Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta on Saturday stressed the need for Sub-Saharan Africa countries to fashion out a new value system and diversify their economies to achieve economic progress.
Uduaghan, who said this in Ibadan at the 2nd National Public Lecture of the University of Ibadan (UI), ALUMNI Association, held at the Trenchard hall, UI, called for reduction of poverty.
Uduaghan in his lecture entitled, ” Good Governance as a Catalyst for Development: The Delta Experience,” said the over dependence on export of primary commodities and mineral resources must be reversed.
He said that failure to reverse it would make the countries to remain permanent under achievers, adding that the nation’s leadership should fashion out a new value system.
“Sub-Saharan Africa remains exporters of primary commodities and mineral extraction, while Nigeria oil export accounts for 90 percent of export proceeds and 70 percent of public revenue.
“This narrow revenue base is responsible for high unemployment. I think everyone knows that the oil sector has limited opportunities for employment,” he said.
Uduaghan said that South-East Asian economies grew by 6 percent, while Sub-Saharan African economies grew by 3.5 percent since 1960.
He said that the South East Asia achieved great progress by diversifying their economies from export of primary commodities into manufacturing, agro-processing, value addition and had rose with global economy.
“We knew that depending on export of minerals had more damaging effect on the economy if not reversed. The external shock experienced by fall in crude oil prices is self-evident,” he said.
The governor said that Nigeria had the opportunity to lead the African renaissance, adding that the nation was well endowed with good soil, good weather condition, and quality human capital.
According to him, it is sad that many of our professionals are doing menial jobs in other countries because of the nation’s condition.
“Some even engage in crimes and prostitution, thus soiling our collective image as a nation,” the governor said.
He said that such economic challenges brought about the policy of Delta beyond oil, which had helped them a lot in transforming Delta to its enviable heights today.
“I am leaving the state peaceful, secured and better than I met it. We have made 205 first class graduates, who benefitted from our N5 million scholarship per graduate,’’ he said.
According to the governor, 15 shoe makers has been taken to Italy to produce shoes and we will next week inaugurated leather training and works centre,” he said.
Uduaghan said that the above was just a little from the progress made in the state in transportation, education, health and infrastructure among others.
However, 26 students on 100 level of the institution were given scholarships at the programme and Uduaghan was also honoured.
The event was attended by Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, Dr Kemi Emina, the association’s National President and among other dignitaries. (NAN)