Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - Minister of Finance
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – Minister of Finance

The aspiration of a community’s development plan should be modernisation — shaking off what is an obviously obsolete way of life, embracing the new knowledge of science and technology and keeping up with the advanced civilisation of the world.
One can always catch up however late one start, so long as one puts in the right ingredients and tries hard enough. Examples abound Germany in the fields of philosophy, science and technology, USA in the fields of science and automobile, Japan, and Russia in technology, etc.
Planning must be carried out along vision. There must be vision. The people should be bold to make targets, have faith to believe in the possibility, courage to plunge with enthusiasm into the v task, and the fibre to endure the most intense hardship in order to accomplish the result,
There has to be a plan for accelerated development to make J the community strong. This necessitates self-reliance in production
of whatever the community needs, They should be able to produce in sufficient quantity. No matter how they start, no matter how unpolished their machinery, no matter the quality of their goods, no matter the aesthetic of the packaging of the finished products they should not be discouraged, but hopeful that one day they will attain perfection. They should first and foremost start on it, and then improve on it to catch up with the advanced technologies.
The implementation of the new development plan will make for scientific and technological break-through, economic boom, attainment and sustenance of high standard of living. The community will come to have an aura of vitality and excitement and a magnetism of irresistible force to enchant people.
A community needs to move forward. The strategy for rapid development of a nation-community or a city-community is the adoption of the Development Plan Period. The community can start with one-year Development Plan and it should endeavour to actualize the plan and attain the goal. Then it can launch into a five year Development Plan, ten-year, twenty-five-year, etc as it progresses. Within each period there should be sub periods within which specific objectives should be accomplished. It is a necessary condition to start with a realistic assessment of the present situation and the potentialities of the people. The aim of the development effort is to boost the potentialities of the people and increase production capacity. There must be a thorough planning of each Development Plan Period and a conscientious execution of the plan.
The life span of any government is not infinite but limited; therefore, and especially in a democratic setting, a policy of continuity of the development plan must be enacted. The succeeding government must continue to build on the building- blocks set by its predecessor, except where the blocks are defective or the workmanship shoddy in which case they must be pulled down before continuing from the good point or spot. A case worth citing is the American Space Programme. John F. Kennedy in the early days of his presidency is said to have averred, in response to the USSR’s launching of an unmanned space ship to the moon, that America would land man on the moon before the end of the decade, It took two successive governments to accomplish the feat in 1969, by which time the inspirer was six years of blessed memory.
The first task is to harmonize and mobilise the people, stir their creative spirit, talents and energy and harness these their gifts and their other resources into the development aspiration of the community. There must be a great leap forward, a quantum leap. The people should come all out, aim high, So work conscientiously to achieve great results at stunning speed. The community should not crawl or move at snail speed. The people should speed up and do their work with all intensity as if there were no tomorrow.
To achieve popular mobilisation, drive, and technological competence for the great task ahead there is the need to:
(1) Patriotism – Build up and sustain zeal, boundless enthusiasm and commitment in the people.
(2) Talent Hunting – Fish out the gifted among the people, encourage and stimulate them to achieve the best possible.
(3) Education -Train the people in the various fields of endeavour.
(4) Speed – Speed up the efforts to achieve development as swiftly as possible by whatever means, appeal, incentives, force or inspired fear.
The need to speed up becomes imperative for the community to escape vulnerability to all sorts of negativeness — slothfulness on the part of the citizens, envy, gang upism and opposition on the part of other communities. When the community achieves its breakthrough at lightning speed it will win the world’s acclaim.
True development comes from one’s own creation, not merely buying the knowledge, technology and expertise of other nations. This does not imply or advocate isolationism but rather self-security in a world of interdependence. But if a community were to go it all alone it should find strength and power, heroism and genius in its people. At the beginning much of human muscular energy must be expended. At the beginning also expertise from foreign lands East or West, North or South can be employed. In this modem world of sovereignty of nations with its inherent competition and a pride of place in the comity of nations a community seeking sustainable development cannot rely on muscular energy, and imported technological expertise. The output of muscular strength is low and imported technology and expertise is dicey and can leave one in the lurch. A fundamental responsibility of the new regime is the generation of mass enthusiasm and an upsurge of energy, and the harnessing of the latent creative powers of the people toward the acquisition of modem technology, and production by total indigenous skill of the I machines and electricity that turn the wheel of industries and bring about progress and development. It is true this cannot come overnight, but effort must be put in this direction, and then seek the co-operation and support of the advanced nations. The authority must have to mobilize all the active factors and available resources at its disposal to achieve a break-through in modem technology and engineering. The community must take … a cue from the industrialization policy of Japan, Stalin’s USSR and Mao Tse lung’s Peoples Republic of China. It is not lip service; it is total commitment of men and materials. There is no short cut to break through; it demands great application and exertion.
