Former Nigerian minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, said his tenure in government successfully made Nigeria the number one destination for investments in Africa. Stating that he visited about 68 different countries, telling our stories and marketing Nigeria.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, Aganga stated that to attract Investors, the country must have a stable macroeconomic environment, and in his words, “I am afraid, what the current government needs to do now is focus on having a stable macroeconomic environment, and you cannot rely on the CBN governors alone; you need economic ministries working with the CBN to get that done, but it is critical. No investors will come into Nigeria if the macroeconomic environment is not strong, stable, and predictable”. He said that Nigeria has the opportunities and raw materials, but we need to work on the market, empower the middle class, and turn them into a strong consumer group.
Aganga said the vision he has expressed in his book “Reclaiming the Jewels Of Africa” is one where Nigeria becomes one of the most prosperous and great nations in the world. He said the book tries to address what is holding Nigeria back.
He explains that the majority of Nigerian voters are poor and illiterate, which means “we are caught in a Bermuda Triangle where leaders are chosen and decided on based on tribe, religion, and money. That means competence, character, and mission are not at the forefront of the political system we run in the country, and they have to be addressed.
The former minister says there is a lot of conflict of interest in Nigeria’s constitution and the way we operate the presidential system, and it needs to be looked at in terms of what we need to do differently in the system. He suggests there should be a new code of conduct for the people.
He reiterated that democracy is important, but it also has to be adopted in a way that works for one’s country. He said Nigeria today does not practice the true meaning of democracy, and the reason is that “the way our political system is run today does not attract some of the best people in society; they are run as platforms with no ideologies, and the internal democracy is weak”. He said it is important that political parties be strengthened.
Politics is not a route to acquire wealth but rather to serve, and those who want to serve need to do so with pride, he said, adding that a successful country or institution is bent on the values of the nation embedded in the constitution. We need values to unite us as Nigeria, but today, our values do not work, and that has to change.
He concluded by emphasizing that the cost of governance in the country must be checked to give the economy a chance to grow. He said, “There is no nation that became rich by producing raw materials without having a strong industrial base and an advanced services sector. The more you import the items you consume, the poorer you become as a nation. We need an industrial revolutionary plan immediately”.
“For Africa to be great, Nigeria has to rise.”