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By: Ushie Henry Ekpe

 Published August  12th, 2010

Over the years, Nigeria has contributed militarily and economically to the development of her brother African countries, but her brothers have rather seen these contributions as acts of despair rather than act that should be mutual. African countries have turned their backs on Nigeria yet “Africa is a centre piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy” our brother Ghana is really making things difficult for our businesspersons in Ghana through high tax rate and stringent process of company registration. Though this is a consequence of a pathetic condition of our infrastructure in Nigeria, so that entrepreneurs now go to neighboring African countries where power, good roads, water and viable and patriotic civil service exists.

Recently we hear that GLO is packing up in Ghana as the government has hijacked conditions for profitable business, replacing it with an indigenous telecom company. Nigeria contributed enormously to the peacekeeping mission in Liberia, Somalia, Dafur and other African countries. Thousands of Nigerian soldiers died leaving their families back home with nothing to live on and without government welfare but the reconstruction of the war turned Liberia has been given rather to South Africa, Japanese and Russian construction firms. Nevertheless, America that has taken the front seat in support of the war in the Middle East through the support she gave to Israel in the war has taken the contract of the reconstruction of the infrastructure in the war turned Middle Eastern region. That is why a classroom in Warring Palestine is better than the ones in “peaceful Nigeria” Africa’s economy is improving than that of the so-called “Giant of Africa” is fallen apart. When America is battling with 9.5% unemployment rate, Nigeria is struggling with unemployment rate at over 70%, inadequate infrastructure, and high rate of corruption.

Nigeria is the 12th largest producers of crude oil and eighth largest exporters of crude oil yet she allows herself to be ridiculed and humiliated by her economically young brothers. Nigeria import 85% of her crude due to mismanagement of her four refineries, owing to some government aristocrats who are unscrupulous in the management of Nigeria oil sector. In the last three months, Nigeria entered an agreement with China to construct three refineries in Nigeria worth 23 billion dollars, to be located in Kogi, Bayelsa and Lagos states this will be financed by China and its banks so as to reduce the importation of refined fuel into the country. However, the question is do Nigerians understand the terms of the deal? Moreover, how much benefit China stands to enjoy? Because in international relation there is no permanent friend but permanent interest.

Nigeria should redeem her lost image by building infrastructures that will boost entrepreneurship in and small scale industries in Nigeria, she should cut down on importation, restrict the borders and concentrate on building local industries- first producing basic amenities to meet local demands and then for exports. The only way Nigeria can redeem her image internationally is through a free and fair election come 2011, economic boom, viable civil service and a patriotic citizenry.

Ushie Henry Ekpe

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