From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said Nigeria is in need of a rebuilding and restructuring plan that would be developed by the Federal Government in collaboration with the state governments.
He made the disclosure in the 2021 public service lecture, entitled: ‘Nation-Building in a Time of Turbulence’, organised by the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA), held in Ibadan on Friday evening.
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Prince Hakeem Adeyemi, stated that Nigeria must draw lessons from the story of Western Europe at the end of the World War II. He noted that the continent then lay in ruins, physically, economically and psychologically devastated to a degree, unlike anything the world had ever seen.
“Now, despite the destruction, the strategic importance of Western Europe in the global order was evident to those paying attention. For us in Nigeria, our conditions are not quite the same. Nonetheless, securing our future requires us to think in similarly broad terms. We must recognise that structural factors, historical choices, and contemporary dynamics have created a dangerous vortex of insecurity, social upheaval and economic uncertainty that requires urgent and strategic action to overcome.
“We must act in the conviction that despite our present circumstances, we still have it in our power to make decisions and take action to prevent the worst outcomes. In effect, we need a Rebuilding and Restructuring Plan developed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with the state governments. “We need a programme that is honest in its assessment of our present realities and draws upon our unique strengths to deliver a proposal for the future that is both realistic and immediately implementable. We need a plan that addresses economics and national security, infrastructure development and healthcare, job creation and social welfare. We also need a programme of broad structural change that addresses the foundational issues of identity and history that have too long troubled us and inhibited our ability to rise to our highest potential.
“The formation of the United Nations marked the birth of modern multilateralism and the broad recognition that we achieve more when we band together to pursue shared objectives. Multilateralism has had more than its fair share of failures. However, the fundamental truth of strength in unity cannot be reasonably disputed. If anything, we are reminded once more in our present circumstances that the alternative portends a far greater danger to world peace, economic prosperity, and social development.
“Citizens and leaders alike have to make hard choices about the kind of country we want to live in and leave for the next generation. Let this present crisis be for us a moment of discovery when with love and honesty, we inspire each other and our nation to greatness beyond the limits of what we have previously allowed ourselves to imagine.”