Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Saturday revealed his desire to see Nigeria’s crude oil dry up because the wealth from it has become a hindrance preventing the country from thinking deep on how to move out of underdevelopment.
The governor stated this when he spoke on the topic “Public Policy research should promote national consensus” in Ibadan at the 2017 Town Hall Meeting/ Founder’s Day Celebration in memory of renowned economist, Professor Ojetunji Aboyade.
“We get easy money, we do not collect taxes and our taxes are six per cent of Gross Domestic Product; that is an average of 21 per cent. We stop respecting the intellectuals that we have in our universities because we get easy money.
“This is very sad, I wish the oil will dry up so that we can begin to use our brains because we have stopped using our brains and we have stopped respecting intellects because of easy money.”
Speaking on the issue of federal character he said, “To complement the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, we must have discourse around the imperative of a project dedicated to enabling equal opportunity so that the circumstances of a citizen’s birth don’t prescribe his or her ceiling in life.
“How can we promote a national subscription to meritocracy? How can we ensure that the imperative of reflecting federal character does not become the enemy of merit and quality of appointments? Today, we don’t plan. We don’t have national plan and if we don’t plan, we are planning to fail.
“Having suffered brain drain, how do we attract back our Diaspora and the brain-gain associated with it like the Chinese and Indians have witnessed? These are the questions a distributive mentality around easy oil revenues is dodging.
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“The earlier the oil dries up the better for our national ability to think, be innovative and respect intellect and academic achievement.
El-Rufai, who was the special guest of honour at the event, said on policing, “It is obvious that Nigeria is severely under-policed, and will require more personnel, intelligence assets, better training, technology and equipment for its security agencies for the country to be a credible guarantor of security”.
While he made a fresh case for state policing, he however warned that federal character policy should not be allowed to become an enemy of merit in appointments.
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