and the economy.


We certainly face an enormous task in transforming our economic potential into sustained growth and poverty reduction. The key to meeting these challenges may lie more in strategic implementation procedure taking into account regional and religious factors rather than economic factors alone. Thus the government will be required to make aggressive and decisive policy shift to be defined as a continuum of actions roughly divided into certain phases and constantly monitored to be in line with the agenda.


Nigerians truly deserve democracy dividends from the government. But efforts on several key fronts in the past have yet to make their impact felt. So many intelligence debates on policy preferences without decisive how-to implement policy. Therefore, the social conditions continue to deteriorate. The incidence of poverty remains high - at more than 60% - and appears to be increasing. Public revenue continues to leak away, especially in the oil sector. Violent social conflicts have become more frequent. Few states have seen improvements in water and electricity supplies. Federal budgetary allocations to health and education have fallen relative to total fiscal spending, casting doubt on the government’s commitment to reducing poverty. Revenue allocations to the states have also fallen, and unrestricted imports of food continue to undermine the recovery of agriculture. In the midst of these shortfalls in realizing democratic dividends, serious social conflicts have occurred throughout the country, and the government’s options for effectively addressing ethnic violence have been limited to the use of force.


But to build a sound foundation for economic growth and political stability, government must realistically be able to diffuse long-standing ethnic and religious tensions and, by ensuring transparency in government, reduce the mismanagement of public resources. Government must be able to also renew the its machinery through a highly motivated civil service involving Nigerians foreign trained using not only intelligence debate policy preferences but how-to implement strategy.


The Promise

It is at times like these that promise of hope can be affirmed.


Nigerians are competitive, but compassionate. We are successful, but believe that no one must be left behind. We are proud of our achievements, but believe in the promise of an even brighter future for our nation.


It is the promise of a better Nigeria that has kept families together. It is the promise that has inspired hard-working men and women to build successful businesses and strong communities. It is the promise that inspires our citizens -- young and old -- to hope, dream and achieve.


It is this promise that will motivate our government to serve the people and help build a better sovereign future.


Our government must believe that strong leadership is about consultation, not capitulation. It is about principles, not ideology. It is about balancing priorities for all, not giving in to the interests of a few.


Most importantly, it is about encouraging people to share their ideas, work together and speak their minds. That's why government of the day should launch an innovative how-to implement consultation process.


Today, as never before, the people have spoken:

  • Nigerians said they want a strong economy that creates jobs and lets them keep their hard-earned wages. The government should listen.

  • Nigerians said they are ashamed of our nation's health care system and want it strengthened. The government should listen.

  • They are calling for schools that promote excellence and equality of opportunity. The government should listen

  • They are asking for some basic human necessities like water, electricity and roads for now and future generations. They are demanding that government be more accountable in its spending. They want the streets to be safer and secure homes.

To these requests, and more, the government should listen and act accordingly. Some might say that listening is an end in itself. But governments should believe it is only a good beginning.


Today's government should set out an ambitious action plan to keep our economy competitive and compassionate -- to display the values of hard work, humility and excellence seen so rare in our citizens.


Our government must have a plan to build a better quality of life for every Nigerian family.

  • To create an equal opportunity for success.

  • To support the most vulnerable.

  • Today, the government MUST resolve to devote its energy and experience to seeing the promise of One-Nigeria fulfilled.






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