Why Nigeria remains poor – Afe Babalola
Seeks AfDB’s Support For Ekiti Airport Project
The Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola has said Nigeria remains a poor country because most of its leaders are not transformational but transactional, who only want money for themselves.
Babalola, who stated this at the weekend, when he received the delegation of the African Development Bank (AfDB), led by its Director Nigeria Country Department, Mr. Ebrima Faal, who were in ABUAD on a working visit, lamented that the country would remain poor, as long as it remains a consumer nation.
“We produce the raw materials, take them abroad, and they manufacture the finished products and sell them to us at exorbitant prices. They even sell the bye-products to us, as well,” he said.
The legal icon explained why the industrial park, which was conceived as part of ABUAD ventures has not commenced full operation, saying it was due to a case instituted in court against it. He said when the case that is now at the apex court is disposed off, the 121 industries at the 500-acre land would turn Ekiti State to the wealthiest and most industrialised part of the country.
“It is a known fact that it is the Industrial Park owned by Stanford University that turned Silicon Valley to one of the richest industrial hubs in the United States. ABUAD has a 500-acre Industrial Park, which is similar to that of Stanford, which has 700-acre,” he noted.He, however, said for the lofty ideals of ABUAD and Ekiti State Government to come to fruition, AfDB must partner with the government to make establishment of the airport project a reality.
Earlier, Faal said AfDB was mindful of the fact that Ekiti’s development rests squarely on ABUAD. “What we will do is to build around the nucleus of ABUAD and make the growth and development of Ekiti a reality. We are ready to partner with you,” he said.