Africa is a distinctively unique continent among all 7 continents of the world. Africa has a very diverse culture. It is rich in cultural heritage and diversity, a wealth of natural resources, and offers breathtaking tourist attractions.
Africa’s known mineral wealth places it among the world’s richest continents. However, her inhabitants are not lazy; but highly superstitious in nature, very religious and yet fearful. There is also a very high propensity for materialistic tendencies.
It is because of Africa’s natural wealth that we are witnessing the second scramble for the continent with China taking the lead. The scramble for Africa has now come in the form of Neo colonialism because of the poverty cycle Africa finds herself in, because of rampant corruption by our leaders “Managers’ and poor governance right across the length and breadth of Africa!
So many African countries have and continue to receive financial and technical aid from the Western world and lately, from East with strings attached, unknown to them that this is another form of “debt slavery.”
On this note, Nigeria, the giant of Africa is a very bad example and influence on the smaller countries in Africa.
In its fiscal year 2021 (FY21) financial statement, the International Development Association (IDA), a World Bank financial institution listed Nigeria among countries with the highest debt risk exposure across the world. According to the report, with debt exposure of $11.7 billion, Nigeria ranked fifth among the top 10 countries with highest debt risk exposure.
According to the latest Transparency International report, Nigeria ranks 154 out of 180 countries, sinking deeper on Corruption Perception Index. With a score of 24 out of 100 points, Nigeria now ranks the second most corrupt country in West Africa.
The level of our corruption was vividly captured in Channels TV’s interview with former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar anchored by Ms Modele Sarafa Yusuf. During the interview, the former VP revealed that 16 billion dollars was deployed for the provision of 24/7 electricity for Nigerians, however, the money went down the drain; and no one was held accountable. In other words, the money was embezzled and diverted to private bank accounts to the detriment of the masses, leaving the entire nation in darkness.
Furthermore, with the total dependence on other countries for financial aid, Nigeria has become a beggar in the comity of nations and turned into the poverty capital of the world. Sad realities of our beloved country Nigeria.
As a matter of fact, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a growth rate of 2.7 percent for Nigeria in 2022. This growth projection is only 0.1 percent higher than the 2.6 percent IMF’s earlier forecast in October 2021.
These sad scenerios are because successive governments in Nigeria, like in many African states, lack the political will to initiate or sustain policy or structural transformation, or to embark on sound economic reform to reposition the country for greatness.
Egypt has leapfrogged South Africa into the second place position in the Africa’s richest countries list. The Egyptian GDP grows to $394.28B, leaving South Africa trailing behind with a GDP of $329.53B. Disappointedly, Nigeria is still struggling with big brother syndrome – “sleeping giant.” Our beloved country Nigeria is engulfed in different types of crisis, including the ones that are as mundane as cow ranching or grazing.
China’s advancement in technology and becoming a world power at the expense of the visionlessness of the African leaders and its inhabitants has revealed that the African continent will remain in perpetuity of backwardness if we do not reorder our priorities which is obviously a golden rule.
Africa ranks as one of the most endowed continents with great development potentials. There is an urgent need for African leaders to translate these potentials into concrete development.
ARISE ‘O COMPATRIOTS..
Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.