Home News Imbecile institutions, misguided economic policies, self-aggrandizement bane of Nigeria’s development – U.S Don

Imbecile institutions, misguided economic policies, self-aggrandizement bane of Nigeria’s development – U.S Don

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A Nigerian academic based in the United States of America, Dr. Enajite Enajero, yesterday, reaffirmed that imbecile institutions, misguided economic policies, and self-aggrandizement remain the greatest impediments to Nigeria’s development.

Dr Enajero, a Ph.D. holder in Economics said this during the 94th anniversary/annual conference of Okpe Union in Lagos.

He stated that “Ceremonialism has overshadowed our minds in Nigeria and the Okpe Kingdom. The three economic players–leaders, entrepreneurs, and consumers have become ineffective. Leaders failed in governance because of my-village-first philosophy.

“Our Okpe elites cannot be entrepreneurs and set up businesses that could employ the youths, because one must be purpose-seeking, deliberative, and calculative to be successful in business.

“We cannot even be consumers owing to complete devotion to past habits. We consume foods our forefathers consumed and not due to their nutritional contents. Ceremonial behaviours have brought poverty to the land. The leaders, the elites, and the commoners will learn to separate ceremonial from instrumental values like many other nations, or we must purge ceremonial habits from our long-term memory and acquire instrumental behaviours to attain sustainable development in Nigeria and the Okpe Kingdom’’.

‘’The misguided economic practices introduced in Nigeria since independence that are unsuitable in its stage of development and resulted in one failure after another are examples of future-binding ceremonial encapsulation”.

Speaking on the theme of the conference “The socio-economic development in Nigeria, particularly the Okpe Kingdom”, Enajero said since 1993, when Delta State was created, successive state governors’ objective was only to set up projects and universities in their villages with disregard for locations and duplication of programs.

‘’Delta State is a microcosm of the entire Nigeria speaking about ceremonialism. Since 1993, when the state was created, successive state governors’ objective was only to set up projects and universities in their villages with disregard for locations and duplication of programs. This has resulted in the inefficient use of state resources. The only reason behind locating projects in hometowns is the adoration and exaltation by home folks to the detriment of other places in the state. This ceremonial habit will continue until, hopefully, every clan and village has a university’’.

He pointed out that successive governors failed to aggressively develop the private sector or solicit investments from abroad.

‘’To make matters worse, the successive governors of the state are focused only on revenue allocations from the federal government. They ignored the fact that an economy comprises the public and private sectors. The private sector, if properly tapped, would generate substantial economic activities as well as provide employment for Deltans compared to the public sector. All successive governors of the state failed to aggressively develop the private sector or solicit investments from abroad (Europe, the U.S., Arab nations) that could create jobs and hope for the graduates of these universities’’.

He urged Governor Sheriff Oborevwori to clean up the state’s reputation before embarking on such an endeavour of soliciting foreign capital.

‘’The international communities have not forgotten the activities of MEND, replicated by incessant kidnapping, bandits, and robberies. The recent murders of 17 soldiers in the state revealed that cleaning up the state’s image would require a bold, calculative, and relentless effort that would assure potential investors that Delta State is open for business’’.

He also advised Oborevwori to showcase the shores in the international arena and make it attractive to private investors.

‘’State resources include water, land, and the people. We have a beautiful Atlantic coastal line in the state. If the federal government failed to utilize the deep seaports due to ethnic marginalization, the state administration could adequately showcase the shores in the international arena and make it attractive to private investors. Sapele waters lie in waste, because successive governors, including champions of “Urhobo Ovuovo”, saw Sapele, giggled, and looked away.

Enajero, who obtained his Ph.D. (2000) in Economics in the areas of Public Choice/Public Finance and taught at various universities both undergraduate and graduate courses in economics and business, asked the Federal and State Governments to take advantage of the vast reservoir of human resources abroad.

‘’Furthermore, I am an acquaintance of several Deltan chemists and engineers who worked and retired in city water plants in the U.S. They would be willing to advise the governors on what is involved in the construction of pipe water plants in towns and villages across Delta State. State resources are more than federal allocations. They include domestic and Diaspora technocrats. Governors can reward party chieftains with public positions. However, they need scientists and technocrats locally or abroad to develop the state. For the past three decades, China, India, and the Arab world benefited wholly from their citizens in developed countries. Nigeria does not take advantage of its vast reservoir of human resources abroad’’.

Enajero identified self-aggrandizement among Okpe politicians as a major challenge to the development of the kingdom.

‘’On top of ceremonialism that dominates and strangulates instrumental behaviours in Nigeria, plus ethnic-focused projects in Delta State, Okpe land has local institutional problems. Most daunting is self-aggrandizement among Okpe politicians. Consider, for example, how many federal projects and educational institutions have come to Okpeland since the State was created in 1993? Zero. Whom to blame? Okpe people sent you to Asaba and Abuja to negotiate, vigorously engage in political manoeuvres and win projects for Okpeland. Besides, what happened to the Sapele Polytechnics? It is left in ruin. I hope the Orerokpe School of Social Science is not viewed as a solace or a substitute for the Sapele Poly!

The renowned U.S. academic poured encomium on the founders of Okpe Union.

He said ‘’The Okpe Union has come a long way from its inception in 1930 and existed long before Nigeria became independent. This attests to the acumen and enduring socio-political self-awareness of the Okpe people. The Okpe Union seems to be the first ethnic organization in Nigeria, yet Okpe is not identified as a distinct ethnic group in Delta State and Nigeria. Until recently, the Okpe Union worked collaboratively with the Okpe Monarch for the socioeconomic development of Okpe land. In fact, the stool of the Okpe Monarch was vacant until 1945, when the Okpe Union worked tirelessly to restore the throne. Ironically, Okpe Kingdom had no monarchs for years due to fears that a new Okpe King would act like its predecessors who were dictators. Currently, the Okpe Union is split into two factions, and any attempt to reconcile the Union has been elusive’’.

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