Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga has attributed Nigeria’s socioeconomic woes and underdevelopment over the years to the dearth of strong institutions and weak governance at all tiers of government.
Aganga who at a time was also the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment disclosed this while speaking as a guest on a programme called “The Conversation” organised by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN).
He, therefore, tasked the political leaders, governance practitioners in both the public and private sectors and other stakeholders to rededicate themselves by embracing some core ethical values and norms which he described as inevitable to nation building, political stability, progress and development.
Speaking on the theme of the programme “National Planning, Governance and Economic Growth, Charting the road for the future” Aganga said, “We are not where we want to be. If you look at our revenue, it is not diversified. It is still over 90 per cent foreign income from one source; that is oil.
“GDP per capita is only 19 per cent. The level of unemployment is very high. There are about 87 million people in absolute poverty and that is about 41 per cent of our population.
“We need to do more to have value-based leadership. We need to have strong institutions. Our students need to learn leadership values right from the primary schools, through to the secondary schools to the universities. Upon leaving school they should attend leadership institutes”
Also speaking at the forum as the Chief Host, the President and the Chairman of the Governing Council of the ICSAN, Mr. Bode Ayeku, FCIS, briefly highlighted the contributions the Institute had made to the socioeconomic development of Nigeria over the years.
Ayeku added that the Institute would continue to contribute its quota to national progress by guiding the policy direction both in the public and private sectors through well-articulated and pragmatic recommendations on governance matters.
Ayeku said “If you look at the theme of this programme, which is “National Planning, Governance and Economic Growth, Charting the road for the future” You will notice that there are three concepts embedded in the theme. These are National Planning, Governance and Economic Prosperity,
“The three concepts are interrelated in the sense that if you put a national plan in place, you have to put governance behind it to drive to actualization and if you get the governance right it will lead to economic prosperity.
The epoch-making event was moderated by former Acting Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Dr Waheed Olagunju who is the Vice Chairman of the Publicity and Advocacy Committee of the Institute.
ICSAN is a leading, statutorily established professional body, dedicated to enhancing the status and practice of Corporate Governance and Public Administration. It is the only professional body authorized in Nigeria to conduct the examinations leading to the qualification as Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.