Manpower is the linch-pin of all development. The available quality manpower determines the attainment of break through in technology, and the subsequent development of the community.
Nature is sparing of geniuses and talents. Yet it is this few that blazes the trail, invents and discovers. But there are a lot more people with capacity and aptitude to learn fast from the inventor and even add innovations as if the original idea was of their creation.
The community must embark on a conscientious drive for talents among its people. The best of such people are sent abroad for further training and exposure in their various fields of excellence. In other cases foreign specialists are recruited to work in the community and to teach the local people. In the quest for development of manpower for technological break-through the community must have a role model. The nation that fascinates me is Japan. The western civilization had the good fortune and genius to invent modem technology. Japan acquired and adapted it to the same perfect level as the west. No community needs to invent the wheel again. It can only acquire the existing technology to produce the wheel by itself. Knowing the number of years it takes to qualify for any profession the state can plan for the number of specialists it hopes to have in a time period. Taking an enrolment of two million pupils in the primary school the government can plan to have in sixteen years hence two hundred thousand engineers in the various fields, one hundred and fifty thousand doctors, two hundred thousand agriculturists, five hundred thousand scientists in the various disciplines, one hundred thousand managers, twenty thousand lawyers, etc. Mental development must be intensified in the primary school by exciting the interest of the pupils in the rudiments of the essential subjects for a pursuit of career in science and technology. Facilities and amenities must be copiously provided to aid teaching and learning right from the primary school I through secondary school up to the tertiary institutions culminating in research centres. Of great importance to the development of the community is management. Therefore, training of managers of enterprises and administrators of establishments will also be given a boost. There must be an upsurge of indigenous energy and expertise. There will be academic schools, technical colleges, trade schools and vocational schools to cater for the abilities of the pupils.
This orthodox schooling system is expensive, lengthy and so much theoretical. The community cannot afford to depend only on it. After the basic schooling for literacy and numeracy those pupils who are not so intellectually oriented should be sent for training in the fields of their interest and ability. Those who have a flair for technical career can be sent for on-the- job training in the industrial centres to quality as technicians and artisans. Others are jut to construction centres to train as civil engineering and building workers. Yet some others go for mining explorations and operations. In all the people will be trained for technical and managerial skill and work ethic to be skilful, doing their work with diligence, and thoroughness. They must be honest and trustworthy.
The government must play an active role in the building up indigenous high manpower. The government must also ensure the utilization of this manpower to the services of the community.
The community cannot rely on the services of foreign experts for all its needs. They are very expensive to hire. Moreover, in highly strategic fields they can withhold their services. No nation exports her best manpower. At the most they can bear to send their good ones to their favoured nations. Every nation jealously guards her choicest treasures.
Emphasis on Science — what has made the development and progress of the advanced societies of modem times is science the knowledge arising from self-evident truth as mathematics, logic, astronomy, and knowledge dealing with material experiment and
induction as chemistry, physics, biology, etc. Such experiments can be replicated and taught, and the process is clear to all. It is on knowledge as this that technology depends, the technology that has lifted man from the earth to space, landed him on the moon, taken him further and further into space, and capable of landing him one day, probably in the first century of the 3rd millennium, on another planet.
The community needs to be part of this science and knowledge that opens the road to all possibilities. The fundamental basis of this science is proficiency in conceptual and quantitative to — mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. These subjects make the building blocks of all scientific, technological, engineering, medical and agricultural marvels evidenced in the achievement of the advanced nations. To obtain this; unflinching strong emphasis must be placed on stimulating the interest of pupils from childhood on these subjects. Ample incentives must be given Ito those who display sufficient skill in these subjects to make a crop of eminent scientists of them.. Technological feat is a product of an ingenious mind.

Management, Administration, Leadership
For the over-all development of a community other than technical competence, management also must excel.
There is school for management and administrative training. All those who aspire to run government establishment, industries or other organizations must avail themselves of the opportunity of this training for managerial and administrative skill. The fact that someone has a PhD in a course or is even a professor or a mathematical genius does not confer management or administrative ingenuity. To be versed in the art or science of management and administration one must have knowledge, experience and leadership qualities. Some people may like to point out that some of the best leaders or those who can be described as historical individuals did not have PhD and in some cases did not even go through any meaningful schooling. I disagree with this view. The truth of the matter is that these people did a lot of private reading especially about the affairs of men; they were keen observers of men and events, and above all did a lot of deep thinking. It can also be said that they were gifted individuals. Their originality was worth more than a dozen PhDs.
From childhood and through school, all those who manifest leadership trait should be encouraged and properly groomed to take their place as leaders of men and captain of industries.
A community should be self-sufficient in the provision of food and fibre to its teeming population. The realization of this goal is possible only by the use of scientific method of agriculture.
Cooperative societies should be organized in line with what – obtains in Denmark, Holland, etc to render assistance to members. I Production targets should be set for each crop and animal to maximize the production potentiality. If food were to be economically priced, that is according to the input, the necessity and demand for ‘it then it would be difficult for people to have food on their table. The burden of feeding the nation should not be borne by the farmers or producers of food, as they should appropriately be called in this industrial world. The authority should give liberal incentives and subsidies in all forms to the producers of food to boost food production. The community should aim at export drive. Of the crops and animals it has a comparative advantage it should go all out into their production to dominate the world.
A country that neglects the agricultural sector and therefore imports food items it can produce is damned. It is resisting the blessing of God by neglecting the potentials for production. The regime that indulges the nation in this luxury stands condemned for eternity. If the finished product of another country is better than that produced locally the government only needs to make the research officers to put their nose to the grinding stone to come up with a method to refine the local products.
There is politics in international trade on food. Food is a weapon of domination. A community that cannot feed itself for whatever reasons is condemned to subjugation. A community that has the potentials of producing all the food it needs but rather comes
by misadventure of the government to be dependent on importation food weakens itself and makes itself vulnerable to be taken advantage of or to be dictated to in international politics. A community that has no potential for agricultural production is to be
pitied but if it is to continue to exist as a nation it must remedy the situation and find ways to produce its food requirements.
Food is a most basic necessity of life. A responsible government must devote special attention to agriculture, and allocate meaningful resources to facilitate its efficient production to its maximum potentials.
Agriculture should become well paying to make it a responsible and honourable occupation. The drudgery should be alleviated. The producers of food should be protected from exploitation, and be relieved from producing without costing their
own and their family labour input. They should be well off.
Research And Development
Real and meaningful development is hinged on research and development in science and technology. Research and development an indispensable process in the advancement of society. It should be directed towards invention and discovery, innovations and improvement and aiming at perfection. A sensible community vigorously pursues, and commits a lot of resources in terms of money and materials to Research and Development. An aspiring community should be utterly committed to R’n’D to the point of fanaticism. The community must take its part in the arena of invention, discovery, and innovation, the pace of which is going to be faster, more prolific and more awe-striking in the twenty-first century and beyond in the third millennium.
The community must establish and fund centres of excellence whose mandate is to brew original ideas needed to cultivate a creative and dynamic modem community.
Intellectual Development: A Case Of Enlightenment
Japan and the defunct Soviet Union were trailblazers among the “backward societies” that adopted western technology, made a break through in industrialization, and came to the front line as industrial and military powers. Other nations, as People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore have since demonstrated the universality of the application of the new knowledge. It should be noted that any other community can accomplish this breakthrough, not by wistfulness or recitation of platitudes, but by strong, determined, unwavering will, arduous mental application, hard laborious physical exaction, strict discipline, sacrifice, hope and faith. For sure, this is a venture that calls for sharp mind, versed in abstract and quantitative understanding to plan, design and implement the programme through. The community also needs a strong and fanatical political leadership to push it through the tough period, giving consideration only to the end and virtually impervious to the human toil that must of necessity be sustained for twenty-four hours daily till the programme is accomplished.