Big Ideas Podium, an intermittent programme of the African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage), Enugu, will hold on Tuesday, 15th August, 2017 at in Enugu, Enugu State, by 9:30 am.
Big Ideas Podium is a national platform for Public Policy debates and analysis with the objective of identifying burning and crucial national issues that affect development and governance in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa. This particular podium will feature Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education, and Solid Minerals, respectively.
Equally, two erudite scholars in the persons of Professor Okwudiba Nnoli, formerly of the department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and Professor Okey Ibeanu, former Dean, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and now INEC Commissioner, as discussants, while Professor Ngozi Ezeilo, Dean, Faculty of Law of the same University will be the moderator.
Announcing the details of the event at a media parley in Enugu, the Executive Director of the African Heritage Institution, Professor Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, revealed that the Institution came about the theme of this edition of the programme which holds intermittently, titled: “Nigeria: The Economics of Failure”, after its consideration of the current socio-economic realities and the recurrent failure of policies by succeeding administrations.
According to him, the “Nigeria that was envisaged by our founding fathers was that of a united, prosperous, and egalitarian nation. They anticipated and worked towards a country that would be anchored internally on social justice and the maintenance of peace and order while leading externally from the front in Africa and around the world”.
Regrettably, today’s Nigeria is a floundering country under severe stress, out of grip, and in dire need of workable solutions. Beyond its decaying social infrastructure, poor standard of education, growing unemployment, weak healthcare system, and high poverty rate, Nigeria is a country that has lost its compass and is desperately in need of solutions for its ailing social institutions, governance systems, and political economy”.
“This failure as a country is despite Nigeria’s significant natural and human resource endowments. Across a wide range of issue-areas, the country’s leadership has continued to demonstrate a collective inability to drive the country forward. Today, virtually nothing seems to work properly or for a sustained period in Nigeria”.
“Our political governance arrangements are: abysmally inefficient administratively; accepts and promotes mediocrity with respect to human resources; wasteful of scarce human and financial resources; and predatory with respect to the manner in which political leaders and their cronies milk the country and citizens of valuable resources”.
Stressing further, he opined that “this Big Ideas Podium will seek to focus our minds on big ideas with promise that can reshape and redirect our country towards greatness. The event will feature high and influential people and other top personalities in Nigeria, including members of the government, academia, the organized private sector, NGOs, development partners, and CSOs”, he concluded.