To defeat corruption for good clean up our laws

The Nigerian government is investigating a probable case of misappropriation, money laundering and looting of the treasury in transactions made by the CBN, the former National Security Adviser, and the Department of State Services. The amount in question is a huge N60 billion.

Now, here’s an excerpt from a news article that ran on The Cable and I think it’s worthy of note:

““What the CBN did was to create an intervention fund, which it is empowered to do by the CBN Act. That is why we have aviation intervention fund, agriculture intervention fund, all sorts, which are now being abused to take money out of the system,” one of the sources said.” — The Cable, ‘How CBN emptied its vaults to finance PDP’s presidential campaign’

That statement caught and held my attention. We do have some ‘strange’ laws in this country that encourage these sorts of leakages. And that’s the reason these people get charged to court and yet walk free most of the time. They have laws they can point to for justification!

If we are going to defeat corruption in Nigeria, then we must clean up our laws. Our laws are the bases of power in the State. We know that, ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. I think it’s not a coincidence that the office of the Nigerian president is one of the most powerful presidential offices in the world at the same time that Nigeria ranks as one of the most corrupt States in the world.

There’s just too much power vested in the bodies of our government and it’s no surprise that corruption thrives this much.

Where are the checks and balances? Where is the transparency?

If Nigeria wasn’t broke right now, and if President Buhari wasn’t so concerned about recovering missing funds, we would never know that such a thing as this happened at all. Why? Legal smokescreen plays a huge role in the cover up.

So it is important as we hail the present government for its posturing against corruption, that we also recognize how it is carrying out the work and critic it. I believe we can so clean up our laws and strengthen our FOI laws to the extent that we can at any time audit the system and easily sniff out cheats.

This is one reason I am surprised and indignant at the proposed bill to restrict social media use in Nigeria. And then what will happen afterward? Colossal looting maybe, and we wouldn’t even be able to mobilize properly against it without resorting violence.

This again is another strange bill that intends to give the government power it has no business handling!

I appeal to the Legislative houses to please look beyond ‘dos and don’ts’ and pass laws that ensure greater transparency, accountability, and reasonable checks and balances. I believe this is the way to go rather than stifling our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Our laws should be have answers for what we face today, protect our collective dignity and clear a sustainable path for our development as a democratic nation.

(The full news article from which the excerpt was quoted may be accessed at bit.ly/1XEGmKj)

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Reviewing the causes and purpose of terrorism

In the wake of another gun violence in the United States… The attackers have been identified and among other things that came up in their profile, they were said to be moslems. You need to see this husband and wife. Handsome man, beautiful woman. 28 and 27 years old respectively. The man was employed.

Of course, investigations would continue and there have been hints that this may be tagged a terror attack, given the level of preparedness displayed by the attackers. Etc, etc…

I’m not concerned about this because it’s the US. This thing is happening in most places in the world. Some people, for whatever reason, just get guns and explosives and make other people mourn. We have to ask questions and we have to do serious probing.

I find the argument a bit shallow that people take this dangerous path because they are poor, illiterate and politically marginalized, or because they have mental illnesses.

When we say things like that, we also make policies and spend billions trying to
Eradicate poverty,
Broaden political participation,
And Improve standards of living,
Invest in comprehensive medical campaigns, etc…

So are these things in fact reducing incidents of terrorism?

Given the trends, it doesn’t look like terrorism or gun violence (blamed on mental illness) is on the decline. What we see are more attacks, more casualties, more suspicions and more tensions.

And that’s why I’m questioning this popular narrative of how poverty links up with terrorism.

Have you seen the weapons and vehicles some of these people use? SUVs and expensive armored vehicles. Their weapons are sophisticated and definitely expensive. They seem to have enough money (or what do you think?) to attract thousands of people to join their cause.

So are poverty and political marginalization and mental illness at work here?

What made thousands of US-EU citizens to sneak into Syria to fight for the IS, a group now classified as a global terror threat? When we look at the profile of people who joined in from western nations, we find little base to hold the poverty, political marginalization and mental illness connection.

