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Why mineral resources alone can’t take Nigeria to prosperity, by Makinde

Makinde attended the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Thanksgiving Service at the Cathedral of St Peter, Aremo, Ibadan. We honour members of our Armed Forces for the sacrifices they make, and their commitment to defend our nation and keep us safe. Photo: TWITTER/SEYIAMAKINDE

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has said that natural resources alone cannot take Nigeria to its desired prosperity.

The governor, who spoke yesterday during a church service in commemoration of the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day held at Cathedral of St. Peter, Aremo, Ibadan, said that education and human capital development would remain the top priority of his administration.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that no country of the world became prosperous by merely relying on natural resources.

He said that the Nigerian Armed Forces had sacrificed heavily, including making supreme sacrifices for the peace and unity of Nigeria.

“I want to appreciate the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces because you have done well for this country. Your colleagues have made supreme sacrifice for the unity of this country and for peace of the world because we have a record of members of the Armed Forces that actually fought in the World War. So, they have contributed to peace in the world.

“So, we know you have taken a lot of risk on behalf of all of us and we just want to say thank you,” the governor said.

Makinde said that the effective management and usage of our natural resources by those at the helms of affairs of this country was the only thing that could take us out of poverty in Nigeria, adding: “And on the occasion of this celebration, when I came in, as I was listening to what the Archbishop was saying, I picked some certain things from his statement. He said that God has blessed us a lot in this country but the leadership has only been managing poverty. That is actually true but I also beg to differ slightly because natural resources alone can never take any country or society out of poverty.

“The only thing that can take us out of poverty is how we can organise ourselves and how we utilise those natural resources. We can have an abundance of it and we still waste it. As a matter of fact, if we look at the trajectory of countries that have been successful, for example, Japan, they barely have any natural resources but when we look at their people, they utilise the brain God has given to them, developed it and utilised it.

“Even, they take natural resources from other countries, refine them and sell it back to the countries they got it from at a high cost. So, this is how they were able to take themselves out of poverty.”

He, therefore, charged Nigerians to emulate the Armed Forces by organising themselves and doing the right thing at the right time, adding that we should look beyond the natural resources God has given us and utilise the talents that we have inherent in us as individuals.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Most Revd Segun Okubadejo, appreciated members of the Nigerians Armed Forces for protecting the lives and property of the citizens in Nigeria.

He, however, admonished them to always put God first in all their dealings, even as he maintained that members of the Armed Forces were known to be indispensable in the society.

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