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Editorial: Misconception of Development/Technology By Nigerian Political Leaders

Development means different things to different people, while some say development is the ability of man to conquer his environment, others defined development as a process of growing bigger or larger.

Whatever be the case, development must contain an element of change and that change must be positive or better. Therefore I can simply define development as the act of changing the status of a people socially, economically and even politically for the better within a given environment.

In Nigeria the bulk of the people live in the rural areas, there for any plan on development to make meaning, it has to emphasize on the rural dwellers. But what we see in Nigeria is that our government plans are in most cases concentrated in the urban centres. This to a large extent negates the concept of development and no wonder our developmental plans have not achieved the desired results.

The earlier our leaders begin to understand that development cannot be achieved without the people, the better for all of us.

Development therefore should be people oriented for it to make meaning and the majority of our people live in the rural areas, it is only wise that emphasis should be laid on the transformation of the rural areas. It for nothing else, to check rural-urban drift which has been one of our major challenges in achieving national development in the country.

There have been various theories of development globally. Theory by the way could be defined as a set of ideas or principles that attempt to explain something.

Because of the importance of development to any given nation, therein of development seem to be endless.

Development no doubt must contain an element of positive changes, which should reflect on the people concern.

Development just as technology to endure or be sustained, it has to evolve locally. For instance, Nigeria has been battling with fuel scarcity for a long time, occasioned by our inability to refine crude oil produced abundantly in the country and still we have four giant imported refineries. What this simply means is that because the existing gigantic refineries were built by expatriates with imported equipments, we cannot maintain them. Therefore it would have made more sense if Nigeria has built ten small refineries with local technology and by Nigerian’s which could be serviced or maintained locally. Therefore a school of thought has it that development must be home-grown and locally driven for it to be located overseas and no wonder the huge amount that has been expended in attempt to locate development abroad and possibly plead with it to come to Nigeria.

Evidence has shown that the more energy put in such wasteful venture, the fairer the achievement. The reason is that development exists everywhere in the world, provided you develop your own model and improve on it.

Those clamouring for imported development or technology will continue to be disappointed because development is not imported or transferred as the case may be. As a matter of facts, Japan, one of the Asian Tigers shut its borders for a hundred years within which it developed Japanese cars, electronics and every technology or development Japan is today noted for.

It is instructive to state here that it you want to steal my property, it will be foolish to alert me. Therefore for such plot to succeed, it must be well planned and executed in top secret.

No wonder Ajaokuta steal project has remained uncompleted for several decades because Nigeria has been banking on technological transfer which can never materialize.

Therefore any theory that favours imported development does not mean well for Nigeria and should be discarded in its entirety.

Nigeria has been battling with the turn-around maintenance of the four refineries without much success, because the job can only be done by expatriates who always make huge demands on the country to carry out the contract. It would have been better for us to develop the now illicit refineries, popularly described as ‘bunkering’ to tackle one and for all the triggering petroleum products security in the country.

In other words these bunkering spots could be developed to cater for our refined crude oil need and at the same time create enough jobs for the teaming population of unemployed.

It is often said and rightly too that if one can produce fake or toy, he can as well produce original with little effort or support.

Aba for instance has been described as Japan of Africa, but whether anybody believes it or not, Aba can produce original materials with little support from the government.

Similarly, Niger Delta as the hub of oil and gas can become great in producing and refining crude oil with little support from the powers that be.

The most acceptable theory of development therefore is the locally based and people driven development. Afterall the so called developed nations of the world today did not import their technology from outside their territories.

I therefore do not have any hesitation in recommending the home-grown developmental model for our dear country, Nigeria.

Time they say waits for nobody, therefore the earlier we start, the better for all of us. ###

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