ENLIGHTENED AND NON-PARTISAN NATIONAL CONSENSUS AS A STRATEGY OF NATIONAL MOBILIZATION AND ECONOMIC EMANCIPATION IN A PLURALISTIC AND MULTI-ETHNIC STATE: The Malaysian Vision 2020 Development Model As A Case Study.

By BABAKEHINDE A. OWOLABI

  1. Introduction

Contemporary history has shown that countries aiming for sustainable national economic development and transformation have always had to build national consensus around four critical themes.

Firstly, they had to build national consensus on the preferred model of national development and the best roadmap to that chosen destination.

Secondly, they had to build a national consensus on the need to drive the envisaged transformation: available indigenous human and material resources locally developed appropriate and affordable technology and where possible, through indigenous entrepreneurship.

Thirdly, these countries have had to build national consensus on the need to manage their political difference so as to minimize political distractions.

Lastly, the country or nation must display and demonstrate the will power that will enable it manage ethnic and racial politics and differences, around a framework that guarantees fairness and justice to all.

Without any iota of doubt the nation of Malaysia is a good case study for any nation or country aspiring for sustainable social economic transformation devoid of any class and tribal rivalries and economic dislocations. John D. Drabble in his article titled “Economic History of Malaysia” asserted that Malaysia is generally believed as one of the most successful non-western country to have achieved relatively smooth transition from a developing nation to that of modern economic growth”

This is despite the fact that Malaysia, like Nigeria is a racially diverse and ethnicity conscious country that has experienced serious ethnic rivalries, tensions and upheavals in her journey to nationhood. The nation comprises of Malays and other indigenous peoples collectively known as the Bumpatera (57%), the Chinese (24%), the Indians (7%), and non citizens such as Indonesians, Bangladeshis, and Filipinos.

It must be noted that Malaysia’s economic miracle because Malaysians were able to build national consensus on the mannerism and methodology of its economic transformation at critical junction of its economic development.

The first was in 1970, when Prime Minister Abdul Razak Hussein persuaded Malaysians to forge a national consensus around his policy document titled the New Economic Policy (NEP); the aim of the NEP was to transform the economy from it’s over reliance on the exportation of primary goods,

In specific terms, the objectives of the New Economic Plan were to:

  • To redistribute corporate equity so that the Bumiputera’s share of equity would rise from 2% to 3)%; the share of other Malaysians from 35%to 40%; while the share of foreigners would fall from 60% to 30%,
  • To eradicate the link between race and economic function, so that the share of the Bumputera in each sector of the economy would reflect approximately their proportion of the population i.e. about 55%.
  • To eradicate poverty in respective of race. (In 1970. About 65% of the Malaysian population lived below the poverty line.

the  result  was  the reduction of the share of primary goods as a percentage of GDP from 44,3% in 1970 to 28,1%  in  1990; the share of secondary goods as a percentage of GDP rose from 28,1%  to 30,2% in 1990; while the share of tertiary as a percentage of GDP rose from37% in 1970 to 41,7% in 1990. By 1990, Malaysia has attained the status of a Newly Industrialized Country.

The second junction was in 1991,Dr. Mahathir, who was Prime Minister from 1991 – 2003, was able  to galvanize Malaysians a nation a national  a consensus around the urgency of adopting  his policy document which was titled the New Development Policy, as the national template of economic transformation. The NDP was the major plank of a longer term development program that was titled VISION 2020.

The main objectives of the NDP and consequently, the VISION 2020, were to:

  • Turn Malaysia into a fully developed economy by the year 2020.
  • Quadruple the per capita income by the year 2020.

The result was a historically unprecedented 8 – 9% growth in GDP in 1990s, using the exact words of John D. Drabble. Per capita income grew from 226 USD in 1961, to 382, 86 USD in 1071, to 11,266 USD in2018.

What these means for Nigeria and Nigerians must is that there are crucial programs and systems that we cannot afford to politicize: sustainable growth and development in critical sectors of the economy,  accessible and qualitative education, affordable and accessible healthcare delivery systems, and a productive agricultural system powered by adaptable and appropriate technologies, are chief among these.

