An expert in international relations, Prof. David Aworawo, on Saturday called for rapid industrialisation of the Nigerian economy to boost its gross domestic product (GDP).
Aworawo, a professor of History and Strategic Studies at the University of Lagos, suggested this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the nation after 59 years of attainment of independence had done well but still needed to fast-track its industrialisation with the objective of diversifying its economy from oil.
According to him, Nigeria has detached itself from the apron strings of her colonial masters and managed to diversify her interests and options in the international arena.
“Looking at it in comparative terms and from the point of view of how other countries that gained independence with Nigeria at the same time have faired, our nation has done well.
“Many colonies, especially of the French, are still attached to their colonial masters.
“We have brought in friends from the global community, which some other countries have not been able to achieve,” he said.
Aworawo also said that Nigeria’s foreign policy made the country the leading light of Africa during the anti-apartheid campaign.
“We played a pivotal role in getting Africa decolonized,” he said.
He, however, said reliance on a few items as commodities for sustenance had made the country experience setbacks.
“We have a long way to go in catching up with other countries regarding economic development.
“After 59 years as an independent nation, we should not still rely on oil, agriculture and a few other sectors.
“We need to work as fast as we can to reduce the gap between us and developed countries.
“We need to see the urgency in trying to overcome our challenges and catching up with the rest of the world,” Aworawo said.