A QUEST FOR THE LEADERS OF NIGERIA (BEFORE THE 2011 ELECTIONS)

L-R: VICE PRESIDENT NAMADI SAMBO, PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN AND IMO STATE GOVERNOR, MR IKEDI OHAKIM DURING A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN RALLY IN IMO STATE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011.
L-R: VICE PRESIDENT NAMADI SAMBO, PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN AND IMO STATE GOVERNOR, MR IKEDI OHAKIM DURING A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN RALLY IN IMO STATE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011.
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Our dear country we all know is flush with incredibly brilliant, hardworking and ambitious people. We have also watched with alarm as we continue to lose so many of these people to other countries around the globe. This brings me to our current educational system which is definitely nothing close to what it was in the past. That means we are producing fewer of the kind of people who can compete in a growing more competitive world. We can just take one look at the recent ranking of African Universities, and then ask the question on why we are regressing. So my first question to our future leaders is how are they planning on turning around the losses we have witnessed in educational standards?

The second question is how do they plan to keep the few well-trained individuals in Nigeria as well as attract the many well trained around the globe back home? It seems very obvious that for our Nation to really compete in the future we must have the manpower and a highly trained workforce.

My next big issue is our total dependence on oil. It is so clear that the major oil consumers are getting fed up with the power the oil producing countries have and the effect it has on their own economies. It is now just a question of a few years ahead and they will break that grip. The speed they are working on getting cars that run on batteries or alternative fuels is non-relenting. Even the so called emerging economies of India and Brazil have this as part of their blueprint for the future. We have also watched as the hub of the Middle East (Dubai) has focused on tourism as a major source of income despite all the oil wealth.

In our case the most visible other source of income is LNG. However this sector despite the gas infrastructure blueprint in place for years has been hit by multiple problems. To think that we started work on LNG in 1993 and in 1999 shipment from the Bonny plant started. This is 2011, yet we cannot produce enough power for domestic use tells you a lot. We have a Nigerian Export Promotion Council that’s very quiet because it seems they have nothing to promote. My question to our next leaders is how they are going to wean us off our total dependence on oil. It is alarming to me that our foreign export earnings from oil is more than 95% of the total and more than 80% of the Federal revenue is from that one product.

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