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Fight for money and power bane of Nigeria’s development – Wilmot

Speaking at a recent centenary lecture at the Nigeria High Commission in London, Dr Wilmot lamented that despite its huge material and human resources, Nigeria…

Speaking at a recent centenary lecture at the Nigeria High Commission in London, Dr Wilmot lamented that despite its huge material and human resources, Nigeria continues to be the butt of jokes on leadership, but believed that the country “will prosper when true leaders emerge”.
 Dr Wilmot, who the Ibrahim Babangida military regime deported from Nigeria in 1988 for allegedly “teaching what he was not paid to teach”, said Nigeria “must look back at the beginning of its independent existence and recover its vision and direction which enabled it to reverse some of the retrogression imposed by colonial power”.
The former lecturer accused the British colonial masters of glorifying themselves for their “civilizing mission” in Nigeria in view of the fact that they didn’t leave a single university in the country, while the infrastructure they left was for extracting raw materials for export to Britain.
“In two decades after independence, Nigeria made more progress than in all the years of colonial rule”, he asserted, but regretted that Nigeria has now become one of the biggest importers of food and refined petroleum products, despite being a major petroleum producer in the world.
He argued that if Nigeria had kept the pace of development and progress during its first few years of independence, the country would be at the same level with countries like France, United Kingdom, Korea and Singapore.
Wilmot criticised the situation whereby Nigeria “exports its talents and most precious endowments” to other countries, instead of attracting them, saying that it amounts to waste of talents, “which is unforgiving.”
 He criticised Nigerian leaders for not harnessing its tourism potentials, which he said, could earn the country a fortune. Rich Nigerians, he lamented, prefer to spend fortunes abroad rather than invested them at home.

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