Based on this realization, The governments and the ruling parties must be encouraged to solicit  for inputs into their program and manifestoes, policies and programs from all segments and sectors of the polity, be it students, the informal sector the organized private sector, the professions, the academia  and the growing community of independent research bodies.

On the other hand, the private sector must position itself as a facilitator of good governance by partnering and working in collaboration with the  ruling Parties and Governments, to create platforms on which professionally researched and informed inputs that can build a nationally acceptable and sustainable good governance model that enable the highly productive and innovative processes and systems will guarantee national transformations ,and around  which a national consensus on national growth and development can be built.

  1. Mobilizing The Pluralistic Nigerian State Around The All Progresive Policy Document as A Model Template Of Governance and Development.

Mario Cuomo, three term governor of New York (1983 – 1994) was quoted as saying

“Politicians campaign in poetry, but they govern in prose”

What Mario Cuomo was saying in effect is that, while it is permissible for politicians to campaign using colorful words, images and symbols, it is the responsibility of all informed stakeholders in the polity to dissect the flowers from the tweeds, separate the chaff from the grain, so that the informed stakeholders can fathom the direction and intent of and make valuable inputs to the processes of governance.

It is in light of the foregoing, that we are proposing a joint organization of  the national workshop on the theme: EXPLORING THE ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS NEXT LEVEL POLICY DOCUMENT AS A NATIONAL GOOD GOVERNANCE TEMPLATE: setting the agenda for innovative and transformational leadership.

  • APC NEXT LEVEL POLICY DOCUMENT – THE Highlights

The APC “Next Level” Policy document is divided into ten (10) sections as highlighted below:

  • Jobs
  • To engage one million (1,000,000) N power graduates.
  • To skill up ten million Nigerians under a voucher system in partnership with the private sector.
  • Jobs – Agriculture
  • Anchor borrowers scheme to support inputs and jobs to one (1) million farmers.
  • Livestock Transformation plan to create 1.5 million jobs along dairy, beef, hide and skin, blood meal, crops.
  • Agriculture mechanization Policy with tractors and processors to create five (5) million jobs.
  • Jobs – Tech and Creative
  • Provide USD500m innovation fund to tech and creative sector to create 500,000 jobs.
  • Train 200,000 youth for outsourcing market in technology services and entertainment.
  • Industrialization and jobs.
  • 6 Regional Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones.
  • Next level of 109 of Special Production and Processing Centers (SPPCs) to spur production and value additive processing.
  • Tractors and Processors Plant in each Senatorial zones.
  • Jobs in School Feeding
  • Increase Children fed from 9.2 million to Next Level 15 million.
  • 300,000 jobs created vendor sand farmers.
  • Infrastructure
  • Complete the 2nd Niger Bridge.
  • Complete the phased works of roads in each state of the federation.
  • Complete Lagos – Ibadan – Kano Rail.
  • Complete Eastern Rail (Port-Harcourt – Maiduguri
  • Complete Coastal Rail (Lagos – Calabar)
  • Broadband infrastructure
  • Treat broadband as critical infrastructure
  • After addressing uniform Right Of way charges the next level is to move broadband coverage to 120,000km of fibre network across Nigeria.
  • After partnering with Google for free internet access in key locations, next level will prioritize access to internet education, primary health care, markets and business clusters.
  • Next level –Power
  • Generation – a minimum of 1000 MW new Generation incremental power capacity per annum on the grid.
  • Distribution – to get to 7000 MW under Distribution extension programme.
  • Energizing Schools – 9 Universities will have uninterrupted power when the first phase of 37 is completed.
  • Off Grid Power –
  • Energizing markets. To light up 300 clusters and markets with clean uninterrupted off-grid power.
  • Next level People Moni Bank, Soft loans of up to 1 million naira to small traders, artisans, (carpenters, tailors, mechanics, hairdressers, barbers, plumbers, vulcanizers, and drivers.)
  • Take current number of 2.3 million beneficiaries of Trader Moni, Market Moni and Farmer Moni Schemes to 10 million Nigerians under the people Moni Scheme.
  • Help beneficiaries remove constraints such as skills, government bureaucracy and others.

