Mr. Benson Adikola, Chairman BOT of Child Orientation for African Development Initiative, speaks to our reporter, Anayo Oyeoka on the problems facing his organization. Excerpts;
How far has your NGO gone in helping Nigerians?
It is a very young NGO and we have been doing a lot. In the beginning our target was from the age of 5 to 16 years old and we started with Local Governments, especially the one that is close to us here in Abuja which is AMAC, and had covered the whole of the council. We have not done much because of the attitude of the donors.
Are your donors from outside Nigeria or in Nigeria?
They are from here in Nigeria.
Nigeria is now in state of recession; what is the way out?
The way out is to go back to the table. We must know where we are coming from, and able to strategize again. And what I always ask people is; who is a true Nigeria? It’s like when you know who your father is, and when things are handed over to you as a son – what have you done in that perspective? We need to go back as a way of solution, and take a look at where we were coming from and where we are going. You see when you are a father, you must define the type of father you are!
In Nigeria, just like a father that has three sons; if you concentrate on one or two when you have three sons, then you are not a good father. We are not equal; every child has its own content… we can’t be equal. That is ability in terms of performance, the IQ, because when you know who you are, you can be able to put resources well.
My advice to the leaders of this country is to look inwardly. Thank God, Nigeria is blessed with both natural and human resources…. Nigeria is an easy country to govern; a good and great country and Nigerians know what they want! I think the leaders of this great country should look at the three major tribes of this country and be able to reform…. Reformation is necessary so that we would be able to move forward.
As a Yoruba man, my ability as to what I can produce is different to what an Igbo man can achieve and the same goes to a Hausa man. As a father of the nation, you would be able to define who you are as a father. All you need to do as a father is to look at the character of your child and be able to pilot the child on the way to go.
What is your advice to the Federal Government on how to get out of many problems of Nigeria as a nation?
Our problem is that every leader in Nigeria does always have selfish agenda which is to share the national resources to his people, and until we do away with this mentality and able to coordinate our resources and be sincere to ourselves, Nigeria can never move forward.
Many are of the opinion that many years of depending on only crude oil without diversifying the economy is responsible for the recession we are now facing. What is your take on that?
What I see about Nigerian economy is that we have failed in many areas especially for our inefficiency and for not looking inwardly in terms of diversifying into other areas such as agriculture rather than mono-economy and that has led us to this recession. When you look at political interregnum in Nigeria, you will see that we are not consistence. We are concentrating so much on mono-economy and when you look at our leaders; they are not sincere. It takes concentrating on planning and strategy in transforming the economy because the sincerity of purpose enables you to achieve for your people. There are lots of countries which have one or two products but they are able to make revenues because they were able to strategize and have sound economy.