By Ayo Akinfe
(1) As the tension between Iran and the US heats up, I for one am amused by all the talk about Iran being this dominant global player using its oil wealth. The fact remains that Iran is a country with an economy almost identical in size to Nigeria, so the Iranians should be given credit for making the best use of their resources
(2) Iran can fire missiles at US bases in Iraq yet Nigeria cannot even finish off a rag tag army of a few hundred fanatical zealots occupying large swathes of her territory. I trust the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would wipe out Boko Haram within one weak
(3) Now, figures never lie. According to the World Bank, in 2019, Iran had a gross domestic product (GDP) of $458bn, while Nigeria has a GDP of $446bn
(4) Iran produces 4m barrels of crude oil a day while Nigeria produces half of this with a daily output of about 2m barrels a day. Yet, Iran has an annual budget of $86bn, while Nigeria’s budget is a paltry $28bn
(5) Iran only has a population of 82m compared with Nigeria’s 200m
(6) However, the difference is that Iran has leading manufacturing industries in the fields of automobile assembly, transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology and petrochemicals
(7) Tourism is also big business in Iran. Since the removal of some sanctions against Iran in 2015, tourism has seen a resurgence with over 5m tourists visiting in 2014/15 alone, representing a 4% annual increase. Do we even keep records of how many tourists visit Nigeria annually?
(8) Now, this is what should shame every damn Nigerian out there. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armoured personnel carriers, missiles, a submarine and a fighter plane. Yes, you are still building wooden staircases for passenger aircrafts and the Iranians are manufacturing fighter jets, despite both countries having similar sized economies
(9) On 2 November 2012, Iran’s Brigadier Hassan Seifi reported that the Iranian Army had achieved self-suffiency in producing military equipment. As of 2016, Iran’s defence ministry was collaborating with more than 3,150 national firms as well as 92 universities
(10) Initiative is the only difference between both nations, which is why one is on the verge of joining imperialism while the other is a perpetual victim of US imperialism and a dumping ground for its obsolete weapons. It is no surprise that one nation will forever be considered an enemy, while the other is a “good boy” who does what he is told.