An economist and one time presidential candidate in Nigeria, Professor Pat Utomi has expressed fears that the country may be heading for collapse in the near future.
Utomi who spoke on Tuesday during an interview on Arise TV, lamented that there may not be a country called Nigeria by 2027.
He criticized the inability and lack of credibility of the political class to engender valuable markets which would attract investors, which he linked to the probable demise of the country
“We need to boost productivity by boosting the various value chains. We must look for our markets to generate infrastructure but this won’t work because the political class lacks credibility; this is why Forbes called Nigeria a “money-losing machine” because of a dearth of investors trooping into the country due to these factors.
“If we can’t change to a culture of integrity, we will always be in this vicious downward spiral and this must change in 2022; if not, the prospects for Nigeria is extremely dim which might imperil its existence,” Utomi stated.
He further detailed how the political class can ensure legitimacy in the electoral process in order to enable accountability which eventually cascades to the ordinary citizenry.
“The way political leaders affect history is to build a cache of legitimacy which means the representatives of the people are accountable. This also means the electoral process is worth participating in, on the part of the people.
“This is not the case in Nigeria and this is what some of us in the civil societies is to ensure questions regarding the type of leadership we wants. If a preponderance of the people says this particular person is not up to standard, we commence a recall process. This will entrench accountability while eliminating vote-buying and other untoward means towards election.
“We expect that 2022 will be a year of massive recall of these politicians in our country.
“A number of us are also ensuring the initiation of credible teams that will act as watchdogs in order to keep the leadership on their toes,” he noted.
The renowned economist continued his criticism of the political class by accusing the parties of lacking clearly-set ideals on how to set the country on the path of prosperity.
According to Utomi, “No political party in Nigeria has any clearly-set ideals on how the country should be governed into prosperity. This is because of a lack of values amongst the stakeholders amongst whom I call “entrepreneurs of power” — they use politics to advance their selfish interest. This is why these politicians defect based on their whims which is part of the fundamental issues.
“Nigeria is a very young country and if we don’t invest enough in the education and health of the youth, it will drive us to the road to anarchy like Somalia. We put these youths down, calling them “lazy” while refusing to give them opportunities.
“What should be done maximise their potentials while providing a framework; it is evidenced on the tech and entertainment sector but because the powers that be is about selfishness, the energies of the youth are being channelled into wrong acts.
“We have to completely tear up the constitution but we need to restructure the mindset and values of the average Nigerian. If you draw some new maps and this current mindset persist, it will get us nowhere. Majority of the atrocities, albeit due to a trigger from bad politics, are also due to that loss in our value system.
“We need new thinking to redress the issues and the starting point is political; this can be done by humanizing them. We need the leadership who will be Patriots and 2022 is a very critical year. The complicit middle class must also wake up lest we won’t have a country to live in.”
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