 Next Level : The Entrepreneur Bank

  • Debt equity support for young entrepreneurs
  • Soft loans to support business ideas across different business value chains.
  • Business planning support
  • Profiling and tailored advisory services support for entrepreneurs.
  • Technology enabled
  • Online bank account opening,
  • Credit rating done with technology.
  • Next Level Policy
  • Ease of doing business
  • Legislate and enforce deadlines for issuance of government licenses and permits.
  • Simplify investment, customs, and trade. Immigration and production procedures.
  • MSMES
  • 109 one stop shops of all regulatory agencies (CAC,NAFDAC,SON,etc,)
  • EDUCATION
  • Every child counts will make our students digitally literate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • All teachers will be retrained to deliver digital literacy.
  • 10,000 schools per year will be remodeled to and equipped
  • Next Level Health
  • Health Insurance for all
  • Using co-sharing to share the cost between individuals , the private sector and the government,
  • The poor will be exempted from such payments.
  • 1% of consolidated fund for health
  • Inclusion in Government
  • 35% women appointments
  • To appoint more youths to boards.
  1. OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP

The objectives of this national workshop are:

  • To create a platform on which the “The Next Level “policy document can be further explored and its potentials and credentials as potential as a template for sustainable good governance and national transformation established.
  • To create a platform on which knowledgeable and informed resource persons from the different political, economic and professional affiliations would be able to make vital inputs into the “The Next Level “ policy document, thus enriching and enhancing its integrity as a potential national transformation document, and establishing as a credible policy document around which national consensus can be built.
  • To create a platform on which the “The Next Level “ policy document of the APC can be broken down into relevant data – backed actionable processes and systems that will make reliable and effective action planning possible.
  • To create a platform on which an inbuilt programmes and performance measurements and re-evaluation system can be designed, thus making policy re-evaluation and programme and projects implementation measurement and assessments an integral part of the “The Next Level” policy document.
  1. NATIONAL WORKSHOP TOPICS

In line with to organize a national workshop that will create an appropriate platform on which innovative, informed and realistic inputs that will further fine-tune and enrich the APC Next Level Policy Document, transforming it in the process into a nationally acceptable template of good governance, the topics and issues listed below will be thoroughly discussed at the workshop.

  1. Jobs creation through innovative policies and people empowerment programmes.
  2. Enabling sustainable national development through the development of critical infrastructure.
  3. Meeting the goal of uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria: the need for an appropriate privatization model.
  4. Building financial institutions that guarantee access to low interest credit for small and medium scale enterprises and the informal sector.
  5. Encouraging entrepreneurship through the establishment of special interest financial institutions.
  6. Taking Nigeria to the Next Level through innovative policies: the need to avoid the pitfall of policy summersault.
  7. Building the Next Level economy through access to digital education and infrastructure.
  8. Achieving the goal of Health Insurance for all government private sector collaboration.
  9. Achieving grater inclusion in governance through proportional and active youth – women involvement.
  10. Building educational institutions that breed nation builders: standardizing the quality of tertiary level education in Nigeria through the eradication of dichotomy federal/ state governments / private sector ownership.
  11. Designing the security infrastructure that guarantees national cohesion, peace and sustainable development.
  12. WORKSOP PARTICIPANTS

About 300 Participants are expected to attend the workshop. The participants will in the workshop are expected to be drawn from:

  • Representatives of the All Progressive Congress from the national and state chapters.
  • Representatives of other political parties
  • Representative of the labour congresses
  • Representatives of the Nigerian Union of Journalists
  • Representative of the association of senior university teaching staff
  • Representatives of Nigeria Medical Association
  • Representatives of Nigeria Bar Association
  • Representative of Nigeria Union of Teachers
  • Representatives of the organized private sector such as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; Association of Senior Staff of Banks and Financial Institutions.

 

BABAKEHINDE A. OWOLABI

MANAGING PRTNER,

VITAL VALUES LIMITED

 

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