Pros­per­ity in Nigeria!

Daily Trust - - VIEWS -

Nigeria - the largest econ­omy in Africa - has an un­beat­able and “en­vi­able” record of hav­ing the high­est num­ber of out-of-school chil­dren. It de­fies my com­pre­hen­sion how the largest econ­omy in Africa can­not pro­vide these chil­dren with ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion.

In a doc­u­men­tary I watched, the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture Mr Ak­in­wunmi Adesina quipped that Nigeria would im­port air if there was a way it could be pack­aged! Nigeria (per­mit me to say again: Africa’s largest econ­omy) im­ports just about any­thing you can think of. It is the world’s num­ber one im­porter of tomato paste and ar­guably, rice.

Its govern­ment-owned en­ter­prises are ever fraught with ad­min­is­tra­tive prob­lems. None of them seems to be func­tional and ef­fi­cient.

We were told re­cently that the govern­ment has plans to pri­va­tise our co­matose re­finer­ies. Re­ally, is it that the govern­ment can’t spruce up and man­age these re­finer­ies? The same thing repli­cates in the power sec­tor.

It is glar­ing then that the same con­fu­sion that pre­vails in Ocea­nia in Ge­orge Or­well’s 1984 is what ob­tains in Nigeria to­day. Though we haven’t used any con­tra­dic­tory slo­gan as they do in Ocea­nia, it is safe to say then that in 2014 this mantra quite suites us: POVERTY IS PROS­PER­ITY.

Olaniyi Olayemi, Osogbo<olayemz@ ya­>

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