By John Kayode
The immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has asked the incoming federal government to hit the ground running managing the nation’s diversity, her economy and the issues identified as fundamental to a more acceptable and functional structure.
Mimiko, who was the Keynote Speaker at the Change and Development Forum, held at the Redemption Camp on Thursday, said managing the diversity of the nation should be of primary concern to all lovers of Nigeria and that it should be of prime importance to the incoming government.
He highlighted the fact that there appears to be national consensus on such diverse issues as devolution of resources, state police and devolution of powers, cashless economy, among others, which the incoming government could quickly rally the nation and the national assembly behind and make laws to bring them to effect.
The former governor strongly advised that “with 40 percent youth unemployment, the nation expects an innovative job creation strategy..public and private sectors working in concert.
The point cannot be overemphasized that government has responsibility to give direction to the private sector and hold it accountable”.
Speaking on how the cashless economy will help government fight corruption, Mimiko opined that “the apparent administrative incompetence, flip flop, and little or no sensitivity to the needs of the people that greeted the exercise up till now should not serve as a disincentive to the journey to its eventual actualization, as the benefits for the country’s economy are too compelling to be disregarded.
“This, for one, will be one of the most effective tools in the fight against systemic corruption. Leveraging our deep mobile penetration, deepening digital identity and payments systems will be an effective tool of bringing some formality to the informal sector, with deep implications for efficient government services, taxation and general fiscal capacity”.
He came up with what he called the four Ps which the incoming administration must deploy to get the country working economically. According to him, “they are plan and target, provide power and financial resources, protect local and infant industries and patronize made-in-Nigeria products
Mimiko also emphasized that “in order to mainstream accountability, appropriate metrics matter. Indexes like GDP, debt-to-GDP ratio; ease of doing business, growth rate; per capita income; etc., may be important but they should not get fetishized for at least one reason. They do not tell the whole story, and at any event, many of them are at best neo-liberal tools of control over the newer economies.
“Rather, we must pay attention to concrete metrics like debt to revenue (rather than GDP) ratio; poverty rate; unemployment rate; inflation rate, especially food inflation; out-of-school children; maternal mortality rate (MMR) and the likes”
The event, which was the second of its kind, was organized by the Dare Adeboye Foundation, a non-profit organization in honor of Late Pastor Dare Adeboye, son of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E.A. Adeboye.