Tony Blair, a former UK Prime, Tony Blair, has said Nigeria has all it takes to join the ranks of first world countries, but still languishes behind as a third world country due to leadership failure in meeting the three key development parameters.
Blair who made the statement on Wednesday, at the Nigeria Bar Association 60th annual conference, listed the three key development parameters, which he said are rules based economy, human capital development and strong institutions.
He however, noted that these conditions would not be actualized in the absence of rule of Law, which he described as “absolutely vital.”
He advised that for Nigeria to move from a third world status to a developed nation, it must meet the three development parameters and develop its “infrastructure and good power generation system”.
His words: “If you ask, what does a nation have to do to be successful today? I think there are three prerequisites:
“First of all you have to have rules based economy which involves a predictable environment for investment, a climate for enterprise and business that rewards hard-work that enables companies to grow and where the infrastructure that is built in the country goes to support electricity, roads, rail, etc.”
Meanwhile, a former Governor of Anambra State and running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the last presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi, has said the Buhari administration wants to solve Nigeria’s economic problems, but obviously lack the capacity to do so.
Obi made the statement when he featured on a live interview on Arise Television in Lagos.
The former governor regretted that the current managers of the economy are not doing enough to rescue citizens from the poverty net, adding that Nigeria’s budget per capita stands at $150 compared to South Africa with $2000, Egypt $600, Algeria $1700 and Morocco $900.
“Nigeria’s budget for each citizen is not up to a quarter of the budget size per head of the four other countries listed above in Africa”. He said.
Coming down to West Africa, the businessman said Ghana’s budget per individual citizen is $455, Cote’Dvorie at $340 and Cameroun at $300, stressing that Nigeria is just about 50 percent of the budget size of Cameroun per individual citizen.
In comparison to Asia, Obi said Thailand’s budget per head is about $1500, Indonesia is over $600, Vietnam at $700 and Bangladesh which is a very poor country is at $300 which means Nigeria’s budget per head is very low when compared to countries around the world.
‘‘So the question to ask is what did they do and what are they doing? Increasing your revenue is simple. You cannot withdraw money from a bank if you do not pay in. As a country, we must invest in the critical areas of development. And those critical areas are very simple. You must fight poverty.
“We have to invest money in small businesses because the more we invest in that area, the more the country can collect more taxes to shore up revenue and pull the citizens out of poverty. People cannot pay taxes when they are in poverty. So that area of SMEs must be supported to grow’’
The former Governor said until the Federal Government invests in the people and end poverty in the country, things would only get worse for the country.