Nigeria

#NigeriaAt60: Here are hot takes from the 2020 edition of #ThePlatformNG

There are a number of platforms that consider the digressive nature of stagnancy and make efforts to cause conversations that promote progressive development in Nigeria. They understand that Nigerian youth have little or no interest in spending time at the driver’s seat of the nation’s progress and make efforts to shine the light on the reason(s) such dispositions cannot take Nigeria to the place it needs to be.

Since 2010, The Platform Nigeria takes centre stage every October 1, when Nigeria celebrates its independence anniversary, bringing together politicians, experts, the government and the people, who connect the dots of the past and the present.

In celebration of the 60th independence of Nigeria, The Platform hosted a virtual event that had a series of workshops on ‘Nigeria, its current state and what lies ahead’ and welcomed the likes of the minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Sanusi Lamido, Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Pastor (Dr) Tunde Bakare, Osita Chidoka, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, Jared Cohen, Dr Christopher Kolade, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Atedo Peterside, Arunma Oteh, Anne-Marie Slaughter.

The conversations centred on insecurity, economy, gerontocracy, education, health, etc, and has continued on social media.

Here are a few reactions on Twitter:

Here are a few takes on some of the key topics discussed:

Fighting corruption and insecurity:  Where many Nigerians think that Nigerian politicians are generally corrupt, many politicians also think the same of Nigerians. The fight against corruption has become an anthem that many Nigerian politicians resound as part of their key job. On corruption in Nigeria, the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stated that Nigeria has done more than any country in fighting corruption.

According to Ribadu, the fight against corruption is a fight against everyone in Nigeria – and Nigeria as a nation has done so much.

The disconnect between the private and public sector: Speaking on the way forward for the economy of the nation, His Royal Highness (HRH) Sanusi Lamido spoke on the monocultural nature of Nigeria. According to him, the pandemic also highlighted the fact that the economy should be seeing progressive changes. Lamido called for the continuance of major reforms as he praised the removal of fuel subsidy, the modified electricity tariff and the latest update concerning the NNPC.

Lamido also commended the transparency of the government in recent times and urged Nigerians to be patient with the government. He also urged the government to explore the production of goods and services and a heavy focus on Nigeria’s human capital.

The Unity of Nigeria: Former aviation minister Osita Chidoka lamented insurgency in the Northeast that has threatened the unity of Nigeria. He pointed out that Boko Haram and bad governance has created tension across the ethnic groups in Nigeria. Osita also stated that many Nigerians are already buying the idea of disintegration and the government has facilitated it.

Professor Koyinsola Ajayi also implored Nigerians to look at our diversity as a sense of belonging and a strength. He argued that Nigerians are at peace with each other and the awareness of our differences is only heightened by those in power.

The Buhari-led administration: The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola hinted that the president will do all he can to fix Nigeria and urged Nigerians to be patient.

He pointed out that the government is working on investing in human capital and said that part of the recovery plans will cover small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

Former vice presidential candidate, Tunde Bakare strongly negated the policies of the Buhari-led administration as he slammed him for failing to deliver on his campaign promises.

The position of the Nigerian Youth and gerontocracy: Atedo Peterside, founder, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc spoke on the position of the youth in the Nigerian economy and politics. Atedo stated that many old people in power keep preaching that the youth is the way forward for Nigerians but are reluctant to let go of their positions for the younger generation.

He went further to point out the disadvantage of recycling old political actors as he implored the youth to show more interest in politics.

The conversation continues, but the debates should spur the populace to do more.

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