From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has emphasized the pertinent need for a new constitution that will encourage production of goods and services, with less emphasis on consumption to be instituted in Nigeria.
Nwodo said the 1999 constitution which is presently in vogue was imposed on Nigerians by the military regime with less focus on how to stir the nation’s economy to greater heights.
He dropped this hints at the monthly , forum known as ‘Nkata Umuibe’ organized by an Igbo elite pressure group with focus on searching and projecting credible Igbo sons and daughters to represent the zone in all ramifications of human endeavour, held at Enugu Sports Club at the weekend.
He explained the need to revitalize Nigerian economy along production of goods and services is the backbone of Ohanaeze’s clarion call for restructuring of the country, stating the defunct regional governments were competing effectively on production of goods and services, and making contribution to the central government.
His words, “our constitution was formed with a motive for consumption and not for production. There was nothing to ginger leadership and growth.
“Does it not worry you that Nigeria is the greatest producer of cassava in the whole world, but we cannot even boast of exporting ethanol, cassava flour or any other product made from cassava.
“Are we not surprised that we are the second largest producer of tomato fruits in Africa,yet Nigeria is the largest importer of tomato products. Are we not surprised that we are among rich oil mineral countries, yet Nigeria imports fuel.”
Nwodo asserted that our quest for national development will not be achieved until Nigerian government encourages more of production of goods and services, with less emphasis on consumption.
He insisted the nation’s development agenda can only be achieved through restructuring, that will enable the various states to maximise production of deposits and services available in its area and make contribution to the central government.
He mentioned that the defunct Eastern region was once the fastest growing economy in the world, through production of palm products and other forms of Agriculture.
He lamented that the present system of government in the country as provided by the constitution derails initiative in production and doesn’t encourage visionary leaders to emerge.
Nwodo stated “the present party system in Nigeria does not provide room for good leaders to emerge. The parties are owned by stakeholders. But it is happening because the young people are docile. There are young people who are brilliant. Nobody will give you power. You people have to struggle for it’.
Earlier on, Hon Emeka Etiaba, the son of Virgy Etiaba, a former deputy governor of Anambra state delivered a lecture on the quest for Servant Leaders across Igbo land, as a means of discovering the lost glory of Igbo nation and stirring Igbo land on the right track of development.
The participants/discussants at the forum which was for the month of March include, Chief Chile Madueke, Managing Director, Urban Radio Enugu, Chief Mrs Lauretta Aniagolu, Prince Sir Chris Atuegwu, Managing Director, Michelle Laboratories Enugu, Professor Bartho Okolo, former Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria(UNN), among other class of elites, businessmen and the youths.