(1) South Korea – $416.9bn
(2) India – $394.54bn
(3) Indonesia – $220.5bn
(4) Mexico – $217.85bn
(5) Brazil – $173.68bn
(6) Turkey – $143bn
(7) Australia – $78.66bn
(8) Malaysia – $78.28bn
(9) Vietnam – $43.17bn
(10) Nigeria – $38.32bn
As you can see, I have not looked at any Western industrialised nation. I have looked at our contemporaries and Nigeria’s basic problem is the fact that she is not productive enough.
Every other problem we face as a nation stems from this fact. Caste you minds back to around 1970 and 1971 when Nigeria was enjoying 25% GDP growth. There were no religious extremists, terrorists, armed bandits, secessionists, public officers stealing their whole budgets, civil servants looting pension funds, etc.
Create wealth and 90% of our problems will disappear. When we are serious about building a vibrant and viable nation, we will give investment top priority in all we do.
I shall be mentioning religious finance on a daily basis from now on because it is the only way out. Our faith houses are the ones with liquid cash in Nigeria today and unless we invest this in manufacturing, we shall remain the poverty capital of the world forever.
Were I in President Buhari’s shoes I would force the issue with one simple law – As from January 1 2021, no faith house will be given permission to open a church or mosque unless the facility also contains a factory which employs at least 50 people.
Ask yourselves what Nigeria’s manufacturing output would be if we had a factory on each street corner the way we have churches and mosques. How many of Nigeria’s 774 local government areas actually have industrial estates?
For me, it should be considered a treasonable offence for a local government area not to have an industrial estate. Their local government chairman should do at least 10 years in prison for economic sabotage.
Anyway, when we are serious, we will address all these issues. For now, we are content to keep opening churches and mosques, hold owambes every weekend, live off petroleum receipts and then sing God’s praises for it all.
We are not the poverty capital of the world by accident. The only problem with Nigeria is Nigerians!