By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Over the weekend, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele visited the Dangote refinery in Lekki and expressed delight at the size and scale of the project. When fully operational, the entire complex will employ 70,000 people
(2) Nigeria needs hundreds more of these kind of projects nationwide to soak up our unemployed youths, create wealth, generate export revenue and end the dependency on the state for survival. If we had one such plant in all of our 774 local government areas that provided employment for our youth, all this kidnapping, insurgency, armed robbery, Yahoo Yahoo syndrome, etc would abate
(3) What we have seen with Dangote’s plant is a break with the norm. Here is an ambitious project that is set to manufacture urea, fertiliser and other by-products from petroleum and export them. It is not about making a quick buck from trading
(4) As 2050 approaches with Nigeria set to become the third most populous nation on earth, we simply need this kind of radical thinking across the board. In areas like housing, education, healthcare, security, railway construction, power generation, etc, we need to be prepared to think the unthinkable and embark on mission impossibles
(5) When I look at China and Dubai today and see how they are building the fastest, tallest, longest and biggest of everything, I can see what Nigeria needs to be doing. For some reason, as a people, we are always scared to think outside the box
(6) When I look back at World War Two, I can see where Nigeria lost touch with advancing humanity. Industrialisation has never been the same since 1939 as the industrial powers used it as a platform to launch an unprecedented development programme. Do you know for instance that during that war, the Japanese built a submarine that could carry fighter jets?
(7) Why are Nigerians not thinking the unthinkable this way? For instance, with this coronavirus outbreak, why are we not thinking of how to come up with a tropical cure for the virus. If the strain is less vibrant with black people as we have seen, the solution lies in deepest Africa, which basically means Nigeria
(8) As we build our railway network, why are we not considering launching a new generation of trains that will take humanity to new heights? Make no mistake about it, one day, someone will come up with an amphibious train. Why not us?
(9) When I see how the Australians and Chinese are using their deserts as solar farms, I want to weep. Just north of Nigeria is Niger Republic that is 80% Sahara Desert, the largest in the world. Why are we not harnessing it’s potential to electrify the whole of Africa?
(10) This year, Nigeria will be 60 and we should make it a turning point in our history. We are too large a nation to just drift with the tide. We need to be innovators, initiators and audacious. They say fortune favours the brave and when you are the world’s largest black nation and the hope of the negro, you simply have to be daring at 60!