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Thursday, August 18, 2011

US Ambassador expose nigeria's problems

United States (US) Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, Wednesday identified corruption, poor power infrastructure, non-functional public health and inadequate education system as some of the major challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation.
McCulley, who spoke at the matriculation ceremony of American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State, said some of these problems were compounded by youth restiveness, religious bigotry and the syndrome to get rich quick.

According to him, “Nigeria faces many challenges in the areas of good governance, economic growth, sustainable development, erratic power generation, non-functionary public health and education system from primary school to the university levels.”
The US ambassador challenged Nigerians to wake up to the realities on ground by ensuring that some of these problems militating against the growth of the nation were addressed.

“But you have the power to change this.  Only you and your fellow Nigerians can define what a democratic, prosperous, and healthy Nigeria will look like, and I am convinced that the decisions of today’s youth, your decisions, will determine whether or not Nigeria will address these challenges and set this nation on a new course.  You represent the political majority in this country,” McCullery said.
“We know that Nigeria has the premier military force in the region that contributes to regional stability, and we know it has the greatest potential for agricultural development in all of West Africa.

We know that the women of Nigeria are as capable of economic and political success as men in this country… And we know that corruption destroys the nation’s confidence and undermines the very notion of public service,” he explained.
The envoy, who noted that despite the challenges, Nigeria could still find its rhythm, however, said Nigeria has the potentials of attracting billions of dollars in direct foreign investments (FDI) as long as there was a solid commitment to the rule of law and sanctity of commercial contracts.

“We know that Nigeria has the potential to attract billions of dollars of Foreign Direct Investment, as long as there is a solid commitment to the rule of law and the sanctity of commercial contracts,” he said.
The envoy noted with regret that Nigeria has good reputation internationally, but wondered why outsiders always portrayed the country and her people on the negative perspectives.
McCulley, therefore, challenged graduates of the AUN to rise up to the challenges of life by ensuring that the country is portrayed in good light, wherever they found themselves.

He reiterated that the collaboration between the AUN and the US mission in Nigeria was strong, stressing that the Embassy has provided guidance and counseling to many AUN graduates, most of whom are now pursing  their degree in some institutions.
“US higher education therefore is about developing young people into active citizens who contribute to their societies, domestically and globally. And what I see here in Yola is the marriage of US– style higher education with an institution firmly implanted in the most important country in Africa,” he said.
Earlier, the President of the Institution, Margee Ensign, had told the new students to obey and abide by all the laws of the university while on the campus.

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