NIGERIA AT 56: A BLEAK OR PROMISING FUTURE?
It’s been 56 years of independence for my great country Nigeria; as I sit and reminisce about the efforts of our founding fathers, their Fight and commitment towards the country’s freedom from slavery, I can’t help but wonder if my country is really free from the slavery within; the slavery every average Nigeria is subjected to as a result of poor leadership.
Taking a look back at the way things were when Nigeria newly attained her independence from the british masters;a look at the times when things were working, it saddens me how much my country’s growth has degenerated; permit me to say growth has not been stunted but degenerated because a stunted growth means a growth that stopped due to reasons.But as it stands, it seems a lot of things has gone from bad to worse in my country.
It’s obvious the marginalization that our country’s founding father rigorously fought against has come back to stay; majority of the current leaders seem to have forgotten that they are in position of leadership to better the lives of the citizens and the nation as a whole, they instead are more concerned about their personal gains to enrich their own pockets and that of their friends and families and loyalists.A large percentage of our citizens are being treated as second class citizens in their own country, this is saddening.I bet our past leaders that fought for the independence will be turning in their graves with what is obtainable in Nigeria of today; this isn’t what they fought for.
A look at the economic situation of 40 years back fared much better when compared with the current economic situation,though there were no technological advancements back then, there was room for the little businesses to grow and survive.But one begins to wonder why businesses crumble from the start these days even at the rates at which technology has greatly advanced and man’s educational growth.A closer look will make us understand that the reasons are not far- fetched. Trade within and outside Nigeria has been more impaired in recent times, the economy has lost its boom and these spells great danger if nothing is done to remedy the situation.
The likes of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo,Anthony Enahoro fought towards what we should be celebrating today; these were great nationalists who were more interested in the liberation of all Nigerians and risked their lives in the process.Permit me to say those were the good days compared to the segregation, disunity and violence that has come to play in the nation’s policy in recent times.
HOW FAR HAVE WE GONE AS A NATION
There’s a need for total honesty on the part of every Nigerian; patriotism teaches us to be hopeful and believe in the country, we indeed believe in Nigeria but a little honesty wouldn’t hurt.
Talk to the average Nigerian, I mean the man who earns as little as the minimum wage and you get the true picture of the state of the nation.I believe in Nigeria getting back her lost glory, I’m optimistic that the economy will get better and thrive to compete with major economies of the world but to do that all hands must be on deck.
Presenting the 5-point agenda
In my own little way, I will discuss the 5-point agenda that i think the government should really look into, please feel free to add yours in the comment section;
1.ELECTRICITY: The crippled power supply in Nigeria has taken a globally embarassing dimension,often times we hear places such as the international airports which are the number one point of entrance into the country being thrown into darkness for hours giving the country a major negative image which in turn chases away potential investors.
Too much emphasis cannot be paid on how much growth the economy will experience if there is an upgrade in the power sector, there are so many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that have folded up all thanks to the epileptic power supply; businesses that would have created employment and contributed to the growth of the nation in the long run.The saddening part of this is that it’s obvious more will eventually go down if there’s no total revamping of the power sector.
An improved power sector creates a conducive living environment,businesses will thrive, foreign investors will be encouraged to invest and more employment opportunities will be created.
Constant electricity supply should be topmost on the leadership’s agenda, a lot will be achieved when and if this problem is solved, foreign investors will be motivated to do more businesses and there will be a boom in the ecomomy; I’m yet to see an economy that survived on its own without foreign investors.
2.EDUCATION: The wise quote “education is the bedrock of every society” is true in its totality.The educational sector is one crucial sector that should not be taken for granted.
Education which should be one of the fundamental human rights is facing a huge challenge in Nigeria due to inadequate funding at all levels.You might want to say the government has introduced free education;but what’s free in an education where parents have to buy most of the books, uniforms needed by their wards and also pay a huge percentage of school fees.
Teacher’s recruitment has long stopped being on qualification and merit but on who knows who in position of authority.Politicians have taken over the process lobbying for their preferred candidates.
Beyond the primary and secondary level of education, is the challenges faced by students who wish to further their education to the tertiary level but being denied the chance no thanks to the politics of corruption that has eaten too deep into the educational system.
A great percentage of youths who deserve to be given admission to study their dream courses are losing their chances to students who have got connections in high places even when they don’t merit it. Blame this on corruption.
Government should really look towards allocating more funds to the educational sector and put people of integrity in positions to disburse these funds uniformly across the states of the federation, education is a right that should not be limited to the advantaged and opportuned few.Employing the right and highly qualified teachers will go a long way in improving the quality of education.
