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Wednesday 22 November 2017
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Atiku on restructuring: Takeaways from Enugu

 

‘We all lose when we do not restructure’

By John Eche

 

Former Vice-President and long-standing presidential aspirant, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was in Enugu recently as a guest of the Senior Staff Club of the University of Nigeria. The topic of discourse was restructuring, one that he has lately been noted as being one of the most impassioned commentators on.

 

Here are takeaways from that outing:

 

‘According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, of the 10 million Nigerian youths who wrote the UTME since 2010, only 26% gained admission into Nigerian universities. That left out 74% that could not get in.’

 

‘In 2016, 60,000 Nigerian students spent 300 billion Naira on education in Ghanaian universities. In that same period 18,000 of our youths spent 162 billion Naira in the U.K.  Altogether, Nigerians spend a yearly average of 1 trillion Naira on foreign education.’

 

‘Nations do not become wealthy by having state of the art luxuries. They become wealthy by having state of the art schools.’

 

‘Nigeria is blessed with huge oil and gas deposits, but we will not become wealthy by merely selling more crude oil or more LNG. Our wealth must be tied to the productive capacity of our people. What is in our brains beats what is in our grounds.’

 

‘Before the discovery of oil in commercial quantities, the Saudi Royal Family received medical treatment from the University College Hospital, Ibadan. More than 50 years after the discovery of oil in commercial quantities our own leaders now depend on others for their healthcare.’

 

‘Automobile manufacturers such as Volvo and Peugeot have announced plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars. This is not a conspiracy. It is a fact. The man just elected as France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, has told the world that petrol and diesel cars will be illegal to make or sell in France by 2040. Norway has said it will do the same but earlier: by 2025.’

 

‘If Anambra, a state that suffers from soil erosion and has a very high population density, can export £5 million worth of pumpkin leaves to foreign nations, 1 million tubers of yam to Europe and millions of dollars-worth of scent leaves, locally known as nchụanwụ, then much larger states like Kano, Borno, Kaduna, Kwara, Ogun and Rivers should be able to do even more.’

 

Atiku Abubakar

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