The former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has advocated an aspect of the Chinese model of electing their leaders, based on their past performances at lower levels of government, for Nigeria. He made the suggestion at the weekend during an international conference with the theme, “Philosophy, Law and Politics”, at the Claretian Institute of Philosophy (CIP), Maryland, Nekede, Imo State.
Obi noted that since leadership was the fundamental problem of Nigeria, all hands must be on deck in the efforts to devise better ways of electing the leaders of the country.
The former governor, who spoke on “Human Development Index, Nigeria and the World”, said that improvement in the Human Development Index (HDI) in each country was directly proportional to the level of its investment in education. Affirming Norway as ranking highest in the world HDI indicator with almost $80,000 per capita income and life expectancy of over 80 years, he attributed the feat to their heavy investment in education, which has led to a literacy level of virtually 100% with HDI of 0.95.
Obi went further to compare Nigeria with those countries he said had the same developmental trajectory with her in the eighties, regretting that they had all done better than Nigeria.
He said, “Indonesia, with a population of 260 million people has a GDP of $1.0 trillion and per capita income of $3800. Her life expectancy is 69 years while her literacy level is 93%. Her HDI is 0.689 and ranked 113 in the world. She is classified as medium.
“Turkey, with a population of 80 million people, has a GDP of $880 billion and per capita income of $10,800. Her life expectancy is 76 years and literacy level of 97%. Her HDI is 0.767 and ranked 71 in the world. She is classified as high.
“Now, our dear country Nigeria. With a population of about 190 million people, we have a GDP of $420 billion and per capita income $2,100. Our life expectancy is 53 years with literacy level of 55%. Our HDI is 0.527 and ranked 152 in the world. We are classified as low!”
Concluding, the former governor said the reason for Nigeria’s low HDI was simply because the country had not made the right investment in education and human resource development thus reaping poor governance – leaders and followers – in return.
Other notable speakers who participated in the three-day event were Prof. Pat Utomi, Rev Father Prof. Izu Marcel Onyeocha, Prof Uchukwumaeze and Prof. Obasi Igwe.