3.QUALITY AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE: Affordable quality health care according to the World Heath Organization (WHO) should be the right of every citizens of every nation.Provision of health care services in the country leaves much to be desired particularly in the rural areas. You are still left in shock as to why people die from the simplest of sicknesses?
The reforms by the government in the health sector is not yielding much fruits due to the poor implementation of the health policies; it’s not enough to create policies, due implementation in all areas should be worked towards.
With a growing population of over 170 million Nigerians, we can only boast of about 20 Federal Teaching Hospital and about 25 Medical centers in a country with 36 states.How then do we expect quality delivery of healthcare services.
Health is wealth and a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.Good health had been linked to sound mind and the ability to make wealth which in effect helps in improving the socio-economic development of the country.
Quality healthcare shouldn’t be the birthright of a limited few, it should as a matter of fact be mandatory and available to all citizens and should come at a subsidized rate,only at this stage can we boast of a working healthcare in Nigeria.
Good and up-to-date equipment and facilities should be made available in our public health centers not forgetting the creation of more hospital, medical centers and primary health care centers.
Qualified medical experts should always be on ground to attend to any situation and more funds needs to be pumped into this sector and there should be guidelines against corruption to enable such funds go round.
4.EMPLOYMENT: Employment rate is one of the factors used socially and economically to judge the wealth and the rate of growth of an economy.
Unemployment is simply defined as the inability of an active, youthful person to secure work.In recent years, the menace of unemployment has soared really high above normal.
The menace of unemployment is the major cause of societal ills and vices being perpetrated.Active youths that should channel their energy towards working and earning a living are stranded with nothing to do.This has posed and will continue to pose social, economic and moral threats towards the nation.
We hear promises of job creations from every administration during the electioneering period; promises to get peoples votes but it appears the leaders forget all about their promises as soon as they get elected.
No economy will thrive with a high rate of unemployment,the effects are too serious to be taken for granted.The government and citizens all suffer at the end of the day.
As a result of unemployment, vices such as violence, murder, kidnapping, robbery and scam are on the increase on a daily basis.
The disheartening part of this is the fact that our leaders who are meant to put a stop to these vices are using it for their selfish purposes.Young minds, active youths who should contribute to the growth and development of this country under normal circumstances with a good governance in place are being used as tools to wreck havoc and disrupt peace and order.
The agony, heartbreak, failure and disappointment suffered by graduates after years of schooling and studying to become better men and women can not be explained.
The government needs to wake up from its slumber and create more jobs; the least they can do is fulfil their promises of job creation, enough of all the empty promises. It’s so certain that once government creates more jobs, the economy will improve coupled with the effort of people who are already self-employed and working towards becoming employers of Labour.
5.SECURITY: In recent times, the rate of insecurity has skyrocketed with a massive increase in related crises such as it’s obvious in communal, political, economic and religious cases. The lives and properties of innocent citizens have been lost as a result.
There is tension, fear, pain, agony in the land for fear of what might happen next, citizens are on their toes; no one knows when and where the next bomb explosion will take place or who the next kidnapping victim will be and in the midst of all this, we clamor for foreign investors.Talk about living in la-la land.
The law enforcement agents who should propagate security as being revealed in recent times have become tools of security concerns.Ammunition that should be used by officers of law for security purposes are being sold off to robbers by the same people who are supposed to secure lives and properties.
The same security officers who have become allies with people that they are lawfully meant to make face the law; just for a little token, these officers are being compromised on a daily basis.Men and women of integrity whose principles can never be compromised should be infused into the security agency
Government and all the security agencies really need to check and monitor the dealings of every security agent in the country.An anonymous complaint and suggestion medium should be created to allow citizens report any erring law enforcement agent.
Insecurity of lives and property is a menace that we all must stand up to; we should not fold our arms and expect some magic.
Every individual has a role to play, this isn’t what the government in authority can control alone.Collectively, we all should be proactive to ensure security in the land.
As a matter of fact, I’m one of the people that who have Faith that Nigeria can and will recover her lost glory.All we need is a total change in attitude, policies, ideas and mindset.
If every politician, assumes office with a mindset of service to his people and work towards making their lives better in all areas; forgetting all about his personal gains to render selfless service, corruption will be on it’s way to extinction.
It’s been 56 years of independence and not much has been achieved as a nation, all we can boast of and hold on to are promises from past administration to the present ones;Enough of empty promises during electioneering process, seems they become mere words of the lips once our politicians assume office.
I believe in Nigeria and I’m hopeful in the promises it holds; it’s high time our leadership woke up from their slumber and live up to the promises made to the ones who elected them.
Nigeria can and will be great again; we just need to work towards becoming better, greatness doesn’t come by folding of hands and pretending everything is working well.As a nation, we are all looking forward to a practical change.
Happy 56th independence celebration, God bless Nigeria and all Nigerians.
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