The President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has said Nigeria, with its vast population and resources, has the capacity to solve its problems of corruption and underdevelopment.
Kagame, who said this in Lagos on Saturday, while speaking to young Nigerian professionals at a seminar organised by the African Personality Forum, noted that if Nigeria failed, the aftermath would reverberate across Africa.
He said, “Nigeria is too big, too resourceful to allow these things to continue. If there is a problem in Nigeria it would spread, even to as far as Rwanda. That is why we as Rwandans are ready to work together with Nigeria to solve our problems together and learn from each other.”
After sharing his experiences as well as the progress recorded in his country in the past decade, Kagame warned Nigerian youths not to give up on the country and challenged them to take up the responsibility of changing the status quo.
He stated, “It starts and ends with the people. It is not the oil that is the problem or gas that is the problem or the lack of it that is problem, it is the people. And people can address any problem. You don’t need to give up and say things have been like this for so many years, it won’t change. Please don’t give up. It is never too late, you can turn things around. In fact, this is a challenge for young people of Nigeria. People are looking to you for solution.”
On corruption, Kagame said his country was able the deal with it by taking actions and implementing policies that helped build a system which helds people accountable.
He said the Rwandan government would not take all the credits for the success the nation recorded in fighting corruption, stating that much of it came as a result of positive response from the people.
He added that only strict implementation of policies and recommendations would help in eradicating corruption.
The Rwandan president insisted that the future of Africa was dependent on its human capital and not the West, stressing that African nations must, as a matter of priority, invest in their youth.
He said, “Africa has everything it needs for development. In fact, we are spoilt with resources that we can use to develop Africa. But how can we have everything and we do not have development? The answer lies in the young people.
“Some people think the large youth population of Africa is a problem, but I see it as an opportunity for development.”
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