By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Banji Akintoye, Professor of History, has said that Nigeria would continue to be poor as a country if it failed to invest in human development.
Akintoye lamented that most of the country’s youths were roaming around the street and doing nothing while the best of Nigerian citizens had left for another countries to seek greener pastures.
“Government has no plan or ideas on how to help or assist the younger generation to make it in life, our young people are there roaming the streets, educated or not educated. Millions of Nigeria youths are roaming about the streets and they called them Almajiri”
He however said from all accounts and tendencies, it would take a long time for the Nigerian economy to develop.
Akintoye stated this at the weekend while delivering a lecture titled “Nigeria: signs of our time”, organized to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Adaba 88.9FM, a private radio station in Akure, Ondo state capital.
His words, “Our country is going to get poorer. Why? Because it is human beings that build an economy. It is not capital or machinery.
“The human being who are supposed to be preparing to build the economy of Nigeria are being allowed to roam around the streets and do nothing. Many of them are running away from the poverty and hopelessness.
“The American Census Bureau said in 2013 that Nigerians are the most educated group of immigrants that have ever come to the United States.
“We are losing the people who should be here to be building our economy. I see a country that has the capabilities to be a great country. But I also see that country steadily declining and, perhaps, ultimately breaking.
“And not even breaking up in any orderly manner but breaking up in ways that can spill lots of blood all over Nigeria and spread a great deal of human suffering to the rest of West Africa. I pray that that does not happen”.
While also speaking on the anti-corruption war crusade of President Mohammadu Buhari’s led administration, Akintoye said, “The truth of the matter is that corruption is the king over Nigeria from the top to the bottom and the results is that the ordinary duty of the government to the people of Nigeria has disastrous collapsed”.
The lecture which was chaired by Olawale Oshun, the chairman of Afenifere Renewal Group, Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, said he agreed with the guest lecturer that Nigeria needed to develop its human capital.
Ojudu, who represented Ekiti Central Senatorial District at 7th National Assembly, said: “I stand by all what Baba (Prof Akintoye) has said about Nigeria that we have a lot of work to do.
He said, “Government must show more commitment because nothing can be done in the country without human capital development. We must have a rethink and come together to change the story of Nigeria.”
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