Udo made the assertion on Friday at the maiden Convocation Lecture of the Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.
In the lecture entitled “The past as a Guide to Our Future”, the don noted that the lack of honest and effective leadership was responsible for poverty in Nigeria today.
According to him, Nigeria lacks committed leadership of the class of the late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
He said that the leadership problem was further compounded by ethnic loyalty, youthful exuberance, worship of money, executive high handedness and the lack of fair play in the conduct of public affairs.
“All these satanic traits have contributed to the intolerable high level of corruption which has become institutionalised in the public service at all levels of government in Nigeria.”
Udo, retired professor of Geography, said that people who refused to learn from the past were condemned to relive that past.
He expressed concern that a state like Akwa Ibom had not saved for the rainy day in the last seven years of high revenue earnings from oil.
According to him, in spite of the huge revenue the state received from oil derivation, Akwa Ibom still borrowed without justification.
“The state went out to borrow from foreign countries and is currently heavily indebted to creditors outside Nigeria.
“In order to defray part of its indebtedness, our state government is planning to sell the Ibom Power Plant, which is not owned solely by the state.
“This is largely the parlous state of the economy that is responsible for the long delay in the payment of salaries to teachers and local government employees,” Udo alleged.
The don further alleged that the signs today suggested that a debt crisis was about to start or had even started in the state.
“Our past must be our guide to the way we live and manage our resources and the way we relate to each other.”
He urged the state government to remember that Akwa Ibom need not relive the ridiculous past, where its citizens were tagged poor and subjected to domestic servanthood in Nigeria.
“So we need to move forward at a steady pace and use our resources to develop our state and our people,” Udo advised..