A total of three (3) papers were presented, followed by intense and thought provoking debates.
The presentations include:
- Social Agenda: Community Development and Urban Enhancement.
- Political Agenda: Political/Governance.
- Economic Agenda: Economic Empowerment and Development.
1.2 OBSERVATIONSThe following observations were made at the Seminar:
1. That Nigeria had viable kingdoms, chiefdoms and other traditional institutions of governance, which colonialism, by European powers, destroyed.
2. That Nigeria’s pre-independence constitution had provisions for the traditional institutions in the senate, which was expunged from the post-independence constitution. Evidently because the traditional institutions are the main plank for national unity, their removal from the constitution has created a wide gap between the people and the government.
3. The greatest problem facing Nigeria’s post-colonial state is that of politics, bad governance and lack of democratic sustainability. That poor governance manifests itself in corruption, political instability, civil strife and conflicts as these impact negatively on our development efforts.
4. That the judiciary is very vital in the administration of justice in the country.
5. The proliferation of political offices and political appointees such as ministers and personal and special assistants in the executive as well as the large number of legislators in the national assembly have resulted in increased cost of governance at the expense of development.
6. That development challenges arise from bad politics, bad governance and that promotion of good governance at all levels of authority remains the greatest answer to the problem of democratic sustainability in Nigeria.
7. The approaches to economic empowerment in Nigeria including agriculture, micro-finance, loans and transfers, small and medium scale enterprises and the distribution of specific products have yielded less than desired results due to distortions in the process of implementing empowerment schemes in Nigeria.
8. The gender dimension is an enduring socio-economic and demographic reality, and has received insufficient attention under most economic empowerment programs.
9. Women who constitute a sizable proportion of the Nigerian population remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation.
1.3 RECOMMENDATIONSBased on the foregoing observations, the following recommendations emanated fom the seminar
1. That until the traditional institution is integrated into the development process in Nigeria; it will continue to experience insecurity.
2. That the political problems that confront Nigeria today, will involve a total re-inventing of political landscape.
3. That there is need for regional police and armed forces if Nigeria hopes to remain a united and indivisible country.
4. That creation of states and local governments should been done with caution to reduce enormous expenditure in maintaining them.
5. There is need to reduce the cost of elections and governance. The funds should be used to provide good roads, hospitals and schools. The emoluments of government’s political appointees should be reviewed downwards. This will make it possible for credible citizens to occupy political positions.
6. That states in Nigeria should be more autonomous in running their internal affairs.
7. That there is need for increased women participation in Nigeria’s political and economic development.
8. That there is the need for the establishment of the house of chiefs or council of chiefs in Nigeria.
9. That quality education remains the epicentre of the development process. It is the bedrock upon which rests Nigeria’s capacity for human capital development and evolving a truly enlightened and competent citizenry.
10. That the national policy on education should be reviewed and entrepreneurial education for skill acquisition should be entrenched in our school curriculum.
11. That political appointments and projects should be reviewed by imploring objective criteria in a way that core values of merit and personal achievement are given utmost attention.
12. Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path toward gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive politico-economic growth and development. Women make enormous contribution to economics whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees or by doing unpaid work at home.