Perhaps the reason why this narrative has thrived and gained world wide dogma status is because terrorism has had much of its modern history in poor and badly governed countries. When we think of al Qaeda, al Shabab, Boko Haram, IS, the Red Army, etc, we think of poor and illiterate people under bad/poorly run governments. We have a created a mental picture that these things are the cause or incubators of these brutal acts of violence.

But that narrative doesn’t hold up well in the face of western nations whose citizens aren’t poor, illiterate or mentally ill, but still traveled to Syria and elsewhere to fight. Some of those people have returned and become threats to their States of origin.

Perhaps it’s time to review how these people are recruited and how they are convinced into doing what they do. What ideology do they run on? What is their hope? What does victory look like for them and what does defeat look like for them?

I should bring up the case of the Cold War. That’s a clear cut example of how ideologies fuelled murderous and deeply destabilizing conflicts all over the world. Then, they were called ‘proxy wars’. The US and the USSR couldn’t face off in a direct confrontation without risking the destruction of the world. So they settled for smaller skirmishes, lobbying, manipulating, and scheming other smaller actors into doing the fighting for them. Perhaps it was a easier battle to win because the world knew those who were pulling the strings… In 1989 the world was confident that that Cold War had ended.

Today, we have a new Cold War. There is an ideology out there that drives these acts of violence and makes it sensible to those funding and carrying them out. The question now is, ‘What exactly is that ideology and who are those pulling the strings this time around?’
Nearly every conflict in human history can be traced to the competing powers of the day. Perhaps we can have a clearer understanding of what is going on by investigating what the most powerful and militarily active States in the world are saying and doing about this problem. I’m talking about the US-EU bloc (which includes but is not limited to the US, Britain, Germany, and France), Russia, and the Gulf States in the Middle East.

Western powers have military bases all over the world. They are rich enough to place their embassies in those various places to oversee their interests and monitor what’s going on in the international space. This gives them an edge to influence outcomes and trends, subtly or overtly. This a well exposed trait of major powers. It was on display during the Cold War. And recently, we were reminded by Edward Snowden’s action that this behavior is still very much around.

So what are these powers saying? In the case of terrorism, western nations officially blame ‘radical and extreme jihadis’ while ostensibly exonerating ‘moderate moslems’. Well, I don’t think they make that distinction because they understand the religion itself but because they have important ties with Gulf States which are ‘coincidentally’, Islamic States and energy powers. So as a matter of interests, there must be a distinction between extreme jihadis and moderate moslems. Then of course, these Islamic states would be portrayed as being moderate or else that puts the West in a tight spot. How do you fight global terrorists (radicalized/extreme jihadis) while maintaining relations with their ‘patron’ States?

So what do these powers do when these extreme jihadis strike in distant places or on western soil? (Now this is important). They often respond by advising the suffering country to be more democratic, politically inclusive, and liberalize their markets. Then they negotiate foreign military support and arms sales. If the US-EU bloc doesn’t live up to its promises, then the afflicted state turns to Russia or China…or South Africa for help.

Some how, terrorism feeds a global political cycle and keeps one side of the international community militarily dependent on the other side… And these crises have been used as reasons to advance western styled governance and market structures.

Western styled? OK, that may be an understatement. We can neither divorce the BRICS States from what is going on, nor the Arab League.

I think we have a far more complex Cold War going on. How does it end? With the emergence of a new world order.

Perhaps the new world order is being engineered to be marked by the collapse of (___?). Take note that the initial Cold War was won was by engineering the USSR’s disintegration. And soon after, the occurrences of ‘proxy’ wars which had seemed impossible to resolve, also ceased.

From this angle of viewing things, I say terrorists are proxies and war pawns.

They are too weak compared to the organized state to win. That’s a fact. But their actions can be useful as backdrop for policy making, alliance formations, and gaining in-roads into other countries, where it might have been impossible. Their actions can also be used to trigger ‘imperial overstretch’. After the 9/11 attack, the US smashed its way into Afghanistan and Iraq and into what became a global affair that guzzled billions of dollars. At a point, the United States realized just how much of a leakage this war had become and had to back track and bring its troops home. In 2008/2009, the US economy suffered a severe recession. There were real fears that this was a financial crisis that could knock the wind out the country. Indeed, since that time, the US has been trying its best not overstretch itself militarily, therefore missing in action even in cases where everyone thought it was just to fight. Chemical weapons deployment in Syria refers.

