gnorance Hypothesis’ postulations by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson were not originated with the Nigerian leadership scenario in mind in the second chapter of their book, Why Nation Fail; Proposals claiming that poor nations are impoverished because their leaders mistakenly support faulty economic policies, and ‘enjoy’ many market failures and because policymakers do not know how to get rid of them. As a result, wealthy countries are wealthy because they have devised better policies and avoided these errors.
However Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson’s proposal, on the other hand, may have found a home in Nigeria, as evidenced by an incongruity between two members of a panel during a discussion at an annual lecture in Asaba, the Delta state capital, in which they were discussing how to lift Nigeria out of the mud of unemployment and underdevelopment.
An academic doctor and former Provost of a College of Education was the first to speak at the event, which was held earlier this year. He dealt with the matter in a methodical and practical manner. Other than that, he complained about the style and manner key authorities have become known for explaining difficulties and conversations involving the Niger Delta without comparable initiatives or action plans. Even though Nigerians are tired of planned development without follow-up action, he said it is time the nation’s leaders learnt from places like Singapore and industrialize Nigeria to alleviate the country’s long-standing unemployment crisis. A Professor and political officeholder in the state on the other hand, opposed this stance by saying in part: Let me correct one perception; it is not the government’s obligation to industrialize our state, but that of the private companies and individuals.
The Professor’s new understanding of the political and economic costs of his actions, however, left me with a mixture of astonishment and annoyance as I listened to the rest of the discussion. Allowing a similar narrative of an experience in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1995 to flood my nagging helplessness, I was relieved.
When questioned about Lee Kuan Yew’s efforts to create Singapore, Harvard Political Professor Samuel Huntington put it up this way: the honesty and efficiency he has brought to Singapore are likely to accompany him to his grave.
According to Professor Samuel Huntington, Lee’s efficiency “survived him,” however history has subsequently contributed in offering answers to whether or not Professor Huntington’s assertion was true or incorrect in light of Lee’s efficiency.
Singapore, a country with a GDP of $3 billion in 1965, increased to $46 billion in 1997, putting it the 8th greatest per capita GNP in the world according to the World Bank ranking two years after the skewed observation.
The main purpose of this article is to evaluate and grasp the fundamental components of foresight in leadership and help our leaders learn the lessons from such history and gain wisdom, or disregard it and wonder in the problem.
Observing Singapore’s growth, it is clear that the country’s progress is a reflection of the country’s industrial advancements, its innovations, technology, entrepreneurship, and a cohesive and determined set of leaders, supported by practical and hard-working people whose faith in them made it possible. We can learn a great deal from Singapore’s experience with unemployment and the need to industrialize, and our leaders should not overlook this important lesson. In light of these findings, the country’s focus was on starting factories. However, even though the domestic market for these products was just 2 million people, he defended domestically built vehicles and other products that may be partially made in the country.
There is a fundamental distinction in the light of this understanding. Nigeria’s current posture is a result of a lack of leadership, not a lack of resources.
While this horrifying scenario plays out on our political stage on a daily basis, the global leadership stage is strewn with evidence of leaders who have displayed sagacity and professional innovation, but our leaders have failed to learn from or reproduce their resourcefulness on our shores.
The Democratic Party nominee, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was elected President of the United States of America during the Great Depression, for example, in 1932. It was at this time that one-quarter of America’s workforce was unemployed, and many had been driven into poverty. Despite a decline in industrial output and a dramatic drop in investment, the economy continued to recover.
However, within two years of his Presidency, the economy had rebounded and he had moved on to the next phase of his mission. He signed the Social Security Act, which established the contemporary welfare state into the United States pension system upon retirement, unemployment benefits, and certain public health care and disability benefits. When asked how, what do you say? So, “exceptional circumstances call for extraordinary measures,” he said. This, in my opinion, is a leadership achievement that should be emulated.
For the sake of our country and its people here in Nigeria, we must unfortunately admit that our ‘leaders’ are increasingly guilty of corruption and nepotism.
The current menace of hostility in the country, which has reached a stage where the basic conditions and obligations of government are no longer functioning effectively, was not an overnight phenomenon, but rather began gradually and persistently. It is clear that the problem is not a matter of ignorance or culture, but rather a matter of leaders’ decisions that lead to disaster and poverty. To understand this, one must examine how decisions are made, who gets to make them, and why those individuals decide to do what they do.
Our national financial system, in my opinion, is the most significant factor in Nigeria’s current economic woes, since it was designed to guide spending in a specific way in order to avoid overspending and debt. As a result, it is impossible for revenue to exceed expenditures or at the very least equal them.
Disturbingly, the national budget has failed to meet its primary aim or display a reasonable level of performance because of a lack of discipline in allocation and execution.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific, and Cultural Organization) financial recommendations on education have been ignored by the country, while the health sector has also fallen victim to the same fate. Our educational sector has been plagued by constant industrial action due to underfunding, while the health sector (hospitals and primary health facilities) has been reduced to simply consultation offices due to a lack of pharmaceuticals and staff.
In terms of spending, what about power, security and technical advancements? — Finding out how much of the annual budget of the country is spent on the National Assembly, the executive branch, and other ongoing and one-time expenses can give us a good idea of why we are failing as a country without saying too much.
As a result of this trend, the nation needs a leader who is sincere and selfless, an economically restructured polity brought about by national consciousness, and a new socio-economic system that rejects the current socio-economic system that has bred corruption, inefficiency, primitive capital accumulation that has socially excluded the vast majority of our people. We must heed the cautions of experts not to concentrate money in the hands of a tiny minority, which might then use its economic force to grow its political authority disproportionately. In addition, we must guarantee that political power is rewarded with limited advantages, and that every organization and every ambitious, upstart individual that wants to take control of the state has lesser incentives to do so.