April 22, 2018

Why did Nigeria fail to thrive from 1960-1999 – Harvard, is this mockery?

Why did Nigeria fail to thrive from 1960-1999 – Harvard, is this mockery?

President Buhari departs London at the conclusion Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 21st April 2018

By Nwafor Sunday

Harvard, a renowned University in the world can be said to have mocked Nigeria when she asked in her assignment to  students, why Nigeria as a country has failed to thrive from 1960 to 1999, in respect to relative China and India, despite its endowment in human and natural resources.

The assignment which was tagged ‘Nigeria-Fates in Balance’ had the following questions asked by Harvard Business School, Executive Education Learning Nexus lecturer in his course tilled, ‘General Management and Program 24 Module IV’.

Read the assignment below:

Africa is growing. Seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, and the continent’s largest economies are becoming less dependent on extractive commodities. The continent’s rising middle class has demonstrated a taste for consumer goods and technological innovation, and Africa’s population-currently more than a billion people –is booming and overwhelmingly young at a time when populations in other regions are shrinking and aging. Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, epitomizes both the promise and the problems the continent face in the 21th century. The country had failed to thrive for its thirty years as an independent nation, despite having a developmental head start relative to countries like China and India, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in oil revenue. Now, after pathbreaking reforms followed by signs retrenchment, Nigeria’s new President faced both vast opportunity and grave challenges. Would the country flourish or founder in this new era? We will analyze key reforms in Nigeria’s economy, significant political developments and the choices facing the country’s fast-growing private sector.

  1. Why did Nigeria fail to thrive between 1960 to 1999, particularly relative to China and India?
  2. How would you characterize former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s legacy?
  3. Are you bullish or bearish on the next fifteen years for Nigeria? What would make you change your mind? What opportunities do you see? What are the challenges (and risk)?

Recall that the Cable News Network, CNN, in July mocked Nigeria in one of its edition of “The Global Public Square (GPS)”, a foreign affairs show anchored on CNN by Fareed Zakaria, when President Muhammadu Buhari travelled for his medical check-up and spent months.

CNN had asked, “The head of state from which country has not set foot in his homeland in over two months?”

It went ahead to tick an option with the name Nigeria as the correct answer. The options were given as Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Nigeria and Syria.

Despite Nigerians reaction and condemnation of  CNN’s publication, Harvard on the 17 day of April 2018, decided to key in among the platforms that see Nigeria as a failed country.

What is your opinion on this?