A Ghanian scholar, Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD, has stated that Nigeria has no business being anything but a reat nation going by the human and mineral resources that abound in the country.
Mr. Pipim said this while delivering his keynote address at an Independence Day lecture organised by the‎ Circle of Hands, a civil society group.
“But all sentiments aside, Nigeria in all ramifications has no business being anything but a great nation. And even God has made everything possible to achieve that,” ‎he said in his speech titled, Nigeria @ 54, A Risky Republic or A Republic at Risk?
‎He added: “With a country that has over 170 million people, with a nation that is blessed with such vast natural resources and pool of young people, Nigeria should be one of the most formidable countries in the world.
“It is, but mainly for the wrong reasons. With such a powerful resource base that the youths of Nigeria represents, Nigeria should be like; China in terms of manufacturing and exports, but Nigeria is currently largely the international trash bin of its exports; like the U.S in terms of security, but Nigeria now needs help with its own security; like Russia, Canada, Japan, and Israel in terms of education, but Nigeria sends its youths to different parts of the world for educational training, including to Sudan.
“Like UK, Germany, Netherlands, and the U.S in terms of healthcare, but Nigeria is engaged in a steady pilgrimage to India as its medical Mecca. And the list goes on and on in a dismal trend of what should be, but is not‎,” he said.
‎Mr. Koranteng-Pipim said that Nigeria’s growth was impaired by factors including ethnicity, religion, and pedigree, “This is the same reality in my home country, Ghana; where the colour of the sky has gradually come‎.”
A director of Circle of Hands, Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú, said the symposium and lecture was not just another talk show.
“We believe this is a call to action because we believe we are the change Nigeria needs because if everybody does his or her own part, Nigeria will be better,” he said.
She further explained the activities of the organisation stating that ‎the organisation set out to cater for the youth, civic leadership and youth empowerment.
“We are using this opportunity to sensitise the youths, this is just an opening, we plan to have clusters of youth, for example in Lagos, we plan to have two clusters in every local government and meet every week, we would empower the youths.
“Sometimes we would grant loan not more than N250,000. We mentor them through their business and when they succeed, they have to mentor other people coming behind. ‎It’s not for educated people, we are working with artisans.
“For example, we have a partnership with Honda; so if you are a mechanic, when Honda trains you and you come back, you have to train other mechanics for a particular number of years,” Mrs Ademola-Olateju said.