Bauchi State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, has declared that the nation has every reason to celebrate its 54th independence anniversary insisting that it is on the pathway of development.
Yuguda, while responding to questions from Villa correspondents on yesterday’s Independence Day celebration, said Nigeria has a lot to celebrate having moved away from underdevelopment occasioned by decay in infrastructure to gradual economic recovery.
He said “Nigeria at 54 as a country has witnessed a lot of transformation and for somebody who has seen the last 50 years, he can tell it better. I believe at my own age, I should be in a position to tell you that Nigeria has witnessed a lot of development in the last 54 years and that is in terms of the polity, economy and other sectors especially transportation, communications and a host of other things that you can see.
“In the 60’s, we have not more than three or four universities but today how many universities are we talking about? 54 years ago, how many road networks do we have in Nigeria? We can now see road networks, airports have been developed
We can say we are on the right track and we believe that the stage has been set for the country to be a developed country.”
On whether the country could have been better, the Bauchi governor said “Sadly yes. We cannot discount some of the challenges we have had which has made the country to suffer a lot of problems which ordinarily would have made the country more developed.
“Politically, we have had a lot of military interventions in the last 54 years which had made it impossible to deepen our democracy but now we have 15 years of uninterrupted democracy and we are deepening democracy. Politically, you can see the effect of our journey towards being a democratic nation.
“For the other sectors, sadly we have also had some challenges. Economically, we have challenges when it comes to implementation of our development programmes and some of those interventions which made it impossible for us to implement development programmes.
“We certainly could have done better even when it comes to operating the structure that can fight corruption in the system. It is only as late as the year 2006, 2007 that we have some of these institutions that fight corruption put in place. So, even the infrastructure for fighting corruption has not been put in place for a very long time until only recently” Yuguda lamented.