Former World Bank Managing Director (Africa), Oby Ezekwesili, has advised President Bola Tinubu to adopt a more citizen-oriented style of governance for the economic development and prosperity of Nigeria.
She asked the President to give the masses who constitute the larger population of the society central position in his economic policies.
Ezekwesili spoke at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state during the 5th International Hybrid Conference of the Unizik Business School. The former Education Minister regretted that Africa’s pattern of political transition had not guaranteed true democracy.
She described real democracy as one that generates positive socioeconomic development.
She said: “Nigeria’s political system has become a system where the transition is no longer people but court driven and monopolized such that the people’s wishes do not count anymore but the wish of the political class.
“Government policies have over the years contributed to the growing rate of suffering, poverty and economic hardship on Nigerians who have become helpless in their own land.
“Federal government must enthrone policies that will alleviate the sufferings of poor Nigerians who have been at the receiving end of bad governance and policies which have thrown them into poverty and economic hardship.”
While speaking, the Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, who chaired the occasion, said it was important for political leaders to be patriotic enough to make selfless policies capable of promoting the socioeconomic development of the country.
Otti, represented by former deputy Vice-Chancellor of UNIZIK, Prof. Sam Omenyi, described the conference theme, “Political Transition and Economic Development: The African Experience” as apt, saying it would assist stakeholders in appreciating the place of transitions in socio-economic development.
Keynote speaker, Prof Obiora Okonkwo, identified the lack of political will to deliver selfless service as a major problem confronting Nigeria.
Okonkwo represented by Prof Charles Obiora lamented the bastardization of the Nigerian political system, saying corruption had become the system itself.
UNIZIK Vice Chancellor, Prof Charles Esimone, noted that many African states were still embarrassingly bugged down by underdevelopment, according to Human development indices of the United Nations despite being blessed with huge resources.
Esimone, represented by immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof Frederik Odibo, regretted that Nigeria, despite being a leading exporter of crude oil is still unable to refine its oil for domestic petroleum product needs.
Earlier, Director of Unizik Business School, UBS, Prof. Emma Okoye, said the event was targeted at discouraging youths from making similar mistakes made by their fathers during their lifetime.
He added: “The theme aims to reflect on issues that proved to be a cog on the wheels of societal development.”