A former Minister of Industry and delegate representing Oyo State at the ongoing National Conference, Dr. Onikepo Akande, has advised the Federal Government to embark on infrastructural development and industrialisation to solve Nigeria’s problems.
Referring to page 11 of President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech to the National Conference 2014, Akande said unemployment still remained a disturbing social issue in the polity.
She said, “My concern is about rapid development and national prosperity. Unemployment is a major problem in Nigeria. The immigration recruitment is still fresh in our minds. There are many unemployed and unemployable youths.
“There is also biting poverty and lack of whitecollar jobs. I would suggest sir that entrepreneurship should be encouraged and skills acquisition centres to be provided.”
According to her, infrastructural development and industrialisation are the key to economic development, employment generation and poverty alleviation.
Lamenting that terrorism was a threat to development in Nigeria, Akande appealed to delegates to speak with open minds and decorum to chart a way forward for the nation.
She said, “Insurgency and terrorism is a new dimension to our national challenge, which needs to be firmly and creatively dealt with. Nothing much would happen in an economy where the security of lives and properties cannot be guaranteed.
“This National Conference is a landmark journey that will make us stronger as a nation. Let us do our best at this conference so that history will remember us for having served our nation well.”
In his contribution, a former Kebbi Governor, Adamu Aliero, called for devolution of power to state and local government.
He said, “There is too much power concentrated at the centre to the extent that what the state and local Governments are supposed to do are now being done by the Federal Government. Power should devolve from the federal to the states and local governments.
“In devolving these powers, we must make sure that matching fund is provided to the states and local governments in order to perform those functions hitherto performed by the Federal Government.
“In order to maintain a balance, the mineral resources available in every state should be explored so that each state will have something to contribute to the centre. By so doing, we would have a balanced relationship. All these issues of resource control, revenue allocation will cease to exist.”
In his contribution, Ambassador Adamu Aliyu, said Nigeria was suffering from system and structural failure.