Nigeria is 54 years old today. Opinions have been split on whether it calls for celebration or not. I’m completely indifferent about birthday’s and celebrations so my opinion is divided on that. However, it is instructive to lay the facts bare.
54 years after, Nigeria remains an unfulfilled potential. Largely dependent on oil, declining educational system, increasing unemployment, neck deep in corruption. Constant electricity remains a dream.
On the other hand, our electioneering has really improved in recent times, railways are gradually being eased back to the society, mortality rate has improved from 47 years to 52 years. We have continued to remain relevant in the world of sports. Our agriculture has improved tremendously and as a result, food importation has reduced significantly. While Nigeria is not at the global level technologically, we are making giant strides, at least in the software development sector. A significant number of government activities have been automated in a bid to end bureaucracy, ensure transparency and curb corruption. One big beneficiary can be found in our ports: the automation has ensured goods are cleared on time and that has translated to a lot more revenue for the government.
I think Nigeria is in a very delicate situation. Leadership, it is said, is a reflection of her followers. So while it is easy to point hands at the leaders as responsible for our failures, it is difficult to see how many followers would have done any better. Nigeria is currently headed in the wrong direction. It is difficult to see us making a U-turn any time soon. I have thought endlessly of concrete steps that can be taken to improve our situation. Major problem has been itemizing and prioritizing them. I will trying doing so over the next 30 days.
For Nigeria to attempt to head in the right direction, our cost of governance must be cut. I would recommend as high as 60%. Money is the attraction of politics in Nigeria and that’s why semi-educated people who have enough money to fund campaigns (and bribe their way through) are in power today. I believe that once that money is taken out the picture, only people with genuine interest in service will step forward.
I find it difficult to take any public office holder serious with the amount of money they earn. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I can’t reconcile their earnings and the fact that