Nigeria, like many African countries are faced with this situation where the governmental or societal institutions are not solid enough to enforce certain individual behaviorisms in a way posed to advance the common good. In situations like this, spirituality and commitment to social values like Social justice and immense transparency are always very important tools towards driving the society forward. This was the interaction between Nigeria’s Vice President and a group of students from Harvard Business School who visited him at the Presidential Villa on Friday.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo noted that by introspectively assessing these values, there are immense unanimities about what is and what is not the right thing to do. However, the poignant question is whether or not individuals will do these things, or be motivated enough to do these things, or coerced to. He asserted that the importance of spirituality comes to play, as it helps by guiding people on what to do and what not to do, especially when the social institution is not solid enough to enforce these certain behaviorisms.
At least 10 Nigerians states have better GDPs than most African countries.
These students, on an excursion around Africa, asked questions ranging from leadership, spirituality and faith, governmental policies, health, economy, amongst others. Osinbajo responsively articulated his personal commitment to virtues like integrity, social justice and transparency, projecting these values as core objectives in the different religions in the country. He stated that spirituality always connoted values. According to him, he came into government with values that projected transparency and justice. We are all products of our values and fortunately, these behavioral values cut across the different religions. He added that while societies that are institutionally developed have established systems in place that are duly obeyed by the people, with offenders duly punished, in weak institutions, people have reasons to do wrong things.
Talking about the Nigeria’s perception on the international community, Osinbajo stated that it is quite important for the international communities to understand the size of Nigeria so as to better appreciate the enormity and complexities of the country’s challenges. Borno, for instance boasts of the size of the United Kingdom and probably Denmark and thus, when a crime is reported, it most likely is an incident in one remote area. He added that Nigeria’s economy is mostly compared with that of smaller African countries, when there are at least 10 states with better GDPs than these countries.
People must work towards changing inaccurate characterizations.
The Vice President also responded to some of the inconsistent characterization of Nigeria by numerous international communities, stating that while there must be consistent conversations about these stereotypes, it majorly comes down to the people and government to work towards changing these incoherent characterizations. About creativity in governance, Osinbajo asserted that there was a poignant need for more creativity and innovative policy-making in governance. While there are a load of creative heads in business, the Vice President noted that there must be more thinking heads in governance to shape policies that would enhance the country’s development.
He further discussed the education sector, wealth creation and distribution of resources that will allow more people to move up the social ladder. Narrating the process of establishing more learning centers in Maiduguri, Osinbajo stated that visiting Borno in 2015, he saw over 49,000 children that had been rendered homeless and without parents due to the Boko Haram insurgency. On having a conversation with the state governor, the idea of setting up learning centers came up. The learning center was facilitated and in 5 years, immense development had been recorded as children who could only speak Kanuri learnt to speak English, write programs and build robotics.
Visit put together to understand the V.P’s experience on the public sector.
Osinbajo also discussed the country’s economic situation, politics, the federal government’s social investment programs, energy transmission and many other socio-economic and political discourses. Whilst appreciating the given opportunity, the leader of the group, Daniel Jaiyeoba said that the visit was put together to get an insight towards the Vice President’s experiences in the public sector. The students were reportedly accompanied by the special adviser to the president on Ease of Doing Business, Jumoke Oduwole, who was said to have taught some of these students during their undergraduate years.