FOREWORD OF THE NEW EKITI DREAM
30 YEARS SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND THE LABOUR ROOM EXPERIENCES.
Sometime in October, 2017, I was invited as a guest speaker in the Labour Room National Development Reality TV Show. I eventually met the Author of this book during the course of my presentation, well-seated beside me as the Spokesperson of the 37 Youths’ Ambassadors who represented each Nigerian State for the 60 days TV Project.
Spending several decades in the active public service to the Nation, I was opportune to visit more than seventeen countries, including USA, UK, France, Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea, among others for different professional engagements. I need to note that some countries (developing and developed) already know their destinations in the next twenty years or thereafter. Their present leaders and the subsequent ones coming into different offices already have a duty to adhere to the actualization of an established long-term developmental blueprint with a set of well-defined targets that must be carefully achieved by them within a speculated time frame.
In fact, advanced nations are sustainably built with such an attitudinal responsibility; by consistently implementing a range of effective legislative and policy tools while internal challenges are being eradicated. Sequel to this fact, for Nigeria to become a great achiever in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the government and the people must be willing to embrace some attitudinal changes. In my own perspective, a paradigm shift towards improving future activities is the true meaning of development.
Having read through this book, I can rightly point out that the quest to invent a viable approach to stimulate a sustainable development agenda in Nigeria is such a timely task, worthy to be embarked upon by patriotic citizens. As a Political Scientist, a Lawyer and an experienced Police Officer that transcends the length and breadth of Nigerian landscape, I have found out that the structural variations of all the States in Nigeria often make it unrealizable to have a single workable national-centric long-term development plan. Hence, a need for visionary citizens to proffer a workable socio-economic development blueprint for each State in Nigeria with respect to their distinct peculiarity and challenges, while also placing some pivotal sectors on the developmental scale of preference. Additionally, our duty as State-builders is to creatively invent a practicable concept of democratic fair-dealing for a sustainable development. In the first chapter of this book, the Author who represented Ekiti State in the First National Development Reality TV Show in Africa have taken the responsibility of writing this state-centric long-term socio-economic development plan for his State. I can rightly confirm that the goal of this policy book is targeted at replicating some of the foundational strategies that helped in facilitating the drastic economic success of some advanced countries, taking the Asian Tigers into consideration.
Furthermore, as we all know, Ekiti State is well-endowed with different unexploited natural and mineral resources, agrarian lands for the large-scale cultivation of food and cash crops, vast intellectual resource capacity with respect to the academic excellence of the people in Education and so many others. However, with respect to the present developmental phase of the State, there is still a glaring need to kindle for an industrialized global economy in order to meet up with the national target. Pragmatically, the high level of educational attainment in Ekiti State must be translated into physical development. The foundational step towards the actualization of this goal is by inventing, planning, experimenting and implementing a sustainable socioeconomic policy with the action-plan to actualize the long-awaited highly-industrialized and diversified economic structure in the State.
This book systemically positions the sector that needs maximum interventional attention on the scale of preference, while also itemizing the strategies for the protectionism of this long term agenda against any interfering interest, providing a feasible approach to privatization of some state-owned establishments, with an understandable stratagem on the development of higher-valued-added industries in Ekiti State. The Author further placed maximum attention on the pressing need for Ekiti State to maintain a position of economic necessity in the South-Western Nigeria, by formulating competitive health-based services needed to guard against the recurring issues of brain-drain in the health sector, inventing industrial-based products, instrumentalizing research-oriented educational services needed for technology transfer and analyzing the phenomenon of cooperative farming to yield large-scale agro-export products needed to strike trade balance, in an attempt to meet up with the citizenry demands, while also conserving the much needed foreign exchange in Nigeria.
As clearly referenced in this enterprise, the shared Confucian culture of the Asian Tigers helped their drastic economic success few decades after gaining independence. Sequel to this fact, the influence of culture and tradition of the people cannot be unconsidered while having a futuristic developmental plan, most especially when replicating the model of the socio-economic framework of these advanced nations in other part of the world. The people must be ready to set aside their personal, ideological and economic benefits for the sake of actualizing the State Government’s well laid-down long-term goals that solely depends on the youths‟ active participation in the state-building project. Undoubtedly, the future well-being of the Nigerian economy solely depends on the practical contributions of the youths to the national advancement. The Government must also create a favourable environment to institute a viable macro-economic growth targets in investment. Most importantly, stress was laid on the need for the legitimacy of the State Government to be founded on the ideals of meeting the citizenry needs.
Furthermore, the chapter two of this book seems more entertaining than the previous. It contains the Chronicles of the Author’s 60 days experiences in the Labour Room Mansion while pushing to give birth to a Superior Nation. The section is loaded with pictorial references of the dignitaries, movers and shakers, celebrities and iconic personalities who visited the applauded Labour Room Governors for well-seasoning, for diversified orientations and for an adept exposures to different professional fields. This section is also accorded with the compendium of some of his successfully solved national assignments during course of the national development programme. I can rightly conclude that, if all these diverse ethnic nationalities in Nigeria can successfully coexist for such a long period of time with minimal internal challenges: It is therefore a practicable experimental model that all the tribes in Nigeria can peacefully coexist together to maximize the strength in their diversity for their national advancement, a crystal-clear indication of sanguinity for Nigeria.
The last chapter concentrates on the pre-show activities by the Author, fulfilling the criteria required to be qualified for this national assignment. Some of the pictorial representations in this section show the active participation of the Ekiti Youths in this state-building project, by taking responsibilities. The gesture is a praise-worthy one, an assurance of enormous optimism for the Ekiti future.
I congratulate Oluwaseun for successfully representing Ekiti State for such a timely national assignment in the Labour Room National Development TV programme organized by the Nigeria Rebirth Foundation. I give you kudos for birthing this judicious input to the modernism of Ekiti State and that of Nigeria at large. Going the extra-mile to have an online driven platform (www.NewEkitiDream.com) for the sustainability of this policy document clearly depicts your jingoistic crave for a better Nigeria. For being such an articulate Engineer with timely participation in social activities; you have undeniably proven yourself as a true heir of the Fountain of Knowledge.
To conclude, I hereby recommend this book for research-oriented educationists, potential investors and most of all, to be looked-into by the present and the subsequent Ekiti State Governments for the feasible experimentation and the implementation of some viable developmental ideas therein, while also recommending it particularly to the illustrious Sons and Daughters of Ekiti at home and in the Diaspora.
Ekiti a gbe a o!
AIG. Tunde Ogunsakin (RTD.) BA, LLB, BL, Acl, Arb. (UK),
BASHORUN OF IKERE KINGDOM,