10 Things Nigeria Must Do As World’s Largest Black Nation To Attract The World’s Attention

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10 things I think we need to do to make a statement that we are the world’s largest black nation and use it as a basis to attract global investors into the Nigerian economy

By Ayo Akinfe

[1] Nigeria;’s president should insist that a memorial be erected on the Burma/India border to honour the men of the West African Frontier Force and the East African Frontier Force who died there during World War Two. It was African troops who prevented the Japanese from invading India at great personal cost. Nobody ever acknowledges this

[2] Nigeria’s president should also insist that the African Union chairman be invited to the annual wreath-laying ceremonies across Europe to honour the World War Two dead. For now, the African soldier has been airbrushed out of history as if they paid no part in the defeat of the Axis powers

[3] Every year, the Nigerian president should go for about six walkabouts in several world capitals like Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Ottawa and Beijing. Such an annual ritual will drastically enhance the status of Africans who live there

[4] Nigeria should build six seaports along her coastline and accept responsibility for inward shipping for all of West Africa’s landlocked countries. With 853km of Atlantic coastline, Nigeria should be a maritime nation.

(5) Nigeria should expand her military to at least 5m standing men and assume responsibility for security on our continent. If we keep relying on the Americans and Europeans to provide us with security, such services will always come with insults and unpalatable conditions. Libyan arms flooded into Nigeria because we did not police the country when Gadaffi fell

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[6] We need to build two huge religious sites that will serve as a place of pilgrimage for Muslims and Christians. We have over 1bn adherents of both faiths on our continent but have no Kaaba, Church of the Nativity or St Peters Cathedral. That is just not right. Nothing stops up building the tombs of Usman Dan Fodio and Samuel Ajayi Crowther into major tourist attractions of the scale of say the Taj Majal to pull in pilgrims

[7] Festac has got to become an annual event. Those of us who remember 1977 know the prestige it brought to our continent. Festac should be the biggest cultural and arts festival on the planet with every Motown legend performing there among others

[8] Nigeria should construct a purpose-built diaspora city. Kind of similar to the way Liberia was founded as a colony for freed African slaves in America, this our Diaspora City should be a haven for any black person wishing to relocate to Africa. Our aim should be to build it into a global financial centre that can rank alongside cities like Frankfurt, Hong Kong or Singapore

[9] To enhance our status as a player in the global economy, Nigeria needs to buy a multinational brand and incorporate it into a local company that will become a genuine economic giant. This should be kind of similar to the way India’s Tata Tea bought Britain’s Lipton Teabags. Just imagine the change of dynamics we would see if a privatised NNPC bought say Total or Shell or if Dangote Industries bought Nestle. I want to see the Nigerian government hold a minority stake of no more than 25% in such a venture

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[10] Before any international meeting, Nigeria’s president should host all African leaders in Abuja and seek to get a consensus. On the international scene, we should be voting as a block. This would force the rest of the world to negotiate with us

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