In the same period, British military defense has also been a source of concern to NATO as it was observed that its military spending was dropping and its battle readiness was sloppy compared to other strong members in the alliance. The US and Britain were greatly involved in the global war on terror after 9/11.

Whether these countries have fully recovered from their earlier adventures remains to be seen. Continued terror attacks however gives them very little space to cut back on defense spendings and global engagement.

Who stands to benefit from this sort of overstretch? Russia? Gulf States? Anyway, the US-EU bloc has tried to spread the high costs by upgrading their share of the global oil market, placing Russia and the Gulf States under great pressure as well.

How will this end?

We need a dynamic version of the non allied movement. In this case, these states would do their best to keep out extremist ideologies that fuel terror attacks, and educate it’s people not to become pawns of major power tussles. (Think of the G20).

We need to develop a tracking system to find and root out the sources of such ideologies at home. We also need to protect our economy from the down swing of the international market. We have to keep people engaged with state building, wealth creation, and provide smart social safety nets. It’s time we audit what our local religions teach and hold them responsible for the outcomes of their teachings.

It is also good that we reappraise our engagement with major powers and understand that international politics is still heavily influenced by zero-sum thinking. Let’s keep our ‘friends’ close and our ‘enemies’ closer…

As for gun violence and mental illness… I think if it’s that simple a connection, then the government should make sure mentally ill people don’t mingle with guns. And why do people want to have guns? Because they don’t feel safe enough, or don’t trust their security agencies enough. I’m taking a wild guess that gun ownership in the US has risen to record levels since 2001, compared with previous decades. So fix what kind of people get guns, conduct seasonal mental evaluation and trainings, and beef up security. Hopefully, that solves the problem.

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the conspiracy of change

No to father to son succession in Kogi.

In the Prevalence of reason, justice and law the current trend in Kogi election has re-emphasized an entrenched gerontocratic disposition of the Nigerian people. The late Abubakar Audu as a man had his pros and more so his cons. He created a debacle by poorly managing himself at this precarious times and causing the people of Kogi unnceccasry hardship even as his demise creates more immediate problems for the people of Kogi.

In a bid to replace the late Abubakar Audu with a suitable candidate by the All Progressive Congress the loop holes in the legal framework of the Nigerian state have been brought to the fore.

It is no longer news that the law did not foresee a situation where a candidate in any elections would pass-on in elections between the voting exercise and the pronouncement of election results as such not expressly provided for. The situation is becoming rather appalling as people of varying interest have begun to engage in unwholesome politicking to achieve power not minding the legality, rationality and consequences. For instance, the call by some quarters that one of the Audu sons be made Faleke’s running mate or the flag bearer of the All Progressive congress is illegal, unfair and irrational.

First, it’s necessary that we expunge the basis behind this “Audised” claim to power in Kogi. Underneath it is a subtle claim that the mantle of leadership in Kogi in lineage and to be passed from father to son in Kogi as Mohammed Audu is seen as the successor to his father. Second is the fact that people championing the call for Faleke and Bello to be replaced have conceded that the institution of government in Kogi state must always be headed by a certain clan, tribe i.e the Ighala. Again, the people championing this position seek to preserve and consolidate the position of the ruling elite for themselves in Kogi state and in Nigeria.

However on law and its illegality, there is no provision in the bodies of Nigerian law that allows for a father to son succession on matters relating to election and public offices except in cases where both have shown interest and vie for same position, a position similar to any two party member seeking a party’s ticket. It is illegal for any of the Audu Juniors (a symbol of the week governance structure between 1999 and 2003) to seek a further claim on the people of Kogi by twisting the arm of the law and going against the law, and the All Progressive congress in Kogi state. Should any of the Audus be interested in Kogi state leadership why not wait till 2019 or a later date and seek such legally and rightly.

On rationality of the claim of the Audus to the Kogi government house, I think it is mischievous as it does not logically follow that since a father is a party’s candidate the son also is a joint ticket holder. Although it must be recognized that any of the sons may be responsible for the victory as faithfuls to their father and loyal party members it is however irrational to stretch that line further and say that the second in the party’s primaries and the deceased running mate aren’t good enough.

