|Published Since May 29, 1968|
|Leadership And Economic Development|
THERE are divergent opinions on the relationship between effective leadership and the economic organization of Nigeria, and how to expand the productive base of the country. Literally, economics is the distribution of scarce resources for optimum development of a society. Thus, successive governments had pursued vigorously, policies that will strengthen economic growth and development in Nigeria. But despite the economic efforts of past and present governments, Nigeria is yet to achieve basic economic aspirations.
NIGERIA is blessed with abundant human and natural resources which nature has endowed her with. The country’s climatic conditions favour wide variety of agricultural activities, including the cultivation of wheat. Additionally, Nigeria is the most populous country in the Continent of Africa, with abundant economic resources, which, when properly harnessed, may enable the country to achieve the status of a rich and developed nation.
ALTHOUGH its industrial sector is underdeveloped due, in part, to inadequate capital for investment and lack of technological know-how, yet the country has prominent industrial concerns such as giant oil industry, iron and steel complexes, steel rolling mills, pharmaceutical companies, food processing Industries, car assembly plants and so on. Although most of these Industrial concerns are not functioning optimally and many of them depend on imported inputs, they can serve as a basis for industrial take-off, if we put our acts together.
HOWEVER, despite Nigeria’s extensive landmass, growing population, agricultural and industrial potentials, the country remains economically backward, indeed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had at a time classified Nigeria as a heavily indebted country with difficulties in meeting debts servicing obligations; Certainly, these attributes are a minus in our national drive towards socio-economic and political development.
LITERATURES on the Nigerian economy have cited leadership problems as a major cause of the country’s inability to effectively mobilize her resources. Critics have shown quite clearly effective leadership is a great obstacle to development in Nigeria. Leadership problem has hampered the country’s progress in the political, economic, military and socio-cultural sectors. Poor leadership lies at the root of our continuing social, moral, economic and political crises. Practically, all our misfortunes in Nigeria have been due to poor leadership. It seems, therefore, that the Nigerian leadership structure determined to place the blame for the unstable situation the frustration and difficulties confronting them on their leaders.
THUS, in contemporary Nigeria, we have observed and rightly too, that there is a great yearning for the total transformation of the process of producing appropriate leadership. This yearning, which grows more urgent by the day, is both legitimate and understandable. After decades of hopes raised and hopes dashed, it should not be surprising that Nigerians are wary and weary.
HAVING gone through decades in which their faith in their national leadership have been abused and affronted, Nigerians impatience with their leaders and almost total distrust of government functionaries can no longer, be-dismissed as mere cynicism.
AT independence, expectations throughout Nigeria were high and the possibilities for greatness were almost limitless. Considering her vast resources, the country appeared set for good attainments, and fulfills what the international community saw as her destiny to lead the black race into the main stream human and technological civilisation. REGRETABLY, the Nigerian economy has hit an all time low. There is massive under utilization resources. What is more painful is that our industrial sub-sector is not producing at full capacity. Despite being blessed materially and humanly, our cost of production remains high with growing unemployment. Also only crude oil is being seriously tapped, and production was negatively affected by the Niger-Delta crisis, thanks to the amnesty programme which has largely restored the oil sector. Our concern here is that outside oil, resource mobilization efforts are rather disappointing. In our estimation, if the attention given to crude oil had been extended to other minerals and the agricultural sector, definitely. Nigeria would have attained desirable and sustainable development.
THERE is no doubt that Nigeria is richly endowed. The country has all It takes to become a super power. Somehow, our major problem is the leadership question, which has inevitably impaired our ability to mobilise our resources. However; we believe that our system of government has contributed to this poor leadership problem. Our political structure especially the adoption of a warped federalism has combined effectively to deprive Nigeria of a sound process of getting the right leadership Even democracy which is expected to produce effective leaders is now, a major political problem in Nigeria. WE believe that problems such as corruption, and inter-ethnic wars and suspicion, which have contributed a lot to the failure of leadership, can be adequately tackled, particularly as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has braced up to the problem in recent times.
AT independence in 1960, the international community amazed at the economic potentials of Nigeria, was quite certain that if our resources were appropriately managed, Nigeria would one day become the giant of Africa. Unfortunately, due to the failure of our leadership to strategically mobillise our resources for political, socioeconomic and cultural advancement of our nation and people, Nigeria is yet to make appreciable gains in development, worsened by a very poor infrastructure base.
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