Some residents of Abia have called on the Federal Government to embark on programmes and policies that will further unite the diverse ethnic nationalities in the county.
The people made the call on Thursday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia, while reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s nationwide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.
Mr Chinenye Nwogu, the Special Adviser to Abia Governor on Social Investment, said that the federal government must provide an enabling environment for Nigeria to achieve cohesion and economic growth.
Nwogu also called on Nigerians to eschew ideologies and tendencies that divide rather than unite the different ethnic groups that make up the country.
He also charged government at all levels to initiate measures to tackle youth unemployment.
He expressed concern that Nigeria had yet to attain it’s full potential and called for sustainable measures to grow the economy.
Nwogu also called for measures to encourage the development of the nation’s education sector and achieve food security to meet the country’s growing population.
The Provost of Abia State College of Education Technical, Arochukwu, Dr Philip Nto, called for the immediate review of the country’s Constitution to reflect the present day reality.
Nto said that the Constitution, which was drafted by the military, ought to be reviewed to match the current needs of Nigeria in a democracy.
“There is insecurity, infrastructure decay and our national assets are being sold off.
“As a nation, we have not done much. Government should make concerted efforts to change the narrative,” he added.
Mr Nelson Nwafor, the Co-Chair of Civil Societies Organisation and Non-State Actors of Open Governance Partnership in Abia, admonished Nigerians to imbibe democratic culture.
Nwafor said that the collapse of governance structure in any country could be attributed to the collapse of its institutions, systems and policies.
He said that the recent happenings across the nation indicated that the nation’s systems were not working effectively.
He therefore called for a review of the president’s tranformation agenda.
“We ought to ensure that there is a systemic policy implementation process and mechanism for accountability to ensure an efficient use of state resources,” Nwafor said.
He said that comparing the pump price of petrol in Nigeria with what obtained in some neighbouring countries was unrealistic.
He urged the federal government to fully deregulate the oil and gas sector to create opportunities for private investors.
He opined that full deregulation would create competition and increased productivity.
According to Nwafor, the countries used in the comparison are stable, with good security network and economic sustainability plan.
He said that subsidy provided an avenue for defrauding the nation, describing the continued exportation of crude and importation of refined products as counterproductive.
He said that the nation was experiencing high unemployment rate, insecurity, collapse of national assets, infrastructure decay and rising cases of corruption among public office holders.
Nwafor appealed to the federal government to evolve a viable methodology to drive good governance, characterised by transparency and accountability.
Edited By: Sam Oditah