SIR: In spite of the recent launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, what ails Nigeria is more profound and fundamental.
Ordinarily, politics should reflect the persistent search for an economic framework that best serves to improve and enhance the quality of life of the whole population. Structures of political organisation and institutional frameworks are not end in themselves but serve to search and promote appropriate economic order that enhances optimal productivity and sustainable economic activities that bring and add value to the commonwealth and give commensurate returns to all members of the active population.
Politics in Nigeria has not functioned to trigger relentless drive for a search of appropriate economic framework to unlock national productivity and unleash value creation, which is the definitive aggregate of national wealth.
Therefore, any meaningful recovery of Nigeria as a functional State must focus exclusively on economic modernisation. To the extent that the economy would be taken as central task, a framework of national consensus and multi-party co-operation instead of competition should be established, to avoid the distraction of politics and power struggles in the central task of economic reconstruction and modernisation. As the framework of multi-party co-operation, political consultation and national consensus would radically alter the existing political process, a constitutional reform is immediately imperative to accommodate the new national priorities.
Saying that “we must become a nation, where we grow what we eat and consume what we produce”, will only make sense with a deliberate policy of industrialisation. If the President, meant that raw onions, tomatoes etc should be ferried from Maiduguri to Lagos, and raw tubers of yam transported from Makurdi to Abuja, then he is merely romanticising about an age that is long gone. To have processing industrial plant in Borno, Benue, Imo and our other resource rich outposts is the best way to guarantee our stable food market, which feeds the rest of us on what we produce. The West African market and, further down, the global horizon, could benefit from our productive potential and earn for us a more sustainable foreign exchange that the volatile oil market cannot guarantee.