By Dapo Akinrefon & Patrick Azamosa
LAGOS—THE Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to work on policy programmes that can alleviate the suffering of Nigerians at the grassroots.
Adams, who was a guest at the 2nd annual Public Lecture of Freedom Online, in Ikeja, Lagos, said from all indications, the present situation in the country shows that majority of Nigerians are suffering, with little or no hope.
While reacting to issues raised by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on the state of the Nigerian economy, Adams, who eulogised the efforts of the publishers of the online platform, Apostle Gabriel Akinadewo, said the platform presents a better opportunity for him to tell the president, through his spokesman, that he needs to concentrate on programmes that have direct impact on the lives of the people of the grassroots.
He said: “My brother, Mr. Femi Adesina has raised some issues on the state of the nation, he is doing his job. However, I want you to tell the President that Nigeria is bleeding. From my experience so far, I think President Buhari needs to attend to some critical issues that need urgent attention. Let me use my personal experience to buttress my point. I spend over N13,000 daily on diesel to fuel my generating set.
“And that is the situation across the country. That shows the power sector is not working. Another area that the president needs to work on is the agricultural sector. The facts and figures show that we still have a long way to go if Nigeria is to be ranked among the most vibrant countries in the world. From all indices, it is no doubt that our economy needs total overhauling. Though, we have exited recession as claimed by Mr. Adesina, efforts should also be made to revamp the economy.”
Another guest speaker, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who was represented by Prof. Akin Oyebode, spoke on the topic: Fixing the Economy: Less politics, more substance,said Nigeria has the potential to be among the most prosperous nations in the world if right things were done.
He said: “For Nigeria to achieve its potentials, our economy must be competitive, we must have a critical policy framework that can give foreign investors confidence to make Nigeria a global investment market. We need to develop a lasting social investment in all sectors, including, power, education, agriculture and trade. We need a knowledge economy that can truly translate to what is obtainable in the developed world.”
A former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Kalu advised political leaders in the country to put the issues of the 2019 elections behind them and focus on the real issue of governance.
Kalu said: “I want to advise our political leaders that elections are gone, we should now think about governance.
“Nigerian politicians have forgotten about governance and are still talking about politics after the elections. Some people are already talking about 2023 even when they have not done anything about the mandate they got in the last election.
“There is time for everything. There is time for politics and there is time for governance. This is the time for governance and that is what we should focus on as political leaders across parties.”
Also speaking, a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel said there was the need for the country to adopt the idea of restructuring for progress.
He said:”The only way for the system to work is for us to restructure. With restructuring, most of our challenges would be gone.”