BY TOPE FAYEHUN, Akure
The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has urged stakeholders in the Nigeria project to work towards a new country.
Adesina, at a Public Lecture titled “Towards A New Nigeria: From Federal Fatherism To A CommonWealth”, said with good governance, better accountability system and a zero-tolerance for corruption, more economically stronger constituents states would emerge.
At the lecture which was delivered virtually, Adesina called for a change in the relational mindset between the states and the Federal Government.
According to him, the fulcrum should be the states, while the center would support them and not lord over them.
Adesina who said there should be a new Nigeria where massive wealth would be unleashed across the states noted that Nigeria’s federalism does not grow its constituent entities but simply makes them perpetually dependent.
His words: “The total value of bitumen reserves in Nigeria could be worth up to $1.5Million, with an estimated 16 billion barrels in Ondo State, the potential state wealth from bitumen alone could be worth $657B. The paradox however is that Nigeria spends over N300B importing Bitumen.
”Given its vast resources in bitumen, Ondo State should have the best roads in Nigeria. But its roads are barely tarred with Bitumen. That is the irony of Nigeria; it imports what it has in abundance and leaves its resources untapped.
”Ondo state’s wealth is not seen. It’s locked under the ground. The state ranks number 13 of the Top 20 states in Nigeria in terms of its GDP, estimated at $8.4Billion. That’s the irony of Nigeria’s States: They are poor in the midst of plenty.”
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