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The Week In Review: Nigeria is Africa’s troubled giant - says former US ambassador

A former Unites States ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has during the week described Nigeria as the troubled giant of the African continent.

He made this assertion on Thursday, October 4, in Lagos at the US Consul General's residence.

Campbell said although Nigeria possesses extraordinary potential, it is the truly troubled giant of Africa.

In his new book: "Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know”, which was presented to the public on Thursday, October 4, in Lagos at the US Consul General’s residence, the ambassador saluted the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians.

Punch reports that he said that Campbell said that virtually every major university in the English-speaking world hosted Nigerian academics with the country’s medical personnel found in hospitals all over the United States and elsewhere.

“Though it possesses extraordinary potential, Nigeria is truly the troubled giant of Africa.

"And Nigeria exports Christian clergy to the United Kingdom and the United States. Nigerians living outside of Nigeria have been notably successful in business and finance, and they are known for their entrepreneurial spirit," Campbell said.

The book which was co-authored by Matthew T. Page, an associate fellow in Chatham House’s Africa Programme, described Nigeria as a nation characterised by a type of corruption in which government or public officials seek personal gain at the expense of the led.

“Kleptocracy and government dishonesty have corrosive effects on popular confidence in governance.

"Official and unofficial corruption undermine the democratic trajectory and risks overwhelming it. It is among the most important hindrances to the country’s economic and social development.

“Despite ubiquitous cell phone use and other signs of modernity, the country is one of the poorest in the world. By indices ranging from levels of female literacy to average lifespan, Nigeria scores among the lowest in the world.

"The country’s population has grown explosively without the economic and infrastructure development necessary to support it," the book said.

Meanwhile, the former US ambassador had previously described ex-First Lady Patience Jonathan, as an arrogant and flamboyant person who was greatly disliked.

This was contained in a piece he wrote titled ‘Nigerian President Buhari’s Sisyphean Efforts’ and published on Council on Foreign Relations’ website on Friday, October 6.

Campbell said he also wondered how Mrs Jonathan who spent her career in the public service accumulated $35 million.
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