Speaking at the Lagos Economic Summit on Tuesday, Mr Saakashvili highlighted that Georgia was able to reel out of high crime and corruption rates, a situation he said was worse than Nigeria’s current state, by sheer determination to have a Georgia that the world would recognise for good.
He gave detailed breakdown of how the reform was achieved, emphasising that corruption must first be tackled in order to make meaningful headway.
“When I became the President of Georgia, I met a failed state, with high crime and corruption rates, one of the highest in the world.
“We had to do very fast reforms in Georgia and two months as president I fired the police because it was difficult to reform the Police. The police was much part of the problem rather than the solution.
“We had to refurbish the whole sector but we first of all killed corruption. We had to believe in what we were doing and we brought in people that believed that this is their country, their future and all they have,” Mr Saakashvili stated.
He also suggested that the government should decentralise the process of doing things in order to achieve more results in the shortest possible time.
“When you have the central government taking every decisions there is the tendency that processes would be slowed down,” he said.
The former Georgia president, however, pointed out that “genuine reforms come with some form of suffering that the people will have to bear”.
According to him making power available would help to reduce the rate of crime in any country.
“With cameras and lights everywhere, criminality is very easy to control and you can generate the power that would be enough for Nigeria if you will put your heart to it with commitment and without personal interest at heart,” he said, stressing that there is really so much amazing human energy in Nigeria that could be turned to good.
“It takes human effort to do it,” he added.
The Lagos State government had invited Mr Saakashvili to address the Summit, as Georgia, before he became President, had some challenges facing Nigeria today.
The Summit is looking to proffer solution to the state’s power challenge.
With a population of over 20 million, the state requires over 10,000 megawatts of electricity, but it is currently relying on 1,000 megawatts from the national grid.