On justice and the fairness of a renewed call for a compulsory imposition of an Ighala man on other clan in Kogi, I think it is unfair. First, every qualified person in Kogi should and can occupy the position of the governor of Kogi irrespective of gender, tribe and political affiliations. It is my opinion that character, capability and competence be emphasized rather than lineage, tribe or political affiliations. Second, it is unfair to other tribes who previously had played second fiddle to the Ighalas (loyally and faithfully too) to not be given a chance at leadership. Since the APC promised change, it is expected that this change be all encompassing and all-benefitting. This would not be the case if the status quo of an Ighala led government is retained.

Lastly on the fairness of another Audu in the government house: although this may soothe the nerves of the current Audu loyalist and political investor it isn’t fair to the other Ighalas and the people of Kogi at large. The people of Ighala have more than the Audus and the Wadas as competent and capable hands to run the affairs of the state. And more importantly, the possible emergence of Faleke and Yahaya Bello means an opportunity for the people of Kogi to run a government in the next four years of people not indebted to any person as such in terms of the huge capital funding necessary and expended by the Audus’ thus far.

More from this author @ tshoafrica.wordpress.com
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Getting Nigeria’s economy back on its feet

Putting back the economy on its feet.

Background: We have heard of public funds going missing without trace. Committees are set up, jaw dropping revelations are made but we hardly ever see the money reappear. Now this has been going on for decades.

Problem: The economy used to be stronger and so it could absorb those immense leakages. But now we have a real situation on our hands. Our reserves are petty. Price of crude oil has slumped. The economy can’t absorb the effects of those leakages anymore, as evidenced by upward change in inflation, unpaid salaries and rising unemployment. We are at a critical point. What do we do?

Options on the table:
Drop fuel subsidy
Slash salaries of government VIPs
Recover stolen monies that have been identified but stashed abroad…

These may make sense. They may have a multiplier effect to lift hundreds of thousands out of dire lack. Backlog of unpaid salaries could be settled.

But…

Are these measures sustainable? And would gains made from subsidy removal not be cancelled out by inflation?

Our policy makers and economic engineers surely have a lot on their hands at this time. And that’s exactly why they are there at a time like this: we trust them with political power to fix the problems and get us lasting solutions.

Here are a few points I would advise these people to consider according to their wisdom and facts in hand. It is hoped that these folks see a bigger picture of what’s happening than the rest of us. So while the electorate may think it’s such a simple thing to fix, these public office holders may be seeing a terrific network of issues to resolve before we get back running and fine. I recognize that. So I gently share my points.

First, let’s make sure it’s impossible for public funds at all government levels to disappear without a trace. The rate at which this thing happens year to year, agency to agency, ministry to ministry, is not only appalling but suspicious as well. I suspect there are back doors and loop holes designed into our public purse that makes it just too easy to loot and many times without a trace. I’m not talking of something the government does for the camera. I’m talking of real work here. This goes beyond a single treasury account. The cash flow path and how these monies are withdrawn and spent need auditing.

There ought to be greater transparency. This is less about declaration of assets, and more about how often financial and project audits are done to make sure the system is running fine. We now see a new form of fund diversion. Money is paid out and we see why and to whom. But on closer look, we see there is no connection between the ‘why’ on paper and the reality the public faces. One such case was uncovered in one of our pension scheme investigations. A project was made to capture biometric data of pensioners for good reason. An estimate was made and approved. A company was signed on to do the job. The money was paid out but the job wasn’t carried out! And people didn’t know about it until for a long time. So we need a structure that tells everyone how the money comes in, how it goes out and what exactly it does after it leaves.

We also need to make it possible and safe for whistle-blowers to expose crafty crimes. We also have to make it possible and safe for the judiciary to attend to these matters. Whistle-blowers tend not to whistle if they feel unreasonably exposed to danger. We haven’t protected whistle-blowers enough. They become victims for trying to correct the system. It has happened again and again to people who try to do their jobs conscientiously. It has happened to a former EFCC boss and a former CBN governor, just to cite two a (well known) examples.

