Building a New Nigeria: Imperatives for Shared Prosperity – Commencement Speech by Keynote Speaker, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

Building a New Nigeria: Imperatives for Shared Prosperity – Commencement Speech by Keynote Speaker, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

Congratulations to you all the class of 2020 and the class of 2021. You have done very well, and you have made your parents proud.

 

I love the diversity I see here: you have students from all parts of Nigeria, a reflection also of Nigeria’s diversity.

 

I also love the diversity that I see in the international students and faculty. You are all welcome in Nigeria. I gather that the international student body includes the nations of South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Cameroon, India and Romania.

 

I trust that in your respective ways and in the years ahead, you will all become honorary ambassadors of Nigeria. I trust that you will also look back in the not-too-distant future and say, “yes, Nigeria finally made it!”

 

I am proud to be a Nigerian. I know that for several people, this might sound like an old cliché, whose time has passed. I fully understand the challenges we face as a nation. Yet, I have a dream that we will arise, from our challenges, and build a more prosperous and united nation.

 

So, today, I want to speak to you about “Building a New Nigeria: Imperatives for Shared Prosperity”.

 

I speak to you today as a Nigerian. As I have quite often said, I will live as a Nigerian, die as a Nigerian, and on the resurrection morning I will ask God for permission to rise as a Nigerian, with the green-white-green flag in my hand!

 

Nigeria is blessed with incredibly rich diversity: of people, of cultures, of religions, of mineral resources, oil, and gas, an amazingly rich biodiversity, that should make us the envy of the world. We are blessed with abundantly diverse agro-ecologies, that should also make us a land of bountiful harvests with capacity to feed Africa.

 

Please click on this link to read the full text of Dr. Adesina’s 12th Commencement Speech