In a recent interview with Ambassador Akinremi Bolaji, the Director of Economic, Trade, and Investment at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Nigeria, The public servant has argued concerning the current socio-economic challenges facing the nation that the nation has not gotten to a state of comatose and discussed the path forward for Nigeria from his wealth of knowledge and experience.
The ambassador acknowledged the grappling state of the economy but argued that it will in fact be an over statement to say that the nation is in a state of comatose especially taking into account the size of the nation and the continued resilience displayed by the people especially in such volatile economy.
While acknowledging the pressing issues that Nigeria faces, he also expressed optimism about the future. He noted that while Nigeria may not be completely out of the woods, the hardest times appear to be behind, particularly after May 29.
He stressed the importance of tenacity and taking steps toward progress.
Drawing on his experience as a commissioner to Singapore, Bolaji highlighted the significance of making sound decisions and continuing to make them. He cited Singapore as a prime example of a nation that has flourished due to making the right choices over time.
Bolaji expressed confidence in the decisions that Nigeria has made so far, emphasizing the need to build on the gains made. He called on Nigerians to have faith in the leadership that has put the country on the right track. He rejected the notion that the country is in a comatose state and noted that economic challenges exist in every nation, even in developed countries like the United States, which grapple with substantial debt.
“I think Nigeria has made some wise decisions for now. God gave the president and the people the grace to let the fruit of those decisions mature and not to deviate so that we are not two steps forward, one step backward. But like I said, the hardest time is over.
We need now to build on the gains because I tell you the truth, if Nigerians are complaining now, I wonder where they were before May 29. So is it now the president who has put the right foot forward? You should have faith”.
He also pointed out that Nigeria’s vibrancy, natural resources, and hardworking populace provide solid foundation for progress. He believed that with the right management skills and effective revenue collection, Nigeria could overcome many of its challenges.
He also praised recent appointments within the government, such as Mr. Bashir Adeniyi Adewale as the Comptroller General of Customs and Zaccheaus… as the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), suggesting that these appointments could lead to improvements in internally generated revenue.
He also emphasized the importance of motivation and effort from the private sector and civil servants, highlighting their role in driving economic growth. He noted that Nigeria’s engagement in various international business forums was a testament to its commitment to fostering economic growth.
While acknowledging that not all Nigerians are thriving, Bolaji stressed that there is hope for the country, given the strong sense of community and unity that exists. He underlined the need for proper resource management and a good tax system to eliminate poverty.
He concluded by saying that Nigeria’s economy was resilient and that the nation should focus on what it can grow and consume locally. Bolaji encouraged Nigerians to set their minds on domestic products and agriculture to reduce dependency on foreign goods.
Ambassador Akinremi Bolaji‘s interview shows optimism for Nigeria’s future and emphasizes the nation’s potential for growth and development. While acknowledging the challenges, he believes that Nigeria is not in a state of comatose and that with concerted efforts and proper management; the country can overcome its obstacles and thrive.