Crude oil in Nigeria has not only left communities polluted and devastated, it has also left minds messed up with attitudes that are not in line with the desire for a better Nigeria. 

Every Nigerian has a picture of their dream country in mind. 

The desire to get that prosperous and developed country burns right there in their heart, but the wealth of the nation has consistently overshadowed this desire and an industrialist, Dr Cosmas Maduka, who is the Chief Executive Officer of COSCHARIS, knows that the presence of crude oil [black gold] in Nigeria has brought this illusion. 

Mr Maduka delivered a speech on Tuesday at the opening of the 13th University of Lagos Annual Research Conference and Fair, in Lagos that identified institutional dysfunction and stagnation as major challenges facing Nigeria’s quest for accelerated development.

He was the guest speaker at the event, which had the theme: ”Resource Utilisation and Sustainable Development”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that more than 50 universities and across the world are participating at the multi-disciplinary research fair and Mr Maduka identified how crude oil had deposited in most Nigerians attitude of official extravagance and has largely control how Nigerians act in all circumstances.

“We are part of the problem, but we are also a major part of the solution.

“To many analysts, informed and uninformed, Nigeria’s development as a country has not matched expectations relative to the quantum of resources that it has been endowed with.

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“In some other environments, the concern could be that of over exploitation of available resources without due regards to sustainability.

“Thus, there arise arguments as to whether there exists right or wrong ways to exploit resources and the linkage to the development of a country, and whether there is even a common understanding of the concept of resources as well as what we truly mean by sustainability,” he said.

Maduka also identified the impact of oil wealth on the national psyche affected how the citizenry acted in all circumstances.

According to him, the wealth brought illusion of an infinite abundant resources and a culture of fiscal irresponsibility, official extravagance and inability to plan for and manage resources effectively.

Maduka said that Nigeria’s economy would develop rapidly if the citizens could shun the attitudes.

He emphasised that there was the need for the country to adequately fix the power sector since it was largely instrumental to production and industrialisation.

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Maduka, however, lauded the ongoing rehabilitation of the railway system, describing it as a step in the right direction.

He called for speedy rehabilitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company in an effort improve the economy.

Another sector he identified that needed urgent reform was education, stressing that a vibrant education system would facilitate development.

A nations is as developed as its education system. 

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