INEN president laments negligence of national greatness by African leaders

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Safiu Kehinde

The President of the Institute of Economists of Nigeria (INEN), Professor Osisioma B.C Nwolise has decried the negligence of national greatness by African leaders.

He made this known on Wednesday at the institute’s 12th Conference held at the Lagos State Polytechnic’s 500-seater auditorium, with the theme, “Ubiquitous Conflicts and Crisis in Nigeria: Implications for National Security, Development, and Greatness.”

While presenting his speech, Professor Nwolise made a clear distinction between national development and national greatness. He described greatness as not merely about being wealthy or having resounding name. Rather, it is about being successful materially and deploying the resources legitimately acquired to solving problems of others, and the society.

“When we come to national greatness, this is a concept or a term you will hardly hear from any African leader. I can’t remember any Nigerian leader that has talked of National greatness in the last 30 years. The highest we hear them talk of is national development,” he said.

The retired University of Ibadan lecturer further explained what makes a great nation. According to him, a great nation is one that is capable of protecting its interests including the lives, rights and dignity of its citizens anywhere in the world, diplomatically and through threat or use of force where necessary.

To back up his assertion, Professor Nwolise cited a case where Americans came to Nigeria in search of an American man who was abducted in Niger and brought to Nigeria. This, he said, is a sign of a great nation.

Meanwhile, the event also included a book launching by Professor Samuel Igbatayo. The book titled “The Korean Model- An Analytical Perspective on Structural Transformation and Lesson for Sub-Saharan Africa” was said to be about how Korea – a once developing nation like Nigeria, had grown beyond the expected and the strategies the country put in place.

The Conference was chaired by a former governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida M. Aliyu. Other dignitaries who graced the event include Professor Edward Ogunleye, Lagos State Polytechnic’s Librarian, Mrs Kuburat Yusuf, Lagos State Polytechnic’s Deputy Rector Academics, Mr. Olumide Metilelu who represented the Rector, Dr. Oluremi Nurudeen Olaleye.

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