Jonathan seeks ideas easy to implement
THOUGH Nigeria is stalked by several challenges, corruption and mismanagement play central roles in the nationâ€™s underdevelopment.
This was the position of erstwhile Ghanaian President, Dr. John Kufuor, when he delivered a keynote address during the Nigeria National Order of Merit (NNOM) award in Abuja yesterday.
President Goodluck Jonathan said at the event that his administration would welcome all ideas that are not complex but easy in implementation. â€œMost of the challenges faced by us as a people have been long in gestation and what we need most are bold and quick to implement ideas whose impact would be felt in the short to medium term,â€ he said.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa posited that â€œwe are opened to actionable ideas that are thorough in details but short in verbiage, we should not allow ourselves to be stuck in the paralysis of over-analysis.â€
According to Kufuor, while a Nigerian is reckoned as the richest man in Africa by Forbes magazine, the same cannot be said of the economic vibrancy of the country, because of the â€œmismanaged economy, reeking corruption, underdeveloped infrastructure, stark social inequities.â€
Kufuor stated that â€œin order for these instances of individual resourcefulness and entrepreneurship to have wide reaching effects on the national economy, they should not be sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb but should be like growth points in a generally growing economy for uplifting the entire society and the economy.â€
While challenging the recipients of the award to form a critical mass to generate ideas for fashioning the path to development and prosperity, Kufuor maintained that national development could only be achieved if national economic and social policies were made to improve the material welfare of the citizenry, with particular focus on â€œwealth creation including attracting investment for employment and poverty reduction, such as social policies for healthcare, infrastructural development and education for all.â€
He said that good governance could only thrive if the people were in agreement with the government and the government was responsive and accountable under the law.
â€œAnd these can only be achieved if the citizens believe that they are included in and are integral part of the state mechanism and that their aspirations and expectations are being catered for by the system,â€ he said.
While advocating the promotion of the productive social sector of the economy, where agriculture was commercialised, Kufuor cited Ghana where his government strived â€œto stabilise and ensure the efficient management of the macro-economy by pursuing sound fiscal and monetary policies directed at the growing productive social economy. â€
He said that he did this by developing social policies and infrastructure like roads, telecommunications, energy, equality of opportunity in education and healthcare and resource development.
He challenged Nigeria to rise up and embrace the path of development because Nigeria with its size and population has a duty not only to itself but the whole sub-region.
For developing the vaccine for the concealing the sleeping sickness disease, Prof. Jonathan Nok has been awarded the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) award by President Jonathan.
Nok topped the list of five distinguished academics to be conferred with the NNOM Award.
According to a statement from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, he was selected after a rigorous process involving 90 nominees from Nigeria and the Diaspora. His pioneering work on the development of a DNA vaccine encoding the TS gene of Trypanosome congolense clinched the prize for him. Nok is well-known for his works on Trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness.
Other awardees for the 2010 NNOM Award include Prof. Isidore O. Okpewho, an accomplished novelist and outstanding scholar of comparative literature; Prof. Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa who for over 50 years has propagated African Historiography at the highest possible level at home and abroad.
Others include Prof. Francis S. Idachaba, whose innovative researches have produced Landmark policy decisions and is a reputable Agricultural Economist and Consummate intellectual.
He is also a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi and Kogi State University, Anyingba.
Also to be conferred with the NNOM Award for 2011 is Prof. Ibok Effiong Etukudo, a United States (U.S.)-based engineer with expertise in various technological fields including, Integrated Circuits, Chemicals synthesis, Synthetic fuels, Alternative energy and Wireless technology.
So far, a total of 65 Nigerians have been conferred with the NNOM Award since its inception in 1979.