Nigeria Has Failed Africa, Zambian Minister Says

Governor Adams Oshiomhole presenting a souvenir to Shamenda
Governor Adams Oshiomhole presenting a souvenir to Shamenda

By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

The Zambian Labour Minister, Fackson Shamenda, has said that Nigeria failed to provide leadership to other African countries at a time the continent looked up to it.

Shamenda, who spoke on Wednesday when he visited Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state in Benin, the Edo State capital, said it was particularly embarrassing that Nigeria had to rely on other African countries to spearhead mobile phone communication in the country.

“The first time I came to Nigeria, I saw a big plane with an elephant painted on it, and I wondered because elephants do not fly. Nigeria is supposed to be the big brother of Africa but the first GSM company came in from Zimbabwe when you are supposed to take development to Zimbabwe,” he said.

However, Shamenda said with Nigerian businessmen expanding to other African countries, it is obvious that the country is ready to assume its big brother role again.



    He noted with particular Interest Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote’s investments in Zambia and other countries and added that his country is willing to partner with him for a successful business relationship.

    “We shall always cooperate with this great Nigerian son, Dangote. I was impressed when this leading investor in Nigeria and Africa came to Zambia to locate one of the largest cement plants in Africa there. We are a proud to see a Nigerian taking the lead in Africa, unlike the way it used to be,” Shamenda stated.

    Governor Oshiomhole thanked Fackson for his country’s friendly business policies, which attracted the likes of Dangote, noting that it is not enough for African leaders to gather once in a while in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia and headquarters of the African Union, and make pronouncements without making good on their pronouncements.

    “We should have policies that promote African unity and the best way to promote African unity is not for politicians and political leaders to meet in Ethiopia Addis Ababa once in a while and make bold statements about the continent and thereafter bring underdevelopment but they should make bold statements to create jobs and use the resources they have for the continent and not export them to Europe and then bring a fraction back in the name of direct investment,” the governor stated.


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