How do we reset Nigeria? 

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Words of Dr. Okeremi

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"And I think the most important thing that we need to do is to look at our values and define who a Nigerian is"

That’s a very big question and I’m very silent now, because it has very many dimensions, but I think the most fundamental dimension to that question is, like I said some time ago, that Nigeria doesn’t have economic problems, we don’t have financial problems. I think the biggest problem we have in Nigeria is a value system problem.

And I think the most important thing that we need to do is to look at our values and define who a Nigerian is.

So let’s take a look at where we are today as a country. And I’m looking at the government of the day, like I predicted before the elections. And I said it didn’t matter which candidate won the elections. Nigerians would complain and would hate whoever the winner was. Because these are very difficult times for the country. The challenges that have bedeviled the country

are challenges that have taken 63 years to cause. And we have virtually got to a point where we are nearly gasping for breath. And so whatever we want to do now is surgical and has to be very painful.

And to the extent that human beings just don’t like pain, anybody that wants to do anything would most definitely be resented and probably hated. Having said that, I think there’s no quick fix to the economic challenges of Nigeria. It’s going to take some time before the economy would ever get back on course, except of course by serendipity. And I think some serendipity may already be happening. 

The war in Israel and Palestine might just be something. We don’t know how far that will go. We pray that there’s peace in the world. But of course, should this war escalate, Nigeria will probably be a beneficiary if we know how to play it right. Because in the immediate term, you’ll see that the cost of energy will rise and Nigeria might be able to earn some more money and hopefully we’ll be able to produce sufficiently with higher prices.

But I don’t know how long that will take to fix. Other ways that Nigeria would definitely have to get money would either be by foreign investments, from borrowings, from remittances,

from the diaspora or what have you? But I think taking out all that, those are economic challenges. It would require serious money.

But I think the very big thing is defining who is a Nigerian. 

Nations don’t have to necessarily speak the same language. Because all of us speak the same language of pain today. All of us feel the same language of lack today. So that already defines who we are as Nigerians. But I think we should begin to talk about from the positive side. When you see some other countries, you see their pride.

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