• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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BusinessDay

Yes, Nigeria is great; but can be greater!

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Anyone who has visited other countries would know that Nigeria is a great country. I have several reasons to back this assertion. For instance, our population which is approximately 170 million people is a mark of greatness, considering the fact that Nigeria is a huge market, which can be fully harnessed for greater socio-economic value.

Nigeria is recognized as the most populous black nation in the world, with its people living, working and successful in almost every country of the world. Wherever you see Nigerians, you will recognize them: lively, friendly, boisterous, aggressive, and hardworking!

The way Nigeria has handled Ebola outbreak shows it is a great country, and should be celebrated. About 65 days after a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer imported the deadly disease into Nigeria, statistics shows a marked difference from other West African countries where the disease has claimed about 2,500 lives:

Nigeria is blessed with humongous natural resources, enough to make Nigeria the utopian land flowing with milk and honey — where poverty is alien. Available statistics show that Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of crude oil in the world, averaging 2,525 million barrels per day; and the 8th largest exporter. Our country has the 10th largest proven reserve of petroleum worldwide.

Our gas resources are enormous. Nigeria produces about 2,000 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas annually, about 40 percent is said to be flared. Nigeria is the 7th largest holder of natural gas reserves in the world. Currently, there are 187 trillion scf of natural gas reserves in Nigeria. Indeed, in 2012, Nigeria was the world’s fourth leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Nigeria is equally blessed with so many solid minerals as well as large, huge, expanse of land resources, very good soil, good weather, good sunshine and good rainfall, among others.

As a result of Nigeria’s huge market and workforce (population) and huge oil and gas resources, the country is currently the desired investment destination in Africa. In 2013 alone, Nigeria, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, attracted Foreign Direct Investment of 76 billion US Dollars. Having overtaken South Africa as the largest economy in Africa with a GDP of over $500 billion post re-basing, there is no doubt that the country is set for the world stage sitting as the world’s 26th largest economy.

In the field of football and other sports, Nigeria, no doubt, is a great country. In the movies industry, Nigeria’s Nollywood is currently ranked 2nd in the world, only behind India’s Bollywood and ahead of USA’s Hollywood.

Indeed, Nigeria is a great country. Ironically, while Nigeria earns tremendous amount of money from its crude oil, gas, Nollywood and all, it still remains a poor country!  Unable to fix its roads, hospitals, schools; unable to fund its capital projects, equip its police and armed forces; and create employment for its teeming university graduates.

How can we make Nigeria greater? Let our leaders tackle frontally the cancer of corruption, which has eaten up every facet of our society. Let’s tackle the issue of ethnicity and allow merit and excellence to thrive. Let’s talk less, and take more action! There’s much arguments, debates, conferences without concomitant action and results.  Let’s get rid of ostentatious lifestyle, let’s bring back discipline and order in public life so that the guilty can be punished. With these, I believe Nigeria would be greater! Happy 54th independence anniversary!

JOSSY NKWOCHA