Former Executive Director of Nigeria’s defunct telecommunications giant NITEL, Pa Joshua Akinwumi recently celebrated his 80th birthday.
The Punch caught up with him, and as an elder who has nothing more to be afraid of, he spoke his mind on how Nigeria failed to harness the massive technological capability of the Igbos after the Nigeria-Biafra War.
According to him, if Nigeria had done so, by now, it would be at the level of South Korea in terms of industrialization.
He told JESUSEGUN ALAGBE of the Punch that Nigeria should have asked how the Igbo man built the guns and bombs used during the war.
But he insinuated that some forces in Western nations didn’t want Nigerians to reason that way, and so strongly discouraged it.
He said this was because the interests knew they wouldn’t be able to sell their wares to Nigeria if the Igbos were given the leeway to industrialize Nigeria.
He observed that Igbos are still using ‘residual knowledge’ to develop some things today.
He lamented the disbandment of Igbo scientists and engineers after the war.
The former top government official confidently stated that had such policies not been carried out against the Igbos, by now Nigeria’s level of industrialization would have been at par with that of South Korea.
Note that South Korea is a prosperous Asian country that owns such tech giants as Samsung, Hyundai, and Kia, among others.
An Igbo proverb says; Ngbe onye tetara ka chi ya ji fo. When someone wakes up is the person’s personal dawn. In other words, it is never too late to learn from one’s past errors.
See the interview in the link below.