The Vice Chancellor of Caleb University, Professor Nosa Owens-Ibie, said on Monday that Nigeria had no excuse not to have developed like other oil-producing countries, including Qatar and Dubai.
He made the submission during the public presentation of a book titled, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The contentious search for peace in the Niger Delta”, held in Lagos.
He also argued that the discovery of crude oil was never a curse to Nigeria as widely believed in some quarters.
He said, “Not everyone will agree that all good deeds have always been punished in the Niger Delta. Such titles are, however, triggers for healthy debates. But the authors may be alluding to the inevitable collateral consequences of the mangled logic of mangrove forests, messy waters and thriving suspicions.
“Whatever be the case, and although Michael Ross has through his book, ‘The Oil Curse’, popularised the ironies spawned by a natural endowment which should be an asset, oil may have indeed been somewhat a curse in instances, but there are those who have shown that oil is a catalyst for productive multipliers. Days from now, Qatar will be hosting the world in moments of frenzy. If oil is a curse, Qatar may not be hosting the best of world footballers in a festival of passion, sliding tackles, mesmerising moves, brilliant saves, and cliff-hanging moments.
“If oil is altogether a curse, Dubai which is in the United Arab Emirates, will not be a travel capital for many tourists, and a destination for those who have acquired property there. When countries like Israel could out of nothing become a global force in agriculture, water resource management and research, among others, Nigeria has no excuse.”