By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”FORMER Presidential aide and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state, Professor Julius Ihonbvere, weekend declared that the nationâ€™s economy would continue to suffer irrespective of the on-going reforms in the banking sector, unless there is good governance anchored on constitutionalism and positive leadership.
Ihonvbere, who stated this while reviewing the 49 years of the nationâ€™s independence, during a lecture at the Church of God Mission International, Faith Arena, Benin City, explained that the deliverables of such an economic environment would involve a steady and systematic process of structural change or transformation that moves the people towards meeting their basic needs.
According to him, this will guarantee social security, reduced corruption, respect for contracts and rule of law.
Lamenting that leadership had failed the nation, in spite of efforts by the electorate to elect their leaders during elections, Ihonbvere asserted that the â€œso called leaders have demonstrated their incapacity to establish concrete foundations for good governance, thus compromising opportunities for socio-economic prosperity.
â€œHow can our universities be closed down for months and we are not finding solution? Like in the banking sector, we hailed consolidation only to discover under Sanusi that the innovation has created room for high tech financial malfeasance.
â€œThe agricultural and textile sectors claim to have huge loans or grants for investment, but where is the money for real farmers? He queried.
Ihonbvere pointed out that â€œ we ignored the Niger Delta despite several reports and studies until militants put the fear of God in our leadership.
â€œNow we are begging them, spending over N50billion to get them to surrender their weapons. In typical fashion, we remain silent on the reasons for the militancy in the first placeâ€.
He stated that â€œgood governance emerges from the right leadership at all levels. Nigeria is abundantly blessed with all that we need to move forward but we must go beyond diversions and distractions like re-branding.
â€œWe must develop the courage to tackle our challenges, contradictions and future squarely. We need true and God fearing leaders or else nothing will work, even the reforms in the banking sectorâ€.