Those people were deemed powerful, yet they were tackled badly. What is the fate of the average Nigerian who is just being patriotic and blows the whistle on corrupt practices? We need whistle-blower security. It would go a long way in tackling corruption and guaranteeing our free markets.

I also suggest that we simplify the bureaucracy around the way the government does business. The complexities encourage shady lobbying, thereby providing an atmosphere for bribery. These complexities also create an environment too large and vague that these businesses can’t be properly monitored. I believe people in position can audit their work processes, detect what is unnecessary and encumbering, and cut them off.

Let’s make local entrepreneurship very, very accessible. This includes, free but monitored entry, access to loans, and implementation of copy right and patent laws. A colleague of mine was talking about how it was almost impossible to access a business loan from micro finance banks. One bank wanted a down payment in cheque of the amount the client was seeking to borrow. I think that’s just an elaborate way of saying ‘no’. Let’s review these micro finance institutions. Credit facilities should be upgraded and available for all. Yes, there are side effects of an elaborate credit economy, but most countries running such systems are doing superb. Let’s learn how it works and how to handle the side effects.

Outcome:
I believe that with greater accountability, transparency and a vibrant credit system in place, our economy would get on to the fast track in a very soon time.

God bless Nigeria.

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The Syrian Paradox: A test of global resolve for peace

In 2011 Syria started to break down as its people appeared to ask for better governance. Then it escalated into a civil war. Many sounded the alarm and asked for foreign intervention. But that didn’t happen. The US claimed there was a red line that had to be crossed before it took action.

So the red line was crossed. Someone fired chemical weapons and shockingly there was no corresponding international response.

Humanitarian crisis flared as many fighting factions emerged and it became clear that was going on had little to do with good governance. Still no intervention, until Russia goes in unilaterally.

…. Paris gets hit. ISIS claims responsibility. Then French planes fly in and bombard targets in Syria.

That’s paradoxical. And here is the lesson. When a state crumbles under civil war or insurgency, when there is a humanitarian crisis, that’s the time to intervene. Or else, we may start talking about terrorist safe havens, etc… And that’s exactly what has played out in Syria. Right now, Russia is so looking smart for initiating foreign bombardment in Syria.

But it was never a matter of genius thinking to intervene. We have too much historical evidence than to have allowed Syria deteriorate to this stage. I’m just glad we are finally taking the matter serious.

However, the crisis won’t be resolved at this time by merely an intervention of an international task force. There are millions of internally displaced people to take care of. The economy of that state is currently grounded. I don’t need plenty of data to figure out that the private sector has shut down over there and that unemployment is super high. The risk of contracting diseases have gone high up, and so has the incidence of poverty. Human development is in the dust.

These in themselves, according to a lot of Western analysis of what causes terrorism, could become inflammable fuel for terrorism and crisis in the nearest future. The scale of intervention Syria needs today is the sort that Iraq received following the 2003 war and It’s going to cost. Soldiers must go on foot to achieve peace enforcement. There would be involvement of civilian teams of experts for reconstruction. There would be heavy funding for developing new and better governance capabilities and for stabilizing the economy. Syrian national security forces would have to be reconstituted, trained and monitored for a while.

And now that bombardier planes from NATO States have started pounding perceived ISIS strongholds, that process of intervention has inevitably started. I don’t imagine that Britain, Germany, and the United States, to mention a few, would sit still at this point. I advise therefore that the international community begins to craft a plan of what to do and how to fund it after ISIS and other similar groups in Syria must have been militarily defeated.

I also say now is the time for the international community to take its ‘responsibility to protect’ serious. Identify States under critical pressure early. Send them the support they need before they break down and become a global problem. It’s less expensive, and fairer for global politics in the long run.

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On securing the homeland: Inspiration from France

This is Monday. It’s three days after the attacks. 23 persons have been arrested, 104 under house arrest, in connection to the attacks.

Talk about getting results. Talk about speed and critical precision.

If we here get serious about our security and work at it like we mean business, terrorists would think a thousand times before they try to hit us. Because they’ll know there is no escaping.

This reminds me of the Boston bombings. President Obama stated very firmly, ‘we will find you’. And in a matter of few days, those responsible were found.

