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Entrepreneur urges leaders to set agenda for “the Nigeria we need ”

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A Nigerian Entrepreneur, Mr Pascal Dozie, has urged Nigerians to set agenda for incoming leaders after the 2023 general elections, to achieve a greater country.

Dozie, who is the founder of the defunct Diamond Bank and Chairman of Pan Atlantic University, said this in his keynote address at the ongoing National Economic Summit in Abuja.

The title of his paper was, “The Nigeria we Need ”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day, yearly summit, organised by the National Economic Summit Group (NESG), has the theme, “Shared Prosperity: 2023 and Beyond”.

According to Dozie, democratically established and rule-based governance systems are more enduring than other forms of governance.

He called on the Federal Government to “de-personalise” institutions by levelling the playing field and making it attractive to both local and foreign investors.

“Ours is an economy that urgently needs a positive regulatory environment that is private-sector driven and business-enhancing,” he said.

He called for the deployment of more inclusive and development-enabling institutions over “economic extractive” ones.

He said: “Whereas inclusive institutions bestow equal rights and enable equal opportunities, Extractive Economic Institutions (EEI) permit the elite to rule over, exploit and extract wealth from those who are not in the elite.

“In the circumstance, EEIs stymie national cohesion and development, with attendant debilitating effect on societal cohesion and development,” he said.

He called for a comprehensive review of the Land Use Act, which he described as the “most debilitating economic extractive institution” , which has allowed powerful Nigerians to allocate private and communal lands to themselves.

“In the process , citizens are denied their heritage, with attendant negative impact on agriculture by small and community-holder farmers, poverty alleviation and wealth creation.

“In this circumstance, after over four decades of unintended negative consequences, the time is ripe for a comprehensive review and amendment of the Land Use Act,” he said.

Dozie said that the Nigerian polity is crying for solutions to the insecurity bedeviling the country.

According to him, as a fundamental principle of nationhood, regardless of the cost, we must deal decisively with threats to national security in a smart, transparent, accountable and coordinated manner.

He also called on the Federal Government and Nigerian citizens to ensure that the forthcoming 2023 elections are free, fair and peaceful.

“Whereas economic and social infrastructure play important roles in crystalizing development, freedom of choice and associated “soft issues” are inalienable rights and, therefore, central to human development and sustenance.

“The Nigeria we need is one which is envisioned, negotiated and agreed upon by our founding fathers.

“A democratic, federal, secular Nigerian nation is a state in which relevant groups mutually agree on rules of engagement on an equal keel, where ethnic groups may differ, but respect and harness the good in each other,” he said. (NAN)

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