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Nigeria on the right path–Former lawmaker

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By Abraham Adekunle

Capital punishment for kidnapping, state police, economic reforms priorities.

To mark Nigeria’s one year under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s leadership, news correspondents had the opportunity to sit down with Musibau Taiwo Kolawole, a former House of Representatives member from Lagos State, to discuss the country’s progress. Taiwo, who also served as deputy speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, shared his insights on the Economy, Security, and nation-building. The interview offered a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing Nigeria, and the importance of leadership in shaping the country’s future.

When asked if Nigeria had made progress worth celebrating, Taiwo said, “We’ve set a standard, and people have seen that this is a serious government. President Tinubu faces economic problems headlong and tackles them. We have a lot to celebrate, but we must work harder.” He emphasized that while there have been achievements, it’s essential to recognize that the journey to Sustainable Development is ongoing. Taiwo noted that the administration’s commitment to economic reforms, Infrastructure development, and security has laid a solid foundation for future growth.

Recommendations for curbing insecurity and kidnapping.

On economic reforms, Taiwo supported the removal of fuel Subsidies, stating, “It was unsustainable, and we were borrowing to pay Salaries. The subsidy was benefiting the rich, not the common people.” He explained that the previous government’s fuel subsidy was unrealistic and favoured the wealthy, while the current administration’s decision to remove it was a tough but necessary step towards economic recovery. Taiwo also highlighted the need for diversification, saying, “We must move away from relying on oil and focus on developing other sectors like Agriculture, Manufacturing, and tourism.”

Regarding Insecurity and Kidnapping, Taiwo emphasized the need for Capital Punishment, citing Lagos State’s success in reducing kidnapping through this measure. He also stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of insecurity, such as Poverty and Unemployment. “Kidnapping is an economic problem, not just a security issue,” he noted. “We need to create opportunities and jobs to discourage criminal behaviour.” Taiwo commended the current administration’s efforts to tackle insecurity, including the release of the list of those funding insurgents and the commitment to go after them.

His opinion on establishing state police in the country.

He dismissed former Chief of Defence Staff Theophilus Danjuma’s comment that foreigners won’t invest or visit Nigeria due to insecurity, calling it “not patriotic.” He highlighted Nigeria’s ranking as one of the happiest nations and Lagos as a must-visit city, citing the state government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and attract tourists. “Nigeria has a lot to offer, and we must showcase our potential,” he said. On State Police, Taiwo advocated for immediate implementation, citing Lagos State’s plans to establish its own police force. “We requested state police in 1999 when President Tinubu was governor of Lagos State,” he recalled. “It’s time to decentralize security and empower states to address their unique challenges.”

Also, the former lawmaker believes that state police will improve response times and enable more effective community policing. Finally, Taiwo advised President Tinubu to focus on holistic development and restructuring in his second year in office. “Government is about everything,” he said. “The President must know everything and address all areas, including development, restructuring, and representing the blueprint for Nigerian development.” Taiwo emphasized the importance of inclusive growth, saying, “We must ensure that development reaches all Nigerians, regardless of their background or location.”

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Throughout the conversation, the former Lagos lawmaker emphasized the importance of nation-building and leadership. “Nation-building requires tough decisions,” he said. “Leaders must be willing to make difficult choices to ensure a better future for their citizens.” He expressed optimism about Nigeria’s prospects, citing the current administration’s commitment to economic reforms and security. Taiwo also acknowledged the challenges ahead, including Corruption and infrastructure deficits, but believes that with sustained efforts and the right leadership, Nigeria can overcome them. As the interview concluded, it was clear that Taiwo remains committed to Nigeria’s progress and is encouraged by the steps taken so far.


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