Can we also mean business like this? Can our president also say to terrorists and criminal minded people, ‘we will find you’ and it comes true?

YES. It’s a matter of small fixes here and there – fixes that won’t burn a hole in our treasury.
Upgrade our surveillance systems. Upgrade security at all our borders. Upgrade security agents via training and better equipments. Have a centralized, quick reference data base for citizens. Create security awareness for the public.

When our internal security structures are strong, smart and ready, we reduce the chances of being hit by criminals. And if we do get hit, we can confidently trace the villains and put them in their place very fast.

The Nigerian government needs to demonstrate that it has the monopoly of force in the country. I find it completely unacceptable that groups of people in the country were left to amass military grade weapons, as we saw the Delta militants and now Boko Haram doing. We saw the sort of weapons the militants gave up after the amnesty deal. Terrific things.

Failure of the government to maintain the monopoly of force has put us in a sorry situation where we are unable to effectively defend the lives of our citizens. Since the days of the Delta militants, Nigerian forces have not had rest as they have struggled to dislodge these anarchists. We have had about ten years of consistent shooting, first in the creeks of the Delta, and now in the northeast.

Who knows where else others are usurping the monopoly of force, and getting ready to strike? We just can’t wait till events happen and then react to them. Let’s be proactive. Do something about the border. Illegal immigrants are dangerous to us. They are undocumented and untraceable, especially in a clime where there is rampart illiteracy and poverty. It’s not news that a significant portion of Boko Haram members are illegal immigrants. That’s a lapse in border security. Where do these people get their weapons? Across the border.

How much is it going to cost us to empower our border states to secure the line for us, and design an efficient immigration process? How long might it take us to shut our borders in the case of an emergency, to prevent influx or escape of dangerous people? How many times have Boko Haram members escaped through the borders only to re-emerge with sinister motives?

Still on borders. We can also figure out how to cut off funding for these people. We can figure out how to disrupt the weapons black market. We can trace the money and weapons to their source and make sure those paths are permanently disabled.

How about our police? And immigration force? Is the military as strong and up-to-date as is necessary to deliver us security?

These are things we can measure. If we can measure them, then we can precisely fix them and give ourselves much needed peace.

God help our security agents who are at the war front, fighting to give us our peace. God help those ones drafting policies, making procurements, negotiating terms of alliance, etc… God help Nigeria. Seeing that nations like us are doing well against anarchists gives me hope that we’ll also rise up to the occasion and win.

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HOW HUMAN CAPITAL CAN AID REVENUE.

The convoluted concept of inequality flood the center spreads globally especially with the thought and considerations on why some societies have abundance and some want so abundantly without a commensurate fulfillment of their desires. In the past, wealth in the confines of a state have been tightly stringed to the availability of resources valued to better economic transact and maximization. This pattern has not changed as resources when properly channeled form the bedrock of the economic development of societies. However, dependence on this pattern hold sway as results from decades of resources based soleness have shown massive disappointment ranging from lopsided sharing of resource wealth, endemic corrupt practices and procedures, poor technological inputs in the transformation of crude to finished product and the development of a viable value chain, infrastructural and logistics deficiencies and more devastating the continuous change in consumers behavior.

The big question then is: if resources in today’s developmental ideal do not hold the fort, what then can sustain society this century? As we have it today, nation’s strength is measured in sustainable palette of per capital income, standard of living, clean energy status, creativity index and other components. Chief in my concern is the creativity index which explores how well nations develop the most important of all resources available on the earth, Human Capital. Wealth in its definitive forms goes through a designed process of creation, accumulation and distribution. Human capital is the most important source of wealth in the modern world built on the ground that every human is creative and that deliberate attempts enhance productive and novel transformation globally. You can trace back the development in the Industrial age to the increase in human capital that brought about the rise in machinery and energy saving devices and system. Agriculture too has been largely by the rise of creative capital.

