Nigeria is just two years away from becoming a 100years post amalgamation.Yet, when the United States of America, USA, celebrated her second centenary in 1976, the escapist wisdom dominant in Nigeria at that time was simply that Nigeria was merely 37years as an independent nation.
Today, that excuse no longer suffices because by the time America was two years from its first centenary, it had wrought many wonders. What wisdom has Nigeria wrought?
The new wisdom is about Nigeria becoming one of the greatest 20 economies of the world by 2020. A tall dream! In this interview with Chief Richard Osuolale Abimbola Akinjide, CON, SAN, FCI Arb. FCE, reflects on Nigeria, two years from its centenary post amalgamation. Excerpts:
The things he sees of Nigeria two years before its centenary as an amalgamated body?
Some times success, some times disappointment.
I do not want to make a judgment of which one is bigger than the other. But something over which I have no doubt is that Nigeria should have been a bigger and better country than what we are today.
At independence Nigeria was far better than Singapore and Malaysia and a number of other countries of the world; but today, Nigeria is not what it should be and I think the problem is human; it’s a human problem.
It is not a question of resources because we’ve got enormous resources – is it cocoa, groundnut, oil and gas, rubber? We’ve got everything.
The critical factor is what do you make of what you produce and what do you make of the proceeds of what you produce? Look at Sierra Leone, it was founded before Australia and Switzerland but look at these two Western countries and look at where Sierra Leone is – our African neighbour is one of the worst in the world.
If you look at geo-politics globally the most advanced countries are America, Europe, China, Russia, Japan and those next to them are India, middle East and the Latin American countries and the most backward is the African continent.
Is it a black thing? Is it because we are blacks?
It has nothing to do with race because if you look at the United States you would discover that some of those who are also making advancement in science and technology and other spheres, you have blacks among them.