The former Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Hon. Venatius Ikem has encouraged Nigerians to take a positive picture of the country.
Ikem, former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, stated this while delivering speech as a guest Lecturer at the 2nd Distinguished Public Lecture organised by the Department of Educational Administration and Planning, University of Calabar.
Speaking on the topic: “Thoughts on Nigeria’s Development Journey and the Fallacies of Hopeless,” the statesman said that although the country has not progressed at the expected pace but in area of Education, Infrastructure, Communication, Healthcare, Politics and Economy, Nigeria has made significant progress.
He advised politicians to go back to the rules of global best practices in development that guarantees measurable achievements, predictable growth and development.
According to him: “Having said all these, running through few sectors and even deliberately avoiding some like agriculture and security, the point must be made that I am by no means saying that we should rise up and celebrate! Far from it.
“Our development in all sectors lags far behind expectations given our endowment in terms of manpower, grit and determination, natural resources, including a very clement weather devoid of major natural disasters and other challenges that should hamper development. I have as the cliché goes rather preferred to paint a picture of a half full cup than visualize a half empty one.
“I hope to encourage us to take a more positive picture of our nation than look at the dismal one. To be inspired by how far we have come than despair in how much farther we need to go.
“It remains true that the true African renaissance that was expected to come with Independence from Colonial rule has been a story of dashed dreams and failed expectations. Nigeria remains a poster boy of this failure. A peer review of countries with a similar history, even lower endowments and a tougher natural environment to play, have emerged more focused and sure-footed in their trajectory of development while we have continued to play by our own rules,”
He pointed out that, “In a globalised world, we cannot play by our own rules and hope to look like others. There are simply global rules, global standards of development and global best practices as the path towards achieving them.
He said: “There are no short cuts! We cannot elect thieves to run our public treasury and shout corruption afterwards.”
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar