Nigeria, a market place not meant to be developed, Prof Agbedo


NSUKKA-------- Professor of Linguistics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, Christopher Agbedo, has described Nigeria as a market place, meant to be exploited, not developed. Agbedo said Nigeria was the only country in the world without any known national goals. He said that as traders put up shops that would give them minimum benefits while the trading lasted, the colonial masters and leaders who took after them positioned themselves in positions where they would exploit the nation maximally instead of developing it. According to Agbedo, who is the Head of Department, Linguistics, and other Nigerian Languages, Nigeria was the only country in the world without any known national development plan. His words, "Nigeria was originally fashioned by the colonial masters not with the intention of forging a united sovereign country. They were only interested in bringing together people of disparate nationalities not with the sole aim of developing us but to do business. "Unfortunately, our indigenous leaders did not bother to change the status quo because they were also part of the conspiracy. Have you ever asked yourself why leaders in this country run to London during electioneering campaign to obtain permission from our former colonialists? "Their allies in this country keyed into the exploitative tendencies of the colonial masters because they are beneficiaries, and that is why I said that Nigeria will never develop, it is only a market place. Nigeria is under-developing! "During the independence in 1960, those countries we now refer to as Asian Tigers (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the rest of them) were in the same level with Nigeria, economically speaking. Today, this country cannot be compared with them with any stretch of imagination. " Part of the manifestations of what I am talking about is the Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL. You will see an army general having OPL. What is the connection between an army general and oil exploration? All those Nigerians with OPL have no knowledge of oil exploration. It is just that they are in the corridors of power where they effected legislation to their favour. " This is the only country with no known national goals. What are the ideals of Nigeria which any leader that emerges in power should follow? National ideals are conceived in centuries because a country is meant to last for as many years as possible. Can you go into the history books and say this is our national goals which leaders are supposed to key into in line with the national development plan? There is no such a thing. That is why from 1960 till present, there is no continuity in policies and programmes. "What we have is policy somersault. A government will come into power and bring programmes that will sustain it through the number of years that it is going to stay in the office. From 1990 to 2015, People's Democratic Party, PDP, was in power. For 16 years, we had one political party in power but they could not maintain consistency in policies and programmes. Olusegun Obasanjo came with National Economic Empowerment Development; Musa Yar'Adua came with seven-point Agenda; Goodluck Jonathan started Transformation Agenda. " If a political party cannot consolidate on its programmes, do you expect an opposition to do that? All Progressives Congress, APC, started with Change Mantra. For four years, we got stuck in the 'Change', and after four years, it changed to Next Level. Next Level of what? This is the same political party. Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the present administration has no bearing with the policies and programmes of former governments in Nigeria. Is that how a country is going to develop?." However, Agbedo said that Nigeria can still disappoint her colonial masters by taking practical steps towards forging a united country which he said should start with the linguistic perspectives. He recommended that there should be practical national language planning which should serve as a channel to convey all her development needs to the people in a language they are familiar with.

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