Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and a presidential aspirant, has stated that Nigeria remains stuck in place, claiming that the country’s economy is unfairly designed to export raw materials while importing increasingly expensive finished goods.
Even though the basic materials’ names changed from cocoa and groundnuts to oil and gas, the catastrophic consequences of the unequal economic structure remained the same, he said.
Tinubu spoke at the Lagos State University’s 25th convocation address, headlined “Global Trends: The Rightful Place of Nigerians in the World” (LASU).
The former Lagos State governor, who was represented at the ceremony by Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the state’s Deputy Governor, noted that oil and gas accounted for over 90% of foreign exchange and 80% of government revenues.
He underlined that the ever-dwindling profits from natural resource exports are no longer enough to cover the rising prices of manufactured imports, let alone maintain modern democratic governance’s wide fiscal commitments.
“We must be honest enough to admit this lapse, courageous enough to remedy it, and tolerant enough not to hate each other incessantly for producing it,” he said. We are all both the source of the problem and, hopefully, the solution. To transform this country, we must work together.
“No civilization can last long if there is a climate of distrust and animosity. To thrive, there must be a complete understanding that every Nigerian, regardless of location or social position, is equally entitled to the basic good things that all human beings need and desire.
“For decades, we’ve boasted of immense potential, comforting ourselves by claiming that potential will be realized tomorrow.” When tomorrow becomes today, though, something disappointing appears to occur. Despite the passage of years and decades, excellence remains unattainable. We would be among the greatest nations in human history if greatness could be achieved just by speaking of it. Nigeria, on the other hand, has remained imprisoned.”
As a result, he noted that as the country battled to get out of the economic quagmire, the globe was swiftly changing due to the growth of the digital economy and virtual world.
He advised young graduates to find their place in the world of cryptocurrencies and metastases, but warned them against succumbing to the mistaken belief that the virtual world is the most powerful.
“The fact that a select few may get wealthy in this sector does not imply that it is a crucial road to national development.” The virtual reality is nothing more than a sophisticated game without the tangible items of the productive economy. A bitcoin is worthless unless it can be swapped for something valuable.
“Numbers generated in the virtual sphere only have true meaning when they are tied to tangible items or services.” We embrace virtual world advancements, but we must also retool the existing economy.
“Despite the spike in oil prices caused by the war, the future will rely less on oil and gas.” He said, “We dare not stake our economic future on a resource of diminishing utility.”
At the convocation, 76 graduands were awarded doctorates, while renowned individuals such as Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and his Borno State counterpart, Professor Babagana Umaru Zulum, who was represented by his Deputy, Umar Usman Gadaffi, were awarded honorary doctorates.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mr. Goodie Ibru, Chairman of Ikeja Hotel Plc, and Mrs. Ibukunoluwa Abiodun Awosika, former Chairman of First Bank Plc, were also awarded honorary doctorates.
Professor Peter Akinsola Okebukola, Chairman of the Council of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), and the Council and Board of Trustees of ten universities throughout the world have been given the title of Emeritus Professor.
Important figures and monarchs attended the occasion, including the Emir of Kano, Alh. Aminu Ado Bayero, white cap chiefs, and other traditional rulers.