The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on Saturday decried the prevalence of poverty in Nigeria.
Adesina, who addressed guests at the convocation lecture of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State, said Nigerians deserve wealth and not poverty.
He stressed that for all the abundant wealth and natural resources in the country, Nigeria’s poverty situation is unacceptable.
The AfDB chief said there are way too many poor people in the country, adding “that there should not be a Nigeria for the rich, and another for the poor.”
He urged government at all levels in Nigeria invest in youths.
Adesina said: “38.5 percent of Nigerian youths are unemployed, lack skills, economic opportunities, discouraged, angry and restless. They look at a future that does not give them hope.
“I speak to you today as a Nigerian. As I have quite often said, I will live as a Nigerian, die as a Nigerian, and on the resurrection morning, I will ask God for permission to rise as a Nigerian, with the green-white-green flag in my hand!
“Nigeria is blessed with an incredibly rich diversity of people, cultures, religions, mineral resources, oil, and gas, and amazingly rich biodiversity that should make us the envy of the world. We are blessed with abundantly diverse agro-ecologies that should also make us a land of bountiful harvests with capacity to feed Africa.
“We are a religious nation, so we should understand that God loves diversity. The diversity of rich and brilliant colours that we see in our forests, oceans, seas, and in flora and fauna, reflect the beauty of the Creator. Therefore, our diversity is not our problem.
“Diversity is our strength. But when mismanaged, diversity becomes divergence. Rather than unite, we become splintered, with each entity believing that, somehow, it is better without the other. We must manage diversity for collective good.
“Nigeria must start managing its diversity for prosperity. We must drive for national cohesion, not ethnic nationalities. We must address the fundamental reasons for agitations, by listening, understanding, removing prejudices and allowing for open, national dialogues, without preconditions, but with one goal: build one cohesive, united, fair, just and equitable nation for all, not for a few or for any section of the nation or religion.
“Nigerians deserve wealth, not poverty. For all the abundant wealth of natural resources, Nigeria’s poverty situation is unacceptable. Today, sadly, there are way too many poor people in Nigeria. The government is implementing bold social programmes to reduce the number of poor, through interventionist programmes, but the fact of the matter is poverty is not just about money.”
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (IV): Surviving in a dangerous media environment
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020. For six...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (III): Precious Owolabi was killed covering a protest
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019-2020. For six months, Nigerian...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (II): Alex Ogbu was telling a story but became the story
This four-part series investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020....
SPECIAL REPORT… TELECOMS BLACKOUT: Nigeria’s latest tactic against banditry grounds businesses, forcing residents beyond borders
The fight against notorious bandits raining terror and kidnapping students in Northwest Nigeria took a new dimension in September as...
INVESTIGATION: How MDAs violate procurement rules in contract awards
An investigation has uncovered how Nigerian government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have continuously violated procurement rules in awarding contracts,...