THE NIGERIA MINDSET
Our Nation needs to launch an investment mobilization scheme that will be national in scope and industry targeted. We need to decide what the best projects for Akwa Ibom State or for Kano State and not replicate these same projects in Rivers State or Lagos State. We need to know where Enugu State has the best competitive advantages and not replicate it in Anambra State or Gombe State.
A major starting point is infrastructure that links all the regions and states together. Many states have developed competitive advantages such as market aggregation which cannot be matched by any other state in Nigeria. These are complying reasons to focus investment in these areas for the industries for which they have competitive advantages. Enugu State for instance has been positioned as a higher educational hub for the entire eastern Nigerian region. So why can’t we build on this and not reinvent the wheel in Owerri or Awka. Some of the major challenges of our students is affordable student housing. We can build World class student hostels in Enugu if we are serving the needs of the entire zone’s higher education population. If I were to decide, I will not bother building an expensive Port at Onitsha, I will rather build a rail link between Port Harcourt and an inland Port or Container terminal at Onitsha, Nnewi and Aba. We already have active industrial centers at Aba, Nnewi, and Onitsha. So we need to invest in power systems to support these centers and we as Leaders must remove any road blocks that threaten the ability to get power to these customers in good time. As for agriculture, why can’t we invest heavily in Ebonyi rice, Zamfara rice or Benue farms that seem to produce almost everything we need in this country. Providing the farms with processing facilities, mills and other modern ways of processing and distribution will completely reposition our agricultural strategy as a Nation. We complain heavily about the way cattle is still reared in Nigeria but nobody is suggesting workable solutions. I see no reason why we must continue to raise our cattle and buy our meat in this primitive way. Why can’t we set up cattle ranches in Ebonyi State, Ogun, Kaduna and Benue State that will supply the meat needs of the entire Country in just two to three years. This primitive free range cattle rearing as is still practiced in Nigeria is so outdated, currently no modern Nation depends on such a method to feed its people.
A Winning Nigeria Mind-set
To change the “This is Nigeria” mind-set we have to replace it with something new. And that something new must be a new direction to greatness, a new direction for citizens to have access to opportunities and wealth creation. Once our people can see opportunities in the new way of thinking, their thinking and the mind-set of the people will change. We have to start at the grass root and train an army of Leaders that will carry the New Nigerian mind-set across borders and across boundaries. If we are to focus on the entire Nation State of Nigeria then we can do it quickly.
This is Nigeria should mean innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship; and solutions for the 21st Century. This can be the challenge for the new direction for Nigeria at large. Getting our people to change their mind-set will mean conducting a campaign in the same nature and excitement in which we currently conduct political campaigns, with one difference, this time will make it practical and we will involve all citizens not only those who will wish to convince to vote. This campaign can and should be a joint effort between the Private Sector and the Federal, State and Local Governments, and the clear benefits will go to the Nigerian People.