Leadership Bankruptcy And Nigeria’s Poverty Rating By Segun Jones


The Nigerian constitution as drafted by the military equally did not help matters as it affected negatively the type of leadership materials that it produced after this glorious era. Many of the so-called leaders that emerged are either intellectually deformed or attained the position through the ethnocentric narrow-mindedness of our politicians who came together to paddle the canoe of the nation. We have been trapped in this vicious cycle ever since.

Nigeria’s leadership abnormality can be traced to the end of the post-colonial era which produced excellent and visionary leaders that took governance and the welfare of their people seriously.

Few weeks ago, many Nigerians were confronted with the reality of a failing state when the revelations of the World Bank, Brookings Institution and International Monetary Fund, IMF; rattled us about the state of our nation’s economy. It is no more news that Nigeria is not one of the Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa in 2018! The rating placed Ghana with a growing rate of 8.3% as number one while Niger Republic sat at number ten with a growing rate of 5.2%. Nigeria was rated at number 41 at 1.9% growing rate! That is unbelievable you may want to conclude despite the assurances of President Muhammadu Buhari that he would take the nation’s economy beyond the next level.

The firestorm of publicity that accompanied that presidential statement over the state of our economy is better imagined as another lie from the economic impostors and disheveled aides who are nothing but spin doctors.

Please allow me to vibrate your memory a bit, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Nigeria occupied the number one position in Africa as the fastest growing economy in the world. We were third as the fastest growing economy in the world in 2014. Between 2015 and 2018, what could have gone wrong?

I am aware that the never say die protagonists of the current administration would point accusing fingers at their predecessors for looting the treasure which they claimed resulted into recession. We are now used to the blame game, but when will it end? To those who thought recession occurred as a result of treasury looters, they may not be far from the truth, after all; it has become a sing-song by the current administration to cover up their financial shenanigan and inefficiency.

My understanding of what led to the nation’s recession and financial difficulties for Nigerians at large was the unguarded political statements credited to President Muhammadu Buhari across the globe as he went around lambasting Nigerians and calling them unprintable names. When a leader came out to tell the world that the people he governed are not to be trusted, that they are thieves and fraudulent homo-sapiens, then; who would want to touch such a people or invest in their future? Your opinion may be different from mine, but the beginning of capital flight from Nigeria emanated from this unfortunate sobriquet of Nigerians by Muhammadu Buhari. That was the beginning of our financial hassles.

We have continued to live in economic illusions since then, leaving our destiny in the hands of outdated experts who are guiding our leaders with their theoretical understanding that Nigeria’s economy can be boosted without setting the uncomplicated structures that complement economies at any level. These experts have forgotten that Nigeria is in the secondary development phase, with the increase in population on a daily basis. Yet; we are still relying on our decayed infrastructure and existing source of income to move the nation forward!

Nigeria’s economy cannot expand until some of these orthodox financial connoisseurs are dislodged from the nation’s development positioning. And that is where leadership comes into play. Nigeria, with all the God-given human and natural resources has no place in the poverty index of any institution. Our disadvantage has always been bad leadership and it would not go away until we get it right but, definitely not under the current arrangement.

Irrespective of our bequest in resources, from all parts of the country; or the intellectual ability of any leader we shall continue to stumble in abject poverty and slavery until our leaders stop the blame game and step on the throttle of governance to make Nigeria work again.

Nevertheless, we can make a big hit in our development knowledge process if we put our talented thinkers to work. These geniuses around the world are the drivers of their nation’s development, we can do the same here by creating a preeminence position for them in a very conducive environment to convert the real experiences of our country into development through their ingenuity.

When this is done, the intellectual bankruptcy of some of our leaders would be protected, our economy will grow and the tag, the poverty capital of the world would be abolished. No single soul would dare request for the certificate of any leader or leaders before they fix our country. Right now, we need a man with a Midas touch to make Nigeria work again.


Segun Jones is the National Coordinator of Atiku Abubakar Volunteers and Member of Eastern Union

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