Okebukola tasks President-elect on graft, development
THE former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, has advised the President-elect, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to strive and reduce corruption by at least 80 per cent to put Nigeria back on the path of socio-economic righteousness.
Okebukola, who emphatically stated that corruption could hardly be eliminated, said if the incoming administration is able to cut down corruption by 80 per cent and invests the savings in education, power, agriculture and solid minerals, the depressing Nigerian economy would be taken off the life-support.
The former NUC Secretary, who spoke at the 44th convocation lecture of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), entitled “Taking Advantage of a Depressing Nigerian Economy to Accelerate Socio-Economic Development,” said that the country’s declining fortune could be put to a great advantage with right investments in key areas that will spur growth.
According to him: “The theme of this lecture would have been different if we did not have an economy with holes punctured by corruption in high and low places. In about four weeks, Buhari’s administration will assume the reigns of governance and set in motion its much-touted machinery of ‘change’.
All Nigerians are eagerly awaiting change in the economy, security, provision of infrastructure and general well-being of the citizenry.
“For this administration to accelerate economic development, Buhari should plan for a $45 per barrel oil for the next two years; cut down on corruption by 80 per cent; reduce cost of running government and wastage in public expenditure by 45 per cent; and diversify the economy by a factor of 2.5.
The resultant will be the same as if we were earning $124 per barrel from oil. “He should within the limited resources available to government, catalyse socio-economic development by increasing investment in four priority areas: education, power, agriculture and solid minerals.”
Okebukola, who advised that distribution of investment in the education sector should adopt a system approach where all variables in the input, process and output clusters in education are served, further said:
“Within the systems model, at least 20 per cent of the investment in education should address teachers’ quality and quantity and 35 per cent on facilities and learner-friendly environment.
“More creative investment in the power sector is needed beyond the present reforms which have been tardy in yielding positive returns.” He, therefore, urged the President-elect to appreciate the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in the progress made in key sectors of the economy, which according to him, were built on the gains of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.