From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Governor of Ondo State and chairman of South West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has warned against Nigeria’s over-dependence on oil revenue. He said the country must decide how to fix its own challenges.
Akeredolu spoke on Tuesday night in Abuja when he was honoured by the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN). The Association said he was chosen because of his key achievements in community health development as Governor of Ondo State.
Speaking on Nigeria’s challenges, the Governor said the country must restructure and jettison the current system, where so much power and resources are domiciled at the centre.
‘There is no doubt that the country experiences serious socio-economic challenges in virtually every part. While a sizeable chunk of these problems is attributable to the global crises, there are others which call our attention, urgently, to an appraisal of the fundamental issues which define nations.
‘It is unprofitable to resort to a facile description of the current upheavals in Nigeria without looking at the factors which militate seriously against our quest for nationhood.
‘We must analyse these issues with a view to determining the workability of the current structure. We must seek solutions to the endemic problems bedeviling the country.
‘The over-dependence on oil revenue is retrogressive. Modern economies don’t thrive on monoliths. The country must pay more than passing attention to the issue of diversification.
‘In addition, the federating units should, progressively, assume distinctive identities discernible in the economic activities’ peculiar to them and for which they are best suited to undertake. The current structure promotes indolence and kills ingenuity.
‘Every part of the country must be encouraged to develop according to its potential. There must be deliberate devolution of responsibilities to the States.’
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said that the manufacturing sector of the country must be taken seriously. He said this is crucial to the growth and development of Nigeria.
‘There is no other way through which Nigeria can be truly great. The production of goods and services is crucial to any plan designed to achieve growth and development. All professional bodies must take active interests in the affairs of the country.
‘We must all work towards the enthronement of a national ethos which not only promotes amity among the constituent units but also encourages economic advancement. There must be competition and co-operation among the States.’