Nigeria is in a big muddle. Without mincing words, Nigeria is in a drought of uncertainty. Nothing works in the country, dreams are broken and the future appears bleak. The infrastructure is dilapidated; the economy is nosediving and wobbling as the population growth rate exceeds the economic growth rate. The electricity capacity is so diminished that the country is literally in the dark ages. There is no safe drinking water and water treatment plants have become things of history. The colonial Water Works Centers were in the dustbins of yesterday Nigeria.
A government most important duty is to secure life and property. Nigerian government has failed woefully in that aspect and is found wanting in the areas of security and protection. The security failure and disorder cannot be overemphasized. The bandits have now become the kings and owners of roads and neigh hoods in the country. In most Nigerian cities and hamlets, probably with exception of Lagos and Abuja, once it is 7pm everywhere is deserted. Crimes are rampant and the authorized security apparatus have been overstretched and overwhelmed.
The unemployment, the corruption, the poverty….Nigeria is the capital of poverty and hopelessness, the out of school children. I have to stop here. You get the idea, the country is not working. But what is the solution?
As the country comes close to 2023 presidential election, you can see the arrays of the candidates parading themselves as paragons of excellence, especially those that have muddled the water with their present and past activities are now vying for the ‘prestigious’ seat at Aso rock. Most of these men are not the solution but there are few of them (2 to 3) that if given the opportunity will definitely make a head way. One of them is Peter Obi, the gentleman that needs no introduction. This is not to say that he is a saint or that he has all the answers. But his activities and his vision for Nigeria are pragmatically rooted in sound economic policy with detailed economic imperatives that Nigeria badly needed.
Peter Obi’s methodology of doing things – his energy, intellect and discipline reminded us about the great Lee Kwuan Yew, the Singapore’s prime minister that provided the economic blueprint and vision that transformed the backwater third world country to a first class technological nation. What Lee did in Singapore was short of a miracle. In fact, what he did have never been done in the history of economic development, even the great USA with its abundant natural and human resources took a longer time to become the uncontestable world power.
“To give you an idea of the magnitude of success that Lee Kuan Yew achieved, when he took over, per capita income was about $400 and now, in only about two generations, it exceeds $50,000.” Yes! This is what Nigeria needs at the moment if she is serious about putting her house in order. In Peter Obi, Nigeria has found a serious, and a disciplined visionary leader. This is not the time for tinkering around the peripheral with timidity and mental laxity. This moment calls for fearlessness and boldness, thus stepping out from one’s comfort zone and meeting the challenges of Nigeria head on.
Lee Yew restructured the economy by using the constructive cultural values of the country to reposition the country to become a center of excellence and productivity. Yew built a first class infrastructure to attract foreign investors. The greatest thing he did for Singapore was to affirmatively re-energized her citizens and giving them an enduring confidence and sense of belonging in the world community.
Without doubt, Peter Obi is equal to the task based on his antecedents and vision; He conscientiously believed that Nigeria can be turned away from unnecessary consumption into a productive economy. He is a true definition of a patriot and with his humility and big dreams for Nigeria; maybe there will be a rebirth of Nigeria as a nation of cohesive and productive citizens.