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When Shall We Say Nigeria First?

By Fenny J Fwa

I’m deeply worried with our attitude to the development of our Country. These are some attitudes if not jettisoned, we shall never grow.

Dangote the richest African, courtesy of Nigeria from Kano instead of spending mega bucks on Kano pillars football Club to be a continental brand that will win the much sought after CAF cup and rule Africa, he has his mind set on buying Arsenal being the fan of the team. Same with Alh Atiku Abubakar who could invest small bucks and own Adamawa united and make it an unbeatable team with our arrays of football talents in Nigeria, but he is a fanatical supporter of Arsenal. Fashola the most powerful minister in Nigeria was the Governor of lagos, the richest state in the country. For 8 years instead of resuscitating the most awesome club in Nigeria the then Lagos stationary stores that was comatose for long, was busy supporting Man U. Can’t we borrow a leaf from African Arab countries where their richest business men had developed their local clubs and are making profits. We have the Arab contractors and Zamalek football clubs in Egypt, the Esperance club in Tunisia. These clubs have bought our players cheaply groomed them and sold them some for few million dollars. Emmanuel Aumunike was bought from Enugu Rangers by Zamalek football club of Egypt and sold to sporting Lisbon. John Utaka was bought from Enugu Rangers before being sold to Ismaily club of Egypt and sold to clubs in France and ended up with Portsmouth in England . Micheal Eneramo was bought from Lobi stars of Makurdi by Esperance club of Tunisia and sold to Ettifaq club of Saudi Arabia. These are few examples.

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Beside these big shots, the most annoying is that we the fanatical foreign club supporters like Sunny Moniedafe and Muhammad Musa Deji can kill you if you dare criticize Arsenal. Nigerians hardly talk about our local clubs. This is height of un patriotism and has resonated in all the nooks and crannies of the country. I was in UK and we were watching a game with an English man. The match was between Arsenal and Chelsea and got so emotional about the frailties of Arsenal. We got talking he never showed Interest and told me that he was not bothered about any club except Leeds his favorite club which he hoped would qualify from second division to nationwide. Why was the man more concerned about Leeds a lowly club at that time, he said because he hailed from Leeds. That made me look stupid. Folks please let us learn from this people that brought us civilization, including football, my locality first.
This misnomer is palpable also in the areas of developing our facilities. We chose to ignore that and go for foreign ones. Look at the area of tourism. Gambia has nothing compared to us in terms of tourism, but foreigners visit the country in large numbers because they were able to develop few of their tourist centres. Here we are despite our enormous tourism potentials, we failed to develop them.

The most disturbing critical issue is our penchant for Medical tourism. We failed to develop our medical facilities to the extent that and our number citizen had to spend close to 6 months in UK taking the two medical vacations. We have about 27,000 medical doctors in USA alone. If only we can develop our infrastructures and medical facilities, make the renumeration of critical professionals in medical and academic fields attractive, then our professional will come back home to man these medical and infrastructural facilities. India has developed their medical facilities to such an extent that it makes an estimated $3b from medical tourism and it is projected that they will make $8b in the year 2020. What of integrating our traditional medicine with modern medicine? Our western trained doctors won’t want to hear that. Let them go to China and see how they were able to integrate both and today they are even exporting their local medical practice outside china.

Because of our attitude which borders on inferiority complex we are practicing foreign goods first and in the process killed our agricultural and local industries, bled our foreign reserves and killed our local currency that it has become valueless. I remember in 1960s and up to 1970s, our textiles industries in kaduna were using our locally cultivated cotton to produce clothes. But today the cultivation of the raw material Cotton was abandoned and because of our insatiable appetite for foreign clothes, the industries have since been grounded. The same fate befell agriculture. A self reliant country in agricultural products in the 60s and 70s, has now graduated in reverse order from self reliance in food production to an food import dependent country. The most stupid graduation in reverse order is from a country that refined its crude oil locally for its domestic needs, to a country that sells its crude oil and imports the refined products and the import bill takes the biggest chunk of our profits and continue to bleed our foreign exchange and thereby contributing to the bashing of our local currency. It’s so shameful that we are the only OPEC country that imports refined oil! Even Niger came in to oil production about decade ago is self reliant in refined oil and is importing some in the neigbouring states of katsina and Kano!

We should borrow from the political slogan of hawkish president Donald Trump ” America first.” Let us imbibe Nigeria first and put it in to practice by developing our infrastructures, social amenities for the purposes of being self reliant and attracting the world to Nigeria which are all feasible. All that we required are appropriate leadership and appropriate mentality from the leadership and the led.

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This post first appeared on Daily Post Africa, please read the originial post: here

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When Shall We Say Nigeria First?


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