Nigeria: Ways To Achieve Sustainable National Development.


Mr Johnson Ikube, Ex- Bank Director with over 36 years of deep, broad, multi-function work experience obtained in Banking and Finance, Consulting, Manufacturing and Construction, is CEO of Ikube Online Services.

He recently delivered a public lecture in Lagos on National and Sustainable Development and its implications for Nigeria, stating that the country must align its vision and priorities with the common needs and aspirations of the people. It is refreshing and intellectually stimulating reading and makes for reflection on the 59th anniversary of the country. THISAGE was at the event and brings you the salient excerpts:


What is National development?

. National development is the ability of a County or Countries to improve the social welfare of the people e.g. by providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, transportation infrastructure, medical care, etc.

United Nations Decade Report has defined it as “growth plus change. Change in turn is social and cultural as well as 
economic, qualitative and quantitative”.

In general usage, the development of a nation provides for such parameters as development through a planned national economy, increase in agricultural production through application of modern technical know-how, harnessing industrial production, development of human resource, application of science and technology in production sector, provision of mass education and provision of various facilities to meet the needs and aspirations of disadvantaged, deprived and poorest of the poor segments of population.

Activating these parameters is affected by challenges that include but not limited to economic growth in terms of GDP without a corresponding rise in living standards, unemployment and under-employment, high level of illiteracy, uncontrollable rapid growth of population, problems of national and emotional integration, inertia to change process, slow process of modernisation, problem of evolving a democratic, socialistic and secular order, incidence of poverty and poor standards of livings.

.The phenomenon of urbanisation and its allied malaise, lethargic attitude of people to the core value of work and unwillingness to take responsibility, mismatch between moral and scientific values, rise of phenomenon of brain- drain, useless and low-quality products of institutions of higher learning, etc. are also amongst issues to be addressed

What is Sustainable development?

It is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while simultaneously sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend.

The desired result is a state of society where living conditions and resources are used to continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system. (Wikipedia)

The United Nations has prescribed 17 goals in its 
Sustainable Development Agenda to be achieved by all nations by 2030, thus

No poverty; 2. No Hunger; 3. Good health and well being; 4. Quality education; 5. Gender Equality; 6. Clean water and sanitation; 7. Affordable and Clean Energy; 8. Decent work and Economic Growth; 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure; 10. Reduced Inequalities; 11. Sustainable cities and Communities; 12. Responsible production and consultation; 13. Climate Action; 14. Life below water; 15. Life on Land; 16. Peace, Justice and Strong institutions; Partnerships; 18. Spirituality as the only religiosity (mine addition)

Do you honestly believe that these can be achieved in the next 50 years let alone by 2030?: In Nigeria?: In the World?
If your answer is no, what will be the reasons for your answer?


The Sustainability Challenge – A framework

  1. The goals of the development should be aligned with the reason for their coming into being in the first place.
  • The enablers of its ability to continue to be.
  • This belongs in the depths of the invisible world

. The drivers of its chosen manifest results and outcomes.

.These are products of visible and conscious world of our thoughts, words and actions

  • The ability to manage the consequences if its manifested outcomes
  • The ability to continuous renewal for realignment
  • The harmony with the larger system with which it must 
necessary interact because of the interrelationships, interdependence, interconnectedness of collective humanity at both visible and invisible worlds.


There must be unbiased, compassionate, sincere and wise persons of vision that lead the nation at all levels.

Clear goals must be aligned with reason for being; Ability to continue to be; Drivers of chosen manifestations; Ability to manage the consequencies.

The enablers are ability for continuous renewal; harmony with every other system/entity; clear measures of sustainability and appropriate platforms for value delivery.

Paul Brunton laid a foundation by capturing it thus:

The pre- war world eagerly sought and avidly swallowed an overdose of pleasure to titillate the senses and of progress to gratify the mind. Yet so small was its control over life, that before long, it was forced to swallow an unsought overdose of suffering and loss.

At the very moment of its grandest triumph, when it had won the supreme conquest over material things and subtle forces, world civilisation turned into a tragedy.

Post war has led to more wars instead of more peace. It is harder to keep serene minds than before. Discouraging news is heard too often and distracting fears have become too insidious to allow us to keep serenity without earning it the hard way. Without inward peace, without outward security, modern man who for so long pitied his ancient and medieval fathers is now himself to be pitied. There are alarming features in the growth of his emotional disequilibrium and mental instability.

There are neurotic excitements and pathological turmoil, vehement passions and dangerous indecisions in his mind.

In the minds of human’s is the terribly high potentiality for evil despite his civilised appearance.

The real tragedy of modern man lie not so much in the external events themselves but as in the unprecedented ethical destitution and spiritual infirmity which glaringly reveal. Here lies the great challenge of sustainability.

Erratic behaviours by many increasing decreasing the noble and calm minds who can clearly foresee a better future and work steadily towards it in a sustainable manner…


The Sustainability Challenge

Chinua Achebe in his book, There Was A Country captured this clearly for our great Country Nigeria by bringing out the contrasting features of the country that was and the country that now is leaving us to rethink and work more harmoniously to that desired future in an intelligent and sincere manner.

To achieve this, a delicate balancing of the following variables is needed:

Essence vs Form, The Ancient vs The Modern; The Rigid vs The Flexible and the Extremes vs The Middle Path

We must remain intelligently modern while loosing sight of the pristine though prescription for sustainability. Modernity is a dress that must be worn by all to avoid abysmal failures.


The Sustainability Challenge- Nigeria in Focus

.We need to accept that while Economies Grow, it is people that really Develop. Only Developed People can sustain National Development

  • We need a constitution that properly articulates and defends the federating units in the Federation
  • We need to destroy tribal, ethnic and religious orientations to everything
  • We must enthrone spirituality as the only form of Religion
  • We need our own intelligently grown model of National Development that truly reflects our diversity.
  • We need to see our country as one whole which parts must developed according its uniqueness and potentiality
  • We need an Independent judiciary
  • We need a country in which consumers should not be 
more rewarded than the producers
  • The strength of Central Government must be dependent on an appropriate strength of the various operating Units (Local Governments & States
  • We need to move from geo-political zones to geo- economic zones
  • I have and still propose a 12 Zone structure, each headed by a Vice President. With the Country’s President that gives us a 13 member Executive Committee, large enough to address any challenges of the 12 Geo Economic Zones.
  • We need security and peace everywhere. A State police is inevitable is this search. This appropriately enable the National Police to focus on what is important to Nigeria and Nigerians as a whole
  • The biased issues of Zoning of who becomes President should be eliminated. The Zone specific agendas 
will run up to the vice Presidential level

We must focus on the youths as leaders of our tomorrow

  • Their education must focus on entrepreneurship, character, self knowledge, alignment of invisible worlds of man and the inner and out worlds of the Self
  • Their training should be on Spirituality as the only Religion.
  • They must be wired up to take responsibility for future generations, the disadvantaged and the aged in our society and for themselves
  • They should grow to be leaders and role models of a world into which they will be born at some future point in time.
  • In conclusion, we need to note that sustainable achievement requires appropriate alignment of the world within with the without in all that we feel, think, do and say.
  • It is the omniscience and by perfect design, man has been equipped with the tools and enablers and with platforms that make the alignment possible. Surely, with purpose aligned intelligent and efficient work anchored on discipline, sincerity, dedication and reverence.
  • Leaders and follower must make necessary mind shift.