Aare Afe Babalola Warns: Nigeria Will Remain Poor Without Production

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Legal luminary and elder statesman, Aare Afe Babalola, has cautioned that Nigeria will remain perpetually poor if it continues to consume more than it produces. Babalola emphasized this point over the weekend in Ado-Ekiti during the inaugural Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) Industrial Park Trade Fair, held in collaboration with the state chapter of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE). He reiterated his stance while receiving an Icon Award for Excellence from the Akure Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

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Babalola warned that the nation would remain stagnant as long as indiscipline, poor work attitude, lack of vision, and patriotism prevail. He urged Nigerians and their leaders to commit to changing this narrative to foster growth. He described the industrial park as a technology hub designed to bridge the gap between research and industry, providing employment opportunities for numerous jobless graduates and youths.

Expressing concern over the increasing trend of contradictory court judgments on similar cases, Babalola called on the NBA to address this issue to prevent further embarrassment to the legal profession.

“Nigeria is in the doldrums today, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon patriotism and national interest. Nigeria can still become like the USA or other great countries,” Babalola said. He stressed that Nigeria’s rich resources, good weather, and money could transform the country if it shifts from being a consumption-driven nation to a production-oriented one.

Babalola shared his personal commitment to hard work and productivity, noting that he works 18 hours a day and grows his own food. He emphasized that such dedication is necessary for the country to progress.

Reflecting on ABUAD’s achievements, Babalola highlighted that the institution was established to give back to society and change things for the better. Despite not having conventional schooling beyond primary education, Babalola pursued secondary and university education through correspondence courses, culminating in a degree from the University of London. He credited his success to hard work and determination.

Babalola urged Nigerians to embrace hard work, honesty, and faith in the country to achieve greatness. He expressed confidence that Nigeria could emulate ABUAD’s principles to attain similar success.

NBA Akure Branch Chairman, Banjo Ayenakin, praised Babalola as a trailblazer and commended his generosity and versatility. He suggested that Nigeria’s story would improve if more individuals emulated Babalola’s dedication.

At the trade fair, Ekiti NSE Chairman, Prof. Oluwasegun Aluko, thanked Babalola for establishing the industrial park, which will support 124 cottage industries and boost the use of locally sourced raw materials.

ABUAD Vice Chancellor, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde, lauded Babalola for his contributions to the education sector and the establishment of the university and industrial park. She noted that ABUAD has been ranked the best Nigerian university for the third consecutive year, fourth in Africa, and 142nd globally in the 2024 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. Additionally, ABUAD ranked first worldwide for SDG 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy, scoring high in outreach and stewardship programs.

Though only 15 years old, ABUAD’s accomplishments in law, medicine, engineering, and the sciences have established it as a world-class institution on the international stage.

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