President Bola Tinubu says the menace of poverty, hunger and deprivation in Nigeria and other African countries will not guarantee political stability on the continent.
“You cannot have a stable democracy in the presence of a poverty of knowledge and a starvation of people. ’Democracy without food on the table is a breeding ground for what will consume us if care is not taken,” said the Nigerian leader in a statement issued Monday by his media aide Ajuri Ngelale.
Mr Tinubu said this while meeting with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss stronger economic and regional ties.
The Nigerian president said Africa must have a consensus on billions of dollars spent through international development finance institutions over the years. He said the funds must meet the specific needs of developing democracies in Africa, even if it is done with exclusive regard for their enlightened self-interest.
“During the end of the Second World War, the Marshall Plan was established for the reconstruction and economic restoration of European nations through Bretton Woods institutions. Where has this presence been for Africa? We have to be careful not to replace the broken shackle of yesterday with a new set of shackles.
“We must join hands and agree that International Finance Institutions require reform as Africa is not to be a ground for economic scavenging any longer, but it is a place with gifted people that is ready for investment and cooperation,” Mr Tinubu stated.
He said this would make more impact on global affairs for the benefit of over one billion Africans with its enormous human and natural resource wealth.
Mr Tinubu told the South African president that “our continent is the last untapped ground for accelerated, massive growth and new economic opportunity on earth.”
The Nigerian president further said, “We must be in charge of our own resources, and we must work to use each other effectively to achieve what is best for all of us, Mr President. We look forward to an era of economically productive relationship.”