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Nigeria Cannot Develop By Copying Europe –UI Don

Nigeria cannot develop if it continues to copy development goals of the so called developed societies.

Professor of Development Sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Olanrewaju Olutayo stated this on thursday while presenting the 429th inaugural lecture entitled “Sabiticate is Equal to What?”

He noted that Nigeria has been preoccupied with the colonial mentality of copying other countries rather than developing her own development needs, use indigenous resources and knowledge systems to drive it.

The University don described as balderdash the placement of Nigeria as 152 out of 158 countries in the human development index saying that development is never by comparing a nation with another based on the yardstick set from outside.

Professor Olutayo challenged Nigerian academics to produce knowledge relevant to the transformation of Nigeria.

According to Olutayo, the usefulness of earning a certificate is not to hold the paper but using the knowledge to impact the society.

He maintained that if Nigeria wants to develop, the federal and state governments as well as local governments must set its own goals and develop means through which it plans to achieve such.

“In our self-reappraisal, as is often mistaken to be true, it is important to establish that development is never about comparing one nation with another. As such, the human development index placing Nigeria in the 152nd position out of 158 (UNDP 2016) is balderdash. Each nation, wanting to develop, should set its own goals and develop means through which it plans to achieve such. Consequently, contextual analyses come to the fore rather than the generalisations for development.”

The professor of development sociologist noted that the Nigerian chewing sticks are medicinal for treating dental diseases, treating liver diseases, sickle cell anemia and blood pressure than toothpaste.

Olutayo stated that it is sad that while Nigerians demonized things that are indigenous but that are more effective and developed by the inventive nature of pre-colonial Nigerians, Nigerians now buy herbal products from Asian countries while rejecting the more effective ones in which effectively cure our health challenges.

Since what is accepted in a place is a taboo in another place, Olutayo maintained that there is no universal way to develop rather, countries develop their own develop goals and pursue it.

He lamented that the reason for Nigeria’s underdevelopment is that we are not independent and still conduct our businesses using colonial mentality.


“the recommendation since the colonial period till date has been to learn how to develop from those who had ‘developed’, as if they are no longer developing. We are being brainwashed to see ourselves in the garb of others without taking cognizance of our historico-sociological experiences.As the Yoruba saying goes: ‘eniti o ba mo b’egbe e se nla, a sare ku’, meaning the person who does not know how her/his colleagues are prospering would run till s/he dies.”

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Raji Adebayo, Ibadan

Editor, South-West, Lagos Post Online Email: raji_adebayong@yahoo.com M: 08034094059

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