Obasanjo, Anyaoku Urge Government To Address Economic Challenges

Olusegun-Obasanjo former Nigerian President, on Economic challenges in NigeriaA former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo and a former Commonwealth Secretary General, Emeka Anyaoku, have advised the government to give more attention to tackling the economic challenges facing the nation.

Giving his opinion on the state of the nation, the former President was of the view that urgent measures should be taken to fix the current fiscal crisis.

He warned that it may spell doom for the country if not addressed.

“If the current fiscal challenge is not creatively addressed, Nigeria may be on its way to another issue of debt overran. It may not be good for the country.

“The hope that followed the initiative of the new Partnership for Africa’s Development and are being threatened by development in the global economy and governance.

“Falling commodity prices have put pressures on local currencies and requires that caution should be taken,” Obasanjo stressed.

Emeka-Anyaokwu on economic challenges
Emeka Anyaoku believes that shifting the the nation’s economy away from crude oil sales’ reliance will address economic challenges

The former Secretary General of the Commonwealth is, however, confident that a truly restructured constitution aimed at pursuing a non-oil based economy was what may be needed to avoid the predicted economic and political disaster for Nigeria.

“There are many aspects of the present state of the Nigerian project that require fixing,” he stressed.

Mr Anyaoku listed the aspects that should be addressed to include the structure of governance system, the pervasive corruption, which he said sometimes involved mind-boggling figures that undermines national efforts and the conduct of Nigerian politicians – the executive and the legislators of the Federal and State governments.

He also urged the government to look into the management of the national resources, particularly their allocation to recurrent and capital development expenditures.

The statesmen made their views known on Monday at the maiden edition of a summit organised by the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Ibadan.

A guest speaker at the event and a Professor of International History and Politics, Richard Joseph, said Nigeria had no business being poor.

“It is very important to be able to draw on the very rich work that we have in Nigeria. In so many years you can identify an area of human endeavour which Nigerians have had super performance,” he told the gathering.

The two-day summit attracted a crowd of intellectuals, with a theme, ‘Getting Government To Work’.

2015 Elections: Commonwealth Tasks INEC On Transparency 

Kamalesh Sharma
Mr Kamalesh Sharma said there is a zero tolerance for non-democratic countries

Ahead of Nigeria’s 2015 general elections, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Mr Kamalesh Sharma, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be transparent in the conduct of all elections, especially in the coming year.

Mr Sharma, who gave the advice in Abuja on Friday at a meeting with officials of the commission, stressed that the electorate should be allowed to choose their leaders in an atmosphere of peace.

“In the heart of democracy is the will of the people. what does the people want in respect of a choice and leadership? The starting point of any democracy process in a country is credible and peaceful elections,” Mr Sharma said.

He further advised the commission to avoid postponing election dates without justifiable reasons, saying elections should not be held at the political convenience of parties.

The acting chairman of the commission, Ishmael Igbani, who received the commonwealth officials, highlighted the activities of the commission, saying efforts have always been made to constantly improve on the performance of the electoral body.

At a separate meeting with officials of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Sharma urged the commission to ensure that people’s rights were not violated for whatever reason.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, pledged the commitment of the commission to executing its mandate despite the present security challenges in Nigeria’s northeast.

The visit by the Commonwealth Secretary-General is aimed at strengthening its relationship with key institutions within the commonwealth.