Despite the global economic downturn, Nigeria ‘s economy is on the right track, with GDP growth of 7.2% in 2011. The country´s leaders are inviting the international community participate in the country´s success. However despite Nigeria’s economic progress, only the country’s challenges, such as corruption and conflict, seem to reach the eyes and ears of the international community.
According to Dr. Ahlaji Bamanga Tukur, the National Chairman of the ruling People´s Democratic Party, “Corruption and conflict hardly occur where people don’t have the opportunities that they believe they should. What should happen in Nigeria in order to rise above those challenges and overcome them – which is what we’re doing.”
In fact, Nigeria has been developing rapidly, establishing itself as a significant player in the global arena. Nigerians have trusted the PDP to rule the country since 1999. The party was founded on the philosophy of inclusiveness, meaning that everybody is a stakeholder, from the family, to the community, to the nation itself. That was one of the reasons why PDP represents acceptability. Dr. Tukur states: ‘We like competition with other parties, because it gives us the opportunity to show that we can do better. If you are not challenged, you don’t know how far you can jump.’
The African Business Roundtable, a private sector advocacy group which seeks to promote intra-African trade and development, is ready to help Nigeria look attractive to foreign investors who come to do business. In an international context , Germany has shown clear interest in investing in Nigeria.
Bearing in mind the leading position of Germany worldwide in terms of technology and know-how, Dr. Tukur comments: “The German philosophy of `mentoring´ is one great asset. Germany has is the trained capacity of its people, right from the lowest level, and helped them understand what they do and how they can do it better. This is what PDP really wants to achieve here in Nigeria.”
He pointed out, “ Today , Germany is lending money to the whole of Europe to survive, but after 1945, the country had nothing. That is thanks to their determination, and we want to do the same in Nigeria.’
Looking at future horizons, Dr. Tukur sees education is arguably the most important pillar of any society. “If Nigeria is educated, then we will understand all of the elements, and avoid conflict. That will bring development, technology, and all the rest. The fundamental thing for a human being is education. If we can educate people from a young age, they will continue developing their appetite to learn more and more and more.’