A former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell, has said though Nigeria possesses extraordinary potential, it is the truly troubled giant of Africa.
Campbell stated this in a new book he co-authored which was presented to the public on Thursday in Lagos at the US Consul General’s residence.
He also saluted the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians in the book titled, “Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know”
Campbell stated in the book that virtually every major university in the English-speaking world hosted Nigerian academics with the country’s medical personnel found in hospitals all over the United States and elsewhere.
He said, “Though it possesses extraordinary potential, Nigeria is truly the troubled giant of Africa. And Nigeria exports Christian clergy to the United Kingdom and the United States. Nigerians living outside of Nigeria have been notably successful in business and finance, and they are known for their entrepreneurial spirit.’’
In the book, Campbell and Matthew T. Page, Associate Fellow in Chatham House’s Africa Programme, described Nigeria as a nation characterised by a type of corruption in which government or public officials seek personal gain at the expense of the led.
They stated, “Kleptocracy and government dishonesty have corrosive effects on popular confidence in governance. Official and unofficial corruption undermine the democratic trajectory and risks overwhelming it. It is among the most important hindrances to the country’s economic and social development.
“Despite ubiquitous cell phone use and other signs of modernity, the country is one of the poorest in the world. By indices ranging from levels of female literacy to average lifespan, Nigeria scores among the lowest in the world. The country’s population has grown explosively without the economic and infrastructure development necessary to support it.”
(By Charles Opanwa)