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Nigeria shouldn’t be giant in population only but all sectors, says Shehu Sani



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Sen. Shehu Sani, a civil rights activist and social critic, says Nigeria should not only be a giant of Africa in population but in all sectors of the economy.

The social critic, who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly and served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that Nigeria was not yet where it should be.

Sani spoke on the sidelines of the Inaugural Memorial Lecture of the late Publisher of Business Hallmark, Prince Emeka Obasi, with the title: “If this Giant Must Walk; Manifesto for a New Nigeria.”

He said, “We are a nation of 220 million people, and we pride ourselves as a Giant of Africa. Well, population is an asset, but what do we use that population for?

“We should be a giant in manufacturing, a giant in export, a giant in shipbuilding, a giant in car manufacturing, a giant in information technology, a giant in agriculture, a giant in education.

“Nigeria is not there yet; we shouldn’t just be giant in population.”

He wondered why Nigeria’s problems had remained intractable, calling for concrete actions for solutions to the country’s challenges.

“But why have we not found solutions to Nigeria’s problems up till today?

“It is over six decades since our political independence. Why should we still be struggling about power, water, infrastructure, about things which we could have addressed or what we should have addressed in the last five to six decades?

“I think the things we need to do for now is to prioritise our issues. We were a young nation, but we can’t call ourselves a young nation now.

Sani said, “We have all the resources and all the manpower and all the opportunity to make this country great. We are not a failed state. God has endowed Nigeria with all that we need.”

He said if Nigeria does not have water to drink and power supply with all rivers around if there is hunger with the arable land around, the problem is not God but self-inflicted.

“Nigeria has everything God should give us. Where is the solution? The first thing is that Nigeria should address the security challenges we are facing today.

“I’m a bit impressed because progress is being made, but we need to bring an end to terrorists and bandits that are destroying our country, kidnapping our people.

“We need to make a heavy investment in agriculture. Nations of the world today don’t joke with agriculture. Why should a country with such a climate with such arable land still import food?

He said, “We need to address the problems of our education sector. Most of those in power today are products of public education. Today, we cannot take our children to the schools we attended.

“So why should that be, with all the resources that we have in this country, We can give our children the best of education.”


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