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A Solution for Nigeria’s Poverty Issue – Wande Abimbola

In this interview with Wande Abimbola, a former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, he discusses various aspects of Nigeria’s development, challenges, and potential solutions. Here are some key points from the interview:

Assessment of Nigeria’s Journey: Abimbola believes that Nigeria has fared fairly well in its years of independence. He acknowledges the challenges the country has faced, including periods of military rule and mismanagement of oil resources. Still, he views democracy as thriving and notes that Nigeria remains the largest economy in Africa.

Impact of Military Rule: Abimbola criticizes the impact of military rule on Nigeria’s development. He particularly points out the scrapping of the regional system of government as a major blemish, stating that the regional system had contributed to the country’s progress.

Language in Education: Abimbola emphasizes the importance of using Nigeria’s major languages in the education system, from primary to university level. He sees it as a necessary step for genuine independence and national unity.

Regional System: Abimbola advocates for a return to the regional system of government, suggesting that Nigeria could recognize the six geopolitical zones as a compromise. He believes that this would lead to greater development and cohesion.

Excessive States: He criticizes the current state structure, calling it neither manageable nor sustainable. Abimbola believes that Nigeria’s fragmentation into so many states contributes to its poverty and misery.

Amalgamation: Abimbola agrees that the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates by Lord Lugard has not been entirely beneficial for Nigeria. He argues that the regional structure would have been a better fit.

Loss of Indigenous Values: Abimbola expresses concern about the loss of indigenous values in Nigeria, particularly due to the influence of world religions. He emphasizes the need to preserve and embrace indigenous values and practices.

Religious Tolerance: He advocates for religious tolerance and criticizes any form of intolerance or discrimination based on religion.

Security: Abimbola highlights the need for improved security in Nigeria. He believes that President Bola Tinubu should prioritize eradicating insecurity, making it safe for citizens to travel across the country.

Part-time Legislature: Abimbola supports the idea of a part-time legislature in Nigeria, citing the high cost of the current system. He believes that lawmakers should earn allowances instead of salaries.

Focus on Productivity: He stresses the importance of increasing productivity and diversifying the Nigerian economy beyond oil to improve the value of the currency.

Revamping Education: Abimbola calls for a revamp of university curricula to include practical skills that will enable graduates to be self-employed. He also supports the government’s efforts to provide student loans to indigent students.

Community Efforts: He encourages the revival of communal efforts and self-help projects to address basic infrastructure needs and reduce dependence on the government.

Overall, Wande Abimbola offers a perspective on Nigeria’s challenges and potential solutions, emphasizing the importance of preserving indigenous values, improving governance, and fostering self-reliance.

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