Aligning Our National Priorities – New Perspectives

We are living human beings. As human beings, we have life which presents us with common needs and opportunities for their fulfilment. Our living drives us to define alternatives or wants that we believe will assist us to fulfil our needs.

These needs include health, happiness, prosperity, harmony, security and peace as well as meaningful work or engagement on the one hand, while our wants include employment opportunities, friendly business atmosphere, mutual respect, financial freedom, friendships and good associations, spouses, children, pride in ourselves and our nation, global relevance and respect amongst others, on the other hand.

In the pursuit of our wants we come to a realisation that working together provides more benefits than working alone. The realisation leads to the formation of  societies culmination in nation states.

Nations also have lives enabled by the collective vision and priorities of the nation but driven by the common needs and aspirations of the national participants. In this context, drivers bring things into existence while enablers determine the quality of that existence.

Bringing this home to our Country Nigeria, I strongly believe that we are plagued by misalignment priorities. The enabling factors must be corrected if we are to make sustainable progress as a country in search of being a Nation

In the realities of our modern world, a nation should first and foremost rest squarely on the economy. Its polity should become an enabler and not the driver of the economy. This was partly what made the early days of our nation progressive; autonomous regions and a dependent centre.  We must rework our priorities such that we can truly become a nation driven by our economy. I believe we are currently driven more by our polity than by our economy.

We have six geopolitical zones; therefore, as their name implies, they play politics. The economies of the zones are not their focus. They play politics to the detriment of the economy. These zones should be renamed geo-economic zones and increased from the present six to say twelve. They should be transformed to focus on growing the economies of their respective zones from what these zones have and can competently produce with substantial value addition to their peoples and the nation. The states would of course be more appropriately aligned to fit, 3 each, into Zones for added value. The Federal Capital Territory should then be thirteenth zone and named the National Central District. This will be the seat of the Federal Government comprising the Executive, Judiciary, Legislation and all MDAs. The Federal Executive Council should then comprise, The President, Vice President, The Heads of all the geo-economic zones who should be of the status of the Vice President, Ministers (say 13 in number, one from each Zone)

We are plagued by a Country in which many persons receive money without producing anything or rendering any service that can be mutually exchanged for the progress of the economy. This must be reversed to not only reduce the cost of governance and stop the bleeding from unengaged but money earning individuals but also make more funds available for those who produce value offerings exchangeable for economic growth and development. All needed constitutional amendments should be put in place.

Government or the political institutions that rule our country must come to terms and embrace this reality such that our country can truly now driven by the economy in virtually every respect. These considerations must become enablers to be reconciled on the platform of our economy needs

The Nigerian Police as currently structured is too clumsy, heave and less effective in relation to why they are needed. It should be reorganised and the Zones should be allowed autonomy with Policing Operations but within an integrated framework of a nationally formulated policing strategy

Nigerians and those who live in Nigeria are one large family under the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of Nature. Therefore, Spirituality and not religion should drive how we do things. Spirituality unites while religions divide. Spirituality is about integration in a wholistic sustainable manner in the service of the Nation with God and nature as our reference points.

We should detach from religions in governance and embrace spirituality. With spirituality, the general good is in focus. Race, tribes or ethnic groups, geographical locations become secondary or even non-relevant factors as they become only resource requirements.

Government should minimise distractions from administration occasioned by unqualified officers and nominees being removed from Office after appointment when these should have been prevented in the first place. In this regard, pre-appointment checks should be thoroughly conducted through relevant authorities and institutions. In this regard INEC should also see its role also from the general intentions and provisions of the constitution not just the Electoral Act.

Key INEC Officers should recuse themselves from overseeing elections in which it may be morally wrong for them not to e.g. where contestants are Brothers, Sisters, Husbands, Wives, In laws, in the same electoral location as the key INEC Officers, etc

Leadership in modern times demands leaders with a good understanding of intricately connected variables. Appropriate and adequate education, track record of successes, righteousness, integrity, justice and objectivity in decision making and visible demonstration of being able to serve above selfish interests should be the hallmark of our leaders. Nigeria will soon be 60 years old and there is no justification for us not to demand a verifiable secondary school certificate if not higher qualifications, as the minimum qualifications for political Office holders. These should be adequately and formally provided for in all enabling laws and procedures.

In conclusion, I wish to restate that our nation should be run as an economy with political dimensions and not a polity with economic dimensions. A knowledgeable, courageous, objective and focused leadership is inevitable to these transformations,

There is so much work to be done.

God bless our Country Nigeria

   By Johnson A. Ikube of Ikube Online Services