A professor of economic history in the Kaduna State University has advised the Nigerian government to learn from China’s experience in the quest for national development.
Wuam, who is also the President, Association for United Asian Scholars, Nigeria (AUASN), said that the vital lesson for Nigeria to learn from China’s experience was the leaders and people to dedicate themselves to the task of seeking modernisation.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the Secretary of the association, Vivian Inyang, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Inyang said the International Conference has the theme: “Understanding China’s Economic Transformation: Reform, Opening Up and Capitalism since 1978- Lessons for Nigeria.”
She quoted Wuam to have said this during a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the First in the Knowing China International Conference Series, held at the Department of History and International Studies, Veritas University.Speaking on the topic, “Embracing the Market and Capitalism: Reform and Opening Up in China since 1978,” Wuam said the China’s reform had made the country the world second economy within a space of 40 years.
Wuam highlighted that the “The vital lesson for Nigeria to learn from China’s experience was for Nigerian leaders and people to dedicate themselves to the task of seeking modernisation.
He said that seeking truth from facts, and having the internal agency to seek graduated reform without external compulsion was also a.lesson to be learnt.
“The role of leadership and the people is also very crucial. In this instance, Deng merely pointed the way that was desirable and the Chinese people were able to execute and develop enterprises themselves.
“The words and rhetoric of the leader are however essential and important. I wholeheartedly recommend the study of China’s history and their fervoured quest to industrialise and become a modern prosperous nation.
“This was a goal that the Communist Party leaders beginning from Mao were committed to.
“The example of Deng Xiaoping which should be studied by all political leaders in Africa and Nigeria is on the impact of a committed leader working in the background with a strong and steady hand and driving change, while eschewing the cult of leadership,” he said.
According to Wuam, economic prosperity comes with talking about it and promoting it.
“Deng promoted a vision of an economically prosperous China with statements like ‘To get rich is glorious,’ and that ‘For China to get rich, a few people will have to become rich first.
“He did this alongside working for harmony and security in the country, and avoiding the turbulence that were characteristic of the Mao era, noting that ‘Prosperity is only possible with stability,”he added.
Wuam observed further that Deng was a firm believer in promoting talented people and believed that a market system or a system of capitalism with Chinese characteristics would enable talented people to come to the fore and for the nation to fully utilise their talents.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor, Veritas University, Prof. Hyacinth Ichoku emphasised the importance of learning from the rest of the world and adapting the best practices to suit the national context and culture of Nigeria.
Ichoku noted that the example of China was indeed worthy of study, and also important for Nigerian scholars to study the revolutionary changes that China had witnessed since its reform and opening up in 1978.
The vice chancellor was subsequently inducted as a Honourary Member of AUASN.
Also, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Veritas University, Dr Chinyere Ecoma, noted that the conference was timely.
Ecoma said that in other to address Nigeria’s daunting challenges, “it is still possible for us as citizens of Nigeria, to look at the Chinese experience today and draw some salient lessons for developing this nation of ours”.
“We are hungry for the China strategy that has worked spectacularly for the newest economic miracle in Asia and pray for the best,” she said.
In the same vein, Dr Felix Oyosoro, Head of Department of History and International Studies, stressed the importance of the conference as it represents a forum for experts to present their findings on the subject of Chinese history.
In addition, he said it would also look at a more crucially its reform process that began in 1978 which had radically transformed global geopolitics and economic relations.