Fanfare and controversies have surrounded the just concluded world cup that saw Argentina emerge as the winner of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Football lovers and even those who seem disinterested followed the games all over the world.
Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup on 2nd of December 2010. Soon after, in 2011, the State of Qatar established the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) to deliver the required infrastructure, planning and operations for the country to host an amazing and historic 2022 FIFA World Cup which has accelerated progress towards achieving national development goals thereby creating a lasting legacy for the country, the Middle East, Asia and the world at large.
Ranging from corruption allegations against the muslim country to criticism regarding the ban on alcohol and one love armbands, the country was in the bad books of many modernists.
However, amidst all the controversies regarding the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it is almost undisputable that Qatar hosted a magnificient and excellent world cup.
This is to say that regardless of the sterotypes Nigeria and other African nations may face, we can triumph and walk the path of greatness.
Nigeria as a nation, one thing we must expunge from our system is wasteful investment in stomach infrastructure.
Over the past 12 years, Qatar built hotels, apartments, villas and infrastructure to prepare for the mega event. Eight new stadiums were built for the event. One of which was a temporary stadium which has been dismantled, to be re-set up.
Any nation that wants to attract global attention will call forth attention by providing the necessary infrastructure to accommodate growth.
Though Qatar is a country marred by many controversies, it still proved the western world wrong by hosting one of the most excellent World cups ever held.
Nigeria with a population of over 200 million people and a land mass statistically greater than that of this year’s host also has the capacity to host a World Cup if the requisite infrastructure are put in place.
The government must pay more attention to not just collecting loans and spending the nation’s Internally Generated Revenue on grandiose but not impactful projects, but utilise public funds on investments in world class infrastructure that will impact the economic growth and welfare of the nation.
The Lagos Blue and Red line is an example of a good legacy project that sets the stage for making Lagos State a Smart City. If we are to host major international events like the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there must be an effective transport system that will cater for the logistics of attendees.
The efforts and investments of the governments of Akwa Ibom, Oyo, and Ogun states notably towards the development of the sports industry are commendable, but as a nation we must not settle for less.
Beyond stomach infrastructure, we must begin to be visionary in putting in place structures that will make Nigeria a force to be reckoned with.
In the forthcoming general elections, Nigerians must elect leaders who have great foresight into the future and are excellent managers of public funds if she’s to be “giant of Africa” in deed as well as aspiring to become a force in the world, other than the agitation for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, which ordinarily should be earned.