The Punch

Nigeria’s poverty situation unacceptab­le –Adesina

- Alexander okere

THE President of the African Developmen­t Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has decried the rising level of unemployme­nt in Nigeria, adding that with its abundant natural resources, Nigeria’s poverty situation was unacceptab­le.

Adesina, who stated this while speaking on ‘Building a New Nigeria: Imperative­s for Shared Prosperity’, at the convocatio­n lecture of the American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State, on Saturday, said there were too many Nigerians living below the poverty line.

The former Minister of Agricultur­e, who said Nigerians deserved wealth, rather than poverty, lamented that 38.5 per cent of the youths were unemployed, lacked skills, economic opportunit­ies and had become angry and restless as “they look at a future that does not give them hope”.

He said, “I speak to you today as a Nigerian. As I have quite often said, I will live as a Nigerian, die as a Nigerian, and on the resurrecti­on morning, I will ask God for permission to rise as a Nigerian, with the green-white-green flag in my hand!

“Nigeria is blessed with incredibly rich diversity: of people, of cultures, of religions, of mineral resources, oil, and gas, amazingly rich biodiversi­ty, that should make us the envy of the world. We are blessed with abundantly diverse agro-ecologies that should also make us a land of bountiful harvests with the capacity to feed Africa.

“We are a religious nation, so we should understand that God loves diversity. The diversity of rich and brilliant colours that we see in our forests, oceans, seas, and in flora and fauna, reflect the beauty of the Creator. Therefore, our diversity is not our problem.

“Diversity is our strength. But when mismanaged, diversity becomes divergence. Rather than unite, we become splintered, with each entity believing that, somehow, it is better without the other. We must manage diversity for collective good.”

Adesina said the country must address the fundamenta­l reasons for ongoing agitations by allowing for open national dialogues without preconditi­ons.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria