Wednesday, July 19, 2006

National Growth is All About Leadership

The (new) Nigerian finance minister Ms. Nenadi Usman states at the ongoing Leon Sullivan VII Summit the reasons African countries remain poor: "a combination of three main factors: poor human capital, inadequate investment funds and obsolete technology."

I ask myself aren't these factors in turn dependent on leadership? Why the half statement honorable minister? Say it as it is Madam!

At the same conference, Malam El-Rufai, the Minister for Federal Capital Territory while discussing the impact of brain drain listed what needs to be done before Nigerians in Diaspora would return:
"We need to improve the security, protect investment and improve our judicial system such that disputes are quickly settled. We need to sustain the current reform and get a credible successor for President Obasanjo and within the next four to eight years, we will see a huge reversal in brain drain".
Well said sir, I wonder why after eight years of all sorts of reforms, remarkable economic indices, and a vault full of petrol dollars, security hasn't improved, our judicial system is still mess, and poverty has deepened in Nigeria? What use are economic reforms that have failed to alleviate poverty?

And speaking of getting "a credible successor for President Obasanjo" at this point- when it's less than 12 months to the election- speaks volume to the lack luster leadership Ms Usman alludes to in her statement above.

If Mr. Obasanjo believes so much in his reforms, I assume he'd have acted appropriately and conscientiously to the extent permissible under the Nigerian constitution in ensuring their continuity. But he did not. He would rather 'tweak the constitution' and extend his stay in office.

The notion that there aren't credible successors for President Obasanjo is pure baloney; there are many credible successors to choose from if the electoral process and intra-party politics would permit transparency in the selection process.