A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili says the “diplomacy around Nigeria’s failure” must stop.
She said the country is ripe for a convention – that would be about the economics of a functional Nigeria.
Speaking at a plenary session at the Nigeria Economic Summit (NES), which ended in Abuja Thursday, the former Minister said Nigeria’s failure is too bad, adding: “we must discuss even the most painful of it.”
- “The diplomacy around failure must end. We must discuss our failure and why we must stop failing. Then we say, is it better to be building small borders or a large population that works?”
- “We are now in the region I call unsustainability of failure. This failure cannot be sustained.”
- “This country is ripe for a conversation but the conversation must be about the economics of a functional Nigeria because a Nigeria that functions economically is a Nigeria that gives everybody a stake in it.”
- “When people feel a sense of stake, there is no exclusion. When people feel a sense of stake, it basically mobilises everyone to the level of productivity that it can generate. For as long as we don’t do this, what we would have is an occasional improvement; and we think we are fine, but look at our data.”
- Ezekwesili further said Nigeria’s economy is not expanding enough as “three to four million young people enter the unemployment market every year (while) only 10 percent of them will be absorbed”.
- “You look at what we have produced with all the factors that we have available to us, the growth that comes with the factors and frontiers of possibilities that we have, it gives a GDP per capita of about $2,400.”
- “Then, you say to yourself; these factors that create this divide, can they not be addressed? That is where the conversation becomes absolutely necessary.”
- “Data tell us that it is better to be a large nation that works. If it were not so, Rwanda would be an amazing economic magnate because on the economic side, they have done a lot of things right but it is still a small economy. It cannot pull it. We can but we must be a country that works.”