Sekibo, Obi, others harp on security, leadership for economic prosperity

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The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo and other notable Nigerians have affirmed that the apt way to boost economic prosperity and peace in the country is tostart addressing leadership challenges and insecurity.Sekibo and other notable Nigerians like the Presidential aspirant of Labour Party, PeterObi, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, Dr. Victoria Ekhomu and BarristerSotonye Inyeinengi-Etomi, during the 2nd Edition 2022 Forum, one-day InternationalColloquium organized by The Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, tagged,“What do Nigerians Want?”, extensively brainstormed on the kind of leadership thecountry needs and how to rescue the country from its current debacle.Speaking on the topic, “The Economy Nigeria Needs to Break Forth,” Sekibo stressedthat of important to achieving the transformation the country needs, there was urgentneed to address insecurity, which according to him, is the foundation of prosperity, asno nation can achieve much where the is no peace.Sekibo, represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy & Business Solutions, SegunAkanji emphasized that for security purposes, there must be an established functionaland value adding identity system in place.“On a higher note, I think one of the things that we need to achieve as a country is theissue of functional and value adding identity management, which is still far away from us,although, some people know that we have BVN, NIMC and a few other identity capturesystems but they have not been as functional and value adding, like the social securitynumber that most people in advanced economies carry,” he stated.Sekibo further explained that to achieve a prosperous economy, Nigeria needs to findways and means by policies to build dual circulation economy which thrives on threepillars.According to him, we need to focus on building dual circulation economy where we canexpand domestic production and demand by making sure that the masses areemployed.“We need to make our people are productive and stop putting subsidy in unproductivezones. When you give subsidy to people with inadequate or no income, they reallycannot add value to the economy, and money has a way of flowing away due to importof consumables from other countries and because of this, a larger portion of everyconsumption or cash given as subsidy gets out of the country,” said Sekibo.The bank’s helmsman further explained that to expand the domestic production,government must give the private sector support to drive employment creation,technology, which is riding on innovation and manufacturing must be in place and, thepopulation which is an added advantage must be well educated.He highlighted the need to examine how the country could add value to primaryproduction for global export, emphasizing on reduction of over dependence on foreignmarkets but rather increase local production for export, whilst also increasing demandon local products.Sekibo further affirmed that if states could function as proper federating unitsand take the lead of the competitive comparative advantages therein, wealth creationwould be achieved that would bring about the desired changes. The former governor of Anambra state and presidential aspirant, Peter Obi lamentedthe huge indebtedness of the country, which he blamed on unproductivity due to theinimical situation of high unemployment rate resulting to over 80million Nigerians beingjobless.He blamed the cumulative failure of government over the years on insecurity, failure tomigrate from sharing formula to production formula and lack of will to transform thepower sector and the need to focus and support the micro, small and mediumenterprises (MSMEs). In his paper titled, “The President Nigeria Needs”, Pastor Ighodalo harped on the needfor leadership change.He argued that what the country needs now are leaders who have vision and are readyto sacrifice for the common man, stating, “things must be done differently”.Ighodalo believed leadership remains the bane of Nigeria’s transformation, stressing that once we get good leadership other things will fall in place.Prof. Oyewo while speaking on the topic “Restructuring and True Federalism” was ofthe view that some responsibilities need to be decentralized like the police, powerprovision and railway.Once there is decentralization, he believes that the state will have less dependence onthe centre, “rebalancing of the constitution in terms of power and security. So, there isreason for state police.”Oyewo maintained that regions are closer to the people, thus it will boost security, theeconomy and sense of belonging by the populace.He also identified data and planning as key factors in ensuring that programmes aretailored towards the people.

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