February 27, 2018 7:08 pm
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Uja Tor Uja, has bemoaned that despite the rich human and material resources in Africa (Nigeria inclusive), the continent is still lagging behind in Human Development Indices because of poor investment even as he called for a single currency and more purposeful leadership in the continent.
Uja disclosed this while receiving the Minister of Religious and Chieftaincy Affairs of Ghana, Kofi Dzamesi as part of a three-day consultative programme, which commenced in Abuja on Monday between the NCPC and the Ghanaian delegation, which arrived Nigeria to understudy the business of pilgrimage at the NCPC.
The Sub- Saharan Africa is said to contribute only three per cent of world trade, which is usually attributed to poor investment, lack of industrial capacity and corruption of the leaders.
Uja urged the continent to build an economy that links African nations more closely than are linked to other parts of the world. “I am sure if not all African nations, most are closer in their lifestyles and activities to foreign countries than African countries. This is a negative index. One of the things that the colonial heritage used to link us to their countries is the economy known in their currency in the dollar, the pounds and the Euros.
“I think the time has come for Africa to create its own currency the ‘Afro’ that will link African nations together and will encourage people to invest in African countries and let Africa’s money circulate in Africa first and let only peanuts evaporate in the other parts of the world. Africa needs its resources not just to build the continent to enable the rest of the world to benefit from what is going on the continent. I am sure that this engagement with Ghana is the beginning point where the rest of the world can come together and do greater things,” he said.
The NCPC helmsman charged African leaders to enable the people of Africa to believe in the continent and check the ugly trend of leaders embezzling the continent’s wealth and stashing them in foreign countries, saying “we must first of all make Africans believe in Africa, there is something wrong that Africans believe more in Europe and America. I have not seen anybody steal his country’s money from Europe and bring to Ethiopia, Kenya or Ghana or South Africa or made it available for us to use as loans to reduce our poverty.
“But once somebody in Africa has a chance to carry dollars you find it in Sweden, in London, America and different parts of the world. This is an announcement of a lack of confidence in the continent. I want to let us know that Africa is not just a vibrant continent; Africa is the only continent with a future. Africa is not just growing Africa still has hundreds of years,” he said.
The Ghanaian Minister, Dzamesi, in his reaction lauded the NCPC boss for the support being extended to his country and pledged to deepen the relationship with Nigeria and use pilgrimage to develop his country and the continent.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja