The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has attributed Nigeria’s developmental challenges to its accident of history, saying at independence the British bequeathed the leadership of the country to leaders who had no pan-Nigeria vision.
“What the British ceded in 1960 was a complex outcome of negotiated settlements among Nigerian elite representing first and foremost their respective regional and ethnic interests. There was no “pan Nigerian interest” or “pan Nigerian agenda”. There was no “Connected Vision”.
Peterside, who spoke at this year’s University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) Distinguished Persons Annual Lecture of the Faculty of Management titled “Connected Vision: Building Blocks of a New Nigeria” at the Enugu Campus of the university, pointed out that vision is the key driver of any endeavour.
“This original haziness in what constitute the overriding national vision has constantly plagued our national development in nearly every sphere. My key observation here and operating thesis therefore is that a nation can only endure if it is founded on an integrated and comprehensive vision (connected vision). Nigeria unfortunately missed that opportunity at inception. This original ‘sin’ has multiplied and contributed to the ever so frequent quest for a new nation founded on a new vision.”
He, however, said that visions can be corrected although it is a difficult endeavour. According to him, it is easier for corporations to correct their visions than nations.
“A corporation can change its board and management, re-brand itself, redefine its vision and map for itself a new mission. This is the spirit and guiding principle behind the reform and repositioning we are championing in NIMASA. We are in the process of refreshing our vision and mission, we have a new Board and a visionary management, it offers the rare opportunity to re-invent that regulatory agency and reposition it as the most efficient, effective and responsive regulatory agency in Africa, advancing Nigeria’s maritime goals”.
On Nigeria he said hope in a country connected by vision is in the horizon if the nation will retrace its steps and focus on the factors that can make Nigeria great.
“As we continue with the national quest for answers to the great questions of our time, I urge that we do a self- assessment of where we stand as nation. The factors that have been identified are put forward as a guide for this assessment. The solutions we endlessly seek would seem right at our doorsteps. But there is a great amount of political will to do what is necessary,” he said.