Raymond Ozoji, Awka
It has been revealed that Nigeria is to overtake India as a country with the poorest populace by February 2019.
The revelation was a product of research findings conducted by an international organisation and contained in the lecture presented by Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President-General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology Business School Summit held at Bon hotel sunshine Enugu over the weekend.
Accordance to the investigation, Nigeria’s population living in extreme poverty was rising by five point seven people in 10 minutes and that of Democratic Republic of Congo was rising by three point six people per minute.
It further revealed that the situation in Nigeria was such that in February next year, it will overtake India as having the most people living in extreme poverty and that the poverty class in the country would be the highest poverty class anywhere in the world.
Nwodo who spoke on the “Economic Consequences Of A Restructured Nigeria” stressed that the above poverty index showed a cumulative failure of successive federal government to address the socio-economic needs of the Nigerian populace while the nation has plunged itself into an abysmal economic morass. He noted that a restructured Nigeria would reduce corruption and corrupt practices among federating units.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Prof. Luke Anike said they selected economics of restructuring the Nigerian nation, adding that the students would look at various dimensions of the theme as well as come up with amazing results.
The vice chancellor however posited that the prevailing economic situation in the country required that alternative ways of developing the economy should be evolved. According to him, Enugu State University of Science and Technology has been selected by the National Universities Commission to present a leading paper on blueprint for Nigeria’s economic development till 2050.
Anike observed that the country has not made much progress in terms of development but reasoned that the nation required new ideas and new prospects for development. He emphasized that failures of successive administrations that had governed the country from independence were responsible for the economic downturn in the nation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Christopher Ikechi Eze, chairman ESUT Business Council opined that the main intention of the business school was to train students to fit into industries. According to him, the lecture was also timely in the sense that the way Nigeria was configured at the moment, the component parts of the federation do not have the leeway to grow at their own pace and to make adequate use of the local resources at their disposal. He added that should political and economic powers be handed down to the states or regions, there would be more impetus to grow local resources.
A professor of management, Prof. Okey Enudu, who attended the summit, recalled that when Nigeria operated the regional form of government, all the regions progressed economically as evident in industrialisation, massive road networks, building of higher institutions through proceeds got from regional economies.
Enudu also observed that successive governments contributed to the poverty rate in the country even though he noted that one government with purpose could change the status quo. He added that the summit was a brainstorming session to have a critical and emphatic consideration of the current agitation on restructuring the Nigerian polity from diverse perspectives as well as its attendant economic benefits and make informed judgement about it.
He was equally of the opinion that it is expected that the exposition will galvanise the students into action knowing full well that there were economic opportunities in Nigeria in general and the eastern region in particular; that the summit will galvanise them into articulating business ideas for economic development.