Renowned economist and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said Nigeria is not working because there is overdependence on government.
He disclosed this in Abuja at the High Level Public-Private Sector Forum, themed “Democracy that Delivers”, organised by the International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Solidarity Centre, USAID, Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) yesterday.
“There is too much obsession with government and we need to get other ways out of this. The obsession with government has made everyone too dependent on government. We need some balancing so that development can take place in the country,” Utomi said.
He said that democracy grows where there is respect for rule of law and organs of government.
He however laments that, “Most of those in profile offices do not have capacity for where they are serving. So there should be expertise profile so that political parties can know the people they are saddling responsibilities with.”
The Country Director of the IRI, Sentell Barnes, said that while Nigeria witnessed the first defeat of an incumbent party by the opposition party, for a shift in power in 2015, political parties continue to fall short in responding to citizen’s needs and providing critical oversight and accountability of government action.
“Parties are not ideology based, but instead, influenced by wealthy individuals and elected executive office holders who fund party administration and usurp powers of party leaders. This trend prevents political parties from exercising their independence and truly representing the consensus within the political parties. Political parties have consistently neglected their role in generating ideas and policies to be responsive to citizen priorities and concerns,” Barnes said.
He added that there are many reasons for business to have stake in operating within democratic institutions, as free market itself is a key ingredient of democracy and that unleashing the powers of individual entrepreneur in the market place to compete freely has been shown to be critical to a successful economy and to a healthy society.