- Urges Buhari to constitute formidable economic team
- Says Gov Mimiko’s achievements mean true transformation
Former Secretary-General of the Common Wealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has called for the restructuring of Nigeria as a way to fast track accelerated development.
Speaking at a public event in Akure Ondo state yesterday Anyaoku said: “My view which I articulated mostly is that restructuring the present government by adopting a true federalism will go a long way in enabling us to achieve a speedy development and the political stability which would reduce the enablement of centrifugal forces in Nigeria.”
Other speakers which included Yinka Odumakin and Barrister Dan Nwanyanwu also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference report, saying the country would not move forward if the report was not implemented by the present government.
They spoke in Akure, Ondo State, at a symposium organised by the State Government as part of activities to mark 40 years of the state and seven years of the administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
Speaking in Akure, on the topic: “Curtailing Nigeria’s Centrifugal Forces,” Chief Anyaoku said there is need to restructure the present system in order to address the key issues of peace, unity and development. He also advised against t the devaluation of the Naira as being suggested by a cross section of Nigerians. His comments however were opposed to by the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, who argued that the policy of pegging the value of naira was breeding corruption.
Chief Anyaoku described the achievements recorded by Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko as true transformation while stressing that the country will realize its dreams if the kind of welfare services provided Ondo State Government becomes a common sight in other part of the country. He equally described Mimiko’s governing style as exceptional. “Since I came yesterday, I have seen so many projects. Mimiko is exceptional. If we have more of what I have seen in Ondo since I came, Nigeria will be the country of our dream,” Anyaoku said.
On the present state of the economy in the country, Chief Anyaoku stressed the need to reposition the wealth distribution formula of the country for the benefit of all Nigerians.
The former UN scribe therefore said restructuring the present system of government will go a long way in giving greater opportunity to the future generations of the children yet unborn.
He urged President Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, invite economic experts in the country to come together and brainstorm on the way forward, in the face of the present economic challenges facing the country.
Anyaoku said unless urgent steps are taken to curtail the present economic woes in the country, the situation will be unbearable to the generality of the people of the nation
On the value of the Naira, Anyaoku warned that the devaluation of the currency at the moment will aggravate inflation and further worsen the schisms in the nation’s economy and put the ordinary Nigerian at the receiving end.
“In my view those calling for official devaluation of the naira need to come up with a good answer to Nigeria’s basic present problematic situation with its currency,” Mr. Anyaoku said.
“There is an incontrovertible fact that with the present level of the country’s dependence on imported goods, which results in a monthly import bill that is four times the value of our main export, which is traded in dollars, official devaluation of the naira vis-a-vis the dollar, will inevitably produce a further rise in inflation to the detriment of all of us, including, especially the masses.
“And besides, in such circumstances, devaluation will lead to an unacceptable drain on our country’s external reserves which is already worryingly depleted.
“The crux of the challenge we face with the current world price for crude oil is to devise policies for reducing the level of the country’s dependence on imported goods while in the mean time, allowing the dollar to float in the unofficial currency market with adequate safeguards being put in place by government to check round tripping in the management of the foreign exchange.”
He condemned the decay in the health sector across the country, advising other states of the federation to take a cue from the health delivery programmes and initiatives of Dr Olusegun Mimiko.
In his words: “ I feel that if government at all levels in this country can improve their health facilities like it is happening in Ondo State, the jamboree of health tourism abroad will end, since there will be appreciable health facilities to cater for the citizens of the country, as against wasting our funds abroad.”
In his remarks, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce stated that the present problem facing Nigeria as a country is leadership at all levels of governance. He said most of the leaders do not believe in one Nigeria but only profess to love the country with their mouth while their hearts are far from the issues of development in the country.
Murray –Bruce said until there is genuine change of value system in the country by the leaders, the present problem and challenges facing the country will linger.
Also speaking, a former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said that there are many centrifugal forces facing the country, stressing that until Nigerians resolve to stand as an indivisible entity, the various forces confronting the country will truncate its drive for development.
In his response, the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko expressed gratitude to God for sustaining the state these past 40 years and for the grace given to him to be in charge of the state for seven years. He thanked the people of the state for the trust and confidence reposed in his administration and promised to continue his good works in the remaining one year.