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NIMASA Boss, Peterside Lists Factors for Nigeria’s Breakthrough

By Ignatius Okpara

ENUGU NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has listed quality governance, anti-corruption, institutional integrity, sound education and economic policies as factors that can uplift any nation, including Nigeria to greatness.

Speaking during the 2016 University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Distinguished Persons Annual Lecture of the Faculty of Management held Friday at the Enugu Campus of the University (UNEC), the NIMASA boss posited that the availability of Natural Resources in the country is also a key variable.

Peterside, whose paper was entitled: “Building Blocks of a New Nigeria” also stressed that good governance remains a critical factor to the wholesome development of any nation, including Nigeria.

He said: “the principles of accountability, transparency, observance of the rule of law and basic freedom remained fundamental to any definition of good governance.

“But the ultimate determinant of good governance is the extent to which such government meets the basic needs of the greatest majority of its people.”

He observed that corruption has remained a major clog in the evolution of an egalitarian society and a major inhibitor of good governance.

The 2015 governorship candidate of the ruling All progressive Congress (APC) in Rivers State added that “it is not surprising that some of the fastest growing countries like Singapore, Rwanda and Botswana also happen to have the toughest anti-corruption regimes in the world”.

He therefore, hailed the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for its anti-corruption efforts maintaining that “this is one area where there is a growing national consensus in Nigeria, adding that the administration has truly displayed unusual courage in that regard.

According to him, “There are divergent views as to the effectiveness of current measures, but many agree that it required a lot of courage to make a start.

“It is hoped that the Nigerian public will appreciate the significance of this effort in the overall improvement of the quality of governance in the country”.

He however, suggested that the development of the capacities and capabilities of people is perhaps the greatest investment any nation can make “because a well-educated citizenry can conceptualize and implement sound economic policies based on its peculiar realities of geography, natural and human resources.

He noted that Nigeria’s challenges were historical, stressing that “what the British ceded in 1960 was a complex outcome of negotiated settlements among Nigerian elite representing first and foremost their respective regional and ethnic interests.

“There was no “pan Nigerian interest” or “pan Nigerian Agenda”. There was no “CONNECTED VISION”.

He further observed that vision is the key driver of any endeavour. “This original haziness in what constitute the overriding national vision has constantly plagued our national development in nearly every sphere.

“My key observation here and operating thesis therefore is that a nation can only endure if it is founded on an integrated and comprehensive vision (connected vision).

“Nigeria unfortunately missed that opportunity at inception, this original ‘sin’ has multiplied and contributed to the ever so frequent quest for a new nation founded on a new vision.”

He said that visions can be corrected, although it is a difficult endeavour, pointing out that it is easier for corporations to correct their visions than nations.

“A corporation can change its board and management, re-brand itself, redefine its vision and map for itself a new mission.

“This is the spirit and guiding principle behind the reform and repositioning we are championing in NIMASA.

“We are in the process of refreshing our vision and mission, we have a new Board and a visionary Management, it offers the rare opportunity to re- invent that regulatory agency and reposition it as the most efficient, effective and responsive regulatory agency in Africa, advancing Nigeria’s maritime goals”.

The NIMASA helmsman, said in spite of the prevailing challenges, there is hope in a Nigeria connected by vision which is in the horizon if the nation will retrace its steps and focus on the factors that can make Nigeria great.

“As we continue with the national quest for answers to the great questions of our time, I urge that we do a self- assessment of where we stand as nation.

“The factors that have been identified are put forward as a guide for this assessment, the solutions we endlessly seek would seem right at our doorsteps.

“But there is a great amount of political will to do what is necessary”.

The event was attended by distinguished academia from various parts of Nigeria.

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