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Nigeria ’ll remain poor if… Afe Babalola

Legal luminary and elder statesman, Aare Afe Babalola has said that Nigeria will remain perpetually poor if it fails to produce rather than consume.

Babalola gave the admonition over the weekend in Ado-Ekiti, while performing the dual role of declaring open, the maiden edition of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) Industrial Park Trade Fair, in conjunction with the state chapter of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, (NSE), and later, while receiving the executives of the Akure Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, (NBA), who came to present to him, the Icon Award for Excellence.

Babalola further warned that the country might continue in stagnation, for as long as the incurable attitude of indiscipline, poor work attitude, lack of vision and patriotism are tolerated.

He called Nigerians and its leaders to be genuinely ready and willing to change the narrative, for the country to grow while describing the industrial park as a technology hub, designed to bridge the gap between research and industry, as well as provide employment opportunities for many jobless graduates and youths.

He also expressed regrets over rising incidences of some courts, in the habit of fragrantly delivering contradictory judgments, on same subject matter, asking members of the NBA nationwide to urgently convey a meeting, and rise to the occasion, to put a stop to further what might dent and embarrass the legal profession.

“It is true Nigeria today, is in the doldrums. That however does not mean we should throw patriotism and national interest into the mud. This is because to me, Nigeria can still become like USA of this world, or other great countries alike.

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“But the bitter truth is that Nigeria cannot suddenly become a USA with the way we do things continually and still expect different results. Nigeria is such a rich country, blessed with resources, good weather, friendly climate and money.

“Unfortunately however, aside many other obvious factors, the very point where we began to get things wrong is that Nigeria is a nation that consume more than it produces, and the bitter truth here is that, any country that does that, will remain perpetually poor.

“As a leader by example, even at my age, I abhor laziness and complacency. I do work for 18 hours daily. I do not buy food, I grow them in the farm, I do not buy pepper, tomatoes, chicken or fish, I produce them. How many Nigerians does that?

“As a result, ABUAD was conceived by me, not only as an innovative institution to change things for the better, but also as a deliberate way of giving back to the society, what I did not get, on a platter of gold.

“Even though I did not have the opportunity of going beyond conventional primary School, neither did I have opportunity of conventional, class studies of secondary or university education, I struggled on my own, out of strong determination to succeed, coupled with uncommon commitment, to get myself educated at both secondary level, and later university of London, all through correspondence studies.

He therefore urged Nigerians to embrace hard work, honesty and faith in the country, to achieve greatness.

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