This was the view of experts in the built environment, academics and related professional bodies at the 12th yearly Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Lecture organised in honour of the late astute surveyor by Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors in Lagos.
Speaking on theme: “ Make Nigeria Great Again”, the experts lamented that the country has not been able to maximize its full potentials to the greatness of the citizens because of lack of planning.
Setting the tone of the discussion at the event attended by various professional bodies, the chairman of the event and Pro-Chancellor, Lagos State University, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo lamented that though Nigeria Society is inherently great, it has failed to maximize its great potentials.
According to him, rather than the nation deploying her potentials for greatness, the reverse is the case leading to pauperization of the citizens and high level of criminality.
He identified the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) through the manipulation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international bodies leading to the devaluations of Naira as well as corruption as reasons the country tipped for greatness has remained at its present stage.
The University don called for devolution of power among the constituent units in the country, re-orientation of political values and the mindset of politicians to make them serve the people better.
He also solicited for a new regime of international relations on the basis of reciprocity to the benefits of Nigeria as wells as transparency and political accountability among leaders to make them answerable to the people.
Prof Ninalowo further solicited for the adjustment of incentive structure in the polity, which will ensure recognition, and protection of retirement rights and benefits as well as making the doctrine of separation of power operational in the country.
Expounding more on the topic, the guest lecturer and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Ituah Ighodalo traced Nigeria’s problems to the elevation of corruption to state policy during the military regime, saying corruption does not only take place in government but at religious organisations, private offices, schools and even our homes.
To make Nigeria great again, he said, Nigerians must henceforth determine government strategy and bring in a new visionary and purposeful leadership, saying that what we absolutely need is a leader who can impose discipline and eliminate corruption.
According to him, there must be a conscious search by all for new political leadership, where Nigerians as was done in Singapore must set criteria for leadership at all levels.
Nigerians, he stressed must examine the plans of the intending leaders to see whether they are credible and achievable as well as examining the background and track records of such leaders.
“Each Nigerian, he said, must play his or her part to make Nigeria great again by having a true love of nation and being truly patriotic as well as shunning corruption, wickedness, selfishness and greed”.
Earlier, the Lagos branch chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Mr. Olugbenga Alara said Nigerians have another opportunity to gain a deep understanding of why Nigeria, with its very great men and women has not transformed into a great nation and therefore rise up to their responsibilities in order to make Nigeria great again.
Late Adekunle Kukoyi, who died on January 10, 2002, was the past President of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, who served the nation through various other institutions during his lifetime.
He was described as a principled man of great integrity and commitment. The yearly event organised by the Lagos branch of the institution was to recognize his ideals as the founding fathers of surveying profession in Nigeria as well as to encourage young surveyors in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
Source: The Guardian