OPINION: We Are At War, By Senator Dino Melaye
The problem with war is that you have no idea when it will end. What we do know is that the aftermath of war is devastation. The last time there was a cataclysmic event that affected the whole world it was the Second World War.
Coronavirus has brought the world to a watershed moment! Our lives have been affected and changed forever. With the worst economic recession since the Great Depression looming there is no going back to the way things were and there is no choice but to accept our new reality.
There is no tinkering around the edges of a system that was broken in so many ways. A system that excluded the vast majority of the world’s population from attaining their dreams and living dignified lives.
We now have a chance to think out of the box, in fact, this may be our chance to throw away the box. Just like the world changed after WW2, we are going to experience shifts and changes in international relationships and huge shifts in the flow of wealth and capital over time. This time around it is our chance as Nigerians, as Africans, as the 3rd World to contribute to the narrative.
After the second world war, empires were dismantled and lost, institutions of multilateralism were created, democracy, capitalism, and neoclassical economics became the guiding principles of the West and foisted on us as their colonies.
The Marshall Plan created a blueprint to rebuild the decimated cities of Europe and Japan which were so successful to the extent that both Germany and Japan rose out of the ashes to become economic powerhouses which were largely due to the attitude of their people.
We Need A Marshall Plan!
We need radical thought in Nigeria to bring us back from the brink. There is no ‘off the shelf’ solution for where we find ourselves. Standard monetary and stale fiscal policy measures that are constantly regurgitated will not work at this juncture.
Playing the blame game will not get us anywhere. We all know that something is wrong, in fact, many things are wrong. Ideas have always ruled the world we need to create ideas and solutions to change the problems we face today,
Our country is blessed with swathes of fertile land, countless minerals, and natural resources a young and agile population yet all the socioeconomic and political indicators keep pointing in the wrong direction.
Our nation is mired with problems from abject poverty to corruption to insurgency to killings to energy deficit to poor education to inadequate healthcare….. the list is endless. How do we change the narrative, we MUST change this narrative.
I often hear that the solution to most of these problems is to build strong institutions and stop relying on strong men. So what is the point in having strong institutions filled with flawed and ill-equipped characters? Or is it the infrastructure deficit that does not allow us to compete favorably?.
I say NO! It is not building institutions and infrastructure that will allow us to change the direction of travel, it is building people who will navigate whatever system, institution to chart the course of travel.
We are witnesses of how Nigerians leave our shores and excel in the chosen new countries. So we know it not a character or human deficit.
I believe we have a chance here to craft our Nation through building our populace by educating them to rise to the challenges of a new digital era, to safeguard their health and wellbeing, to secure their lives, and provide an enabling environment for them to thrive excel and create wealth.
The time is now…….
We must think out of the box!
We must put all hands on deck!
We must build our people!
We must build our nation!
We must secure our future!
Let’s keep thinking.
Let’s find solutions.