How to grow a virile economy for Nigeria at 50, by stakeholders

By Babs Odukoya   |   24 December 2009   |   7:18 am  

“At 50, Nigeria faces the challenge of expanding its economy to fulfill the needs of her teeming population while competing with other countries in a globalised export-oriented economy”, Rabo said.

As part of efforts at tackling the challenge, he said the group has planned a 12-month programme of activities tagged Ôthe Nigerian ExperienceÕ which would be actualised through Public-Private Partnership.

He explained: “The vision of the initiative is to put Nigerians Ôback to workÕ by promoting the productivity and dignity of labourÕs ideals of yester-years when Nigeria was a leading producer of many commodities such as cocoa, groundnut, rubber, cotton, palm oil etc`Õ.

Rabo added that the initiative includes a historic trade exposition at the Nigeria village square- a living history cultural theme park at the foot of the famous Zuma Rock opened in 1999.

“The theme of the exhibition, he continued, is “Our future lies in our pastÕ, with the sub-theme: ÔWe all live by selling somethingÕ, which is built around the premise that business considerations, rather than politics was the driving force behind the creation of Nigeria”. The ALLSTATES group boss stated further that famous icons of NigeriaÕs socio-economic heritage, such as the famous cocoa trade, the coal mine and the groundnut pyramid of the pre-independence and immediate post-independence era would be showcased at the exhibition, just as exhibitors, corporate organisations-past and present- would also tell their stories.

Other activities, all of which would hold at Zuma rock, according to Rabo, included a summer youth camp planned for August next year, an essay and art competition and a dance drama among others.

Also speaking at the forum, the co-ordinator of the initiative, Mr. Kola Raji, described it as a rebranding project that would ginger government to be more committed to NigeriaÕs transformation to a leading economy.

“MalaysiaÕs history changed when the country clocked 50. That is what we want to achieve in Nigeria”, he said.

One way out, he added, is the Ôone village one product idea under the initiative.

He explained: “Every village in Nigeria has a product, which if well developed could ensure economic turn-around, not only for the village but the entire country. So, the exhibition would stir all of us up to resolve for a better Nigeria and move forward”.

The President, Association of Gallery Owners Association of Nigeria, Mr. Frank Okonta, assured that all sectors of the economy would be impacted on with the new initiative.

“For instance, the best art work or artist in our quest for a design for the one village, one product initiative would win one million naira,” he said.

The Managing Director of INFOGEM – the projectÕs Marketing company, Mr. Ayo Olumoko assured that the Organised Private Sector would play necessary roles to ensure its success.

“We are already discussing sponsorship and other issues,” he assured.



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