Home Column Buhari, show Nigerians the right path, they will follow

Buhari, show Nigerians the right path, they will follow

by Business News Report

Ambassador Tom Amolo, the Kenyan Ambassador to Nigeria last week reiterated the need for Africa to look inward when looking for solutions to its problems. Africa he said is capable of assessing itself on the progress made in the areas of good governance and economic development. Amolo said in Abuja during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria that Africans should be left alone to deal with their own problems on their own because they understand these problems better.
The Ambassador was merely stating the fact that Africans should learn to look for solutions to its problems from within. Before the 2015 elections in Nigeria, many western powers and analysts had predicted that Nigeria will break up. Their predictions were based on pre-conceived idea that Nigeria’s political class is no good. It was the same thing that happened during the 1993 June 12 saga. Rev. Jesse Jackson who came on peace mission on behalf of the American government went back with the impression that a civil war will break out in Nigeria.
To their dismay, Nigeria came out of it stronger. The basic issue is that the West does not understand Nigerian culture and what drives the people. The affinity, care and the bond of oneness as a result of extended family and the idea of one being his brother’s keeper is what rule and reign in the heart of Nigerians no matter the differences. When President Muhammadu Buhari was invited by the G7 to its meeting to present a wish list, it did not make any sense to me in economic terms. For political expediency, yes the President can felicitate with fellow president.
To the average Nigeria, it is of no benefit. It is the same West that ganged up against Nigeria and refused to sell needed weapons to the country to counter Boko Haram when it was needed most. It is the same West now pledging unalloyed support to the President to help crush Boko Haram. If the interest of Nigerians is at the heart of these G7 members, they would have assisted the country when it mattered most. If the denial of assistance was because of one man, then these countries are very insincere and the President should take their promises as written in water.
President Buhari must not rely on the West to solve Nigeria’s economic problems. Since independence, Nigerian leaders and policy makers have often looked outside for solution to the nation’s ever rising poverty. They have not engaged themselves in out-of-the-box thinking. Nigerian leaders have engaged the brightest Western trained Economists to examine the Nigeria situation and have found it difficult to explain the situation in the country. It is no surprise that The IMF/World Bank have concluded that with the said level of annual growth in the Nigerian economy, poverty should have reduced significantly. Many have said that with the amount of human and natural resources available to the country, Nigerians have no reason to be poor.

Buhari should take a cue from China which through internal reforms, discipline, building of institutions, applying strict laws and internal mobilisation of resources has moved from nowhere to become almost the largest economy in the world today. China did not go to the G7 for assistance; it simply mobilised its people and developed its internal resources.
Western theories are essentially based on Western culture of one man one wife and children. The nuclear family is the center of their societies. In Nigeria and many other African countries, the nuclear family is not the basis of social relationship; it is the extended family system. A man has to care for his siblings from both sides of the family. So, when the theory of formal savings and investment was propounded by Western economists, it was assumed that the individual will earn enough to feed his immediate family and have something left to save in a formal sense.
If Nigeria is to go by this concept, it will never be developed. Bulk of the nation’s population are poor; they earn less than a living wage, so they can not set money aside in a bank for them to lend to entrepreneurs. This explains the low saving culture in the country. But the African society has in it inherent developmental strategy that Nigerian academics, policy makers and Western economists have not been able to tap into and utilise to develop the nation.
In traditional African setting, communual development strategies were employed where community members engaged themselves to work in family farms in rotation. The practice worked so very well in assisting members to grow their incomes. There was no cheating as the system instilled hard work and discipline in youths. This form of communual labour is what in the West is termed as cooperative society. In the Nigeria traditional setting, the cooperative movement practiced by Nigerians was very successful. The system has brought about several successful business men and women. It is from this obscurity that men like M K O Abiola of blessed memories, Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, Wale Tinubu, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, amongst others emerged from. Every society, nation has a system that works for them. Nigeria has abandoned its traditional values to pursue that of others to its hurt. We have applied Western monetary and fiscal policies wholesale long enough, but they have failed because they were not adapted to suit the Nigerian environment. We have only succeeded in breeding corrupt officials through the system over the years.
The question is why is this government that has come into existence through the mantra of change toeing the line of the past? Looking inward to find lasting solution to the lingering economics of poverty in the country is the way forward. Is this new government thinking out –of- the- box? Why employ the same old antics that failed to deliver the needed solution to the nation’s problem?
What will it take this government to reach out to the populace, and say “let us roll up our sleeves and work together to make Nigeria great again? What I expect this President to do is put the card on the table, Nigerians here we are, we need to change our ways, it is no longer business as usual, there is dignity in labour let us all go to work. It is change and I mean change, Nigerians at every level will follow Mr. President.
Buhari, Nigerians expect you to lead by example. Show Nigerians the way to follow, and they will gladly oblige you.

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