Nations that possess huge population in this wise can boost of a measurable stake in the acquisition of the burgeoning dividend of Human capital but as we have noticed overtime it does not play out as simple as that. Nigeria today is Africa’s most populous country and largest economy. Since the fact remain obvious, can Nigeria as a country boast of efficient human capital? Of good importance at this phase is the need to emphasize that Quality must outweigh quantity in the classification of a society with efficient Human capital and the most valuable content must be how creativity is stirred and generated in valuable solutions. How then Creativity does come in the line equation of the development of effective Human capital?

Nigeria is ranked 120 in the global creativity index.17 in sub-Saharan Africa where she stand as the largest economy and 28 spot in countries with low middle income. Subtle thoughts will rise about this reality especially on what this status is built on: a superstructure planted on a flood plain without consideration on disaster. Possibilities exist in quantifiable measures that addressing modalities that will improve Human capital development will in multiple folds increase the economic figures. In the book, Future Wealth, Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer emphasize the need for value. This value must be directed on human capital and not on labour. There could be a misappropriation or misinterpretation of this concept especially with demand from a youthful population meet Foreign Direct investment directed at securing routine manual task that would be threatened and faced out by the evasive option of technology automation and outsourcing down the decade, if it is not already now.

Addressing and improving human capital will require audacious moves especially in area where sectorial allocation have nosedived in the last decade. The crux of this begins with how much we must as a matter of necessity inject into knowledge based institutions. Capital expenditure must be made into education at all level especially in Research and development. The subject of diversifying the economy as a result of the unreliable status of oil revenue and windfalls have beamed attention on agriculture and the extractive industry but before we plunge into this viable paths we must set the marks that will further elongate our dominance. Knowledge institutions must be fashioned to enhance the development of talents and economically relevant skills. As a classic case of reference, increase in research and development spending cannot be overemphasized. The countries that rank top three in the global innovation index; Sweden, Switzerland and the United State respectively have massive infusion of funds in research and development.

Real attempt at innovation will be stirred as critical elements such as x-raying for the strength and weaknesses of our local industries is crucial. This remains the point where the creative capital generated will be injected for a more robust output. If anything is more imminent as a vocal thing to do now, is to transit into a technology driven economy by rise in Human capital development. Imputes at achieving these entail that we set the right environment. Politically, in terms of regulation and a good climate arrived from sound legislation’s that are Eco-friendly for business. Infrastructural elements of ICT and mobility systems, the right market ambiance borne out of access to finance via credit and investment as well as Trade Competition. The effect of this will bring about attraction of global companies who can stimulate spin-offs in the economy. The creative output continues to improve with intangibles asset that emerge as patents, creative goods and services that continue to meet new spectrum of needs.

Recently stumbled on info-graphic analysis of IGR in state across the country and the abysmally low distribution show how much intervention and response we must give to see that revenue increase. Revenues can only improve by Human efficiency. How much attention do state pay to the development of Human capital? Locked in the hinterland is a teaming young and vibrant population that is constantly left at the brink of survival. Richard Florida in the book, Flight of the creative class, account that growth in regions within a state is achieved by designed systems to grow talents and to set the benchmarks that furthers push competition further. A vital rule in business is that Growth is inextricably linked with competition. State must develop talents and facilitate healthy competition. Our outcry has been a deepen migration of talents for greener pastures abroad but in all sincerity migration is a basic human characteristics and the same principle can apply within the country where there is a huge system for development and retainance of talents. Competitive advantage in this age depends on attracting and keeping talents better than the other guy. The technologies to increase revenue are locked in the environment designed to attract and retain talent.

In passing, one of the most significant ways through which this can be done is the quarterly deployment of resourceful youth into state through the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC). State can adopt a lean methodology that can use gainfully of the pool of resource through effective planning and communication, create effective system of tolerance thereby reducing the large back to base migration after the stipulated program period. Many would love to stay and pursue careers or trade but are faced headlong by unfriendly environment and cultural brick walls. Florida also emphasize that since every human has creative potential, the key role of culture is to create a society where talents can be attracted, mobilized and unleashed. Culture should operate not by constraining the range of Human creative possibilities but by facilitating and mobilizing them. Funnily, Lagos with the smallest landmass generates 279 billion in IGR, a somewhat summation of what all other states generate all together. The question is what has Lagos by fate or concerted effort inherited or worked on to come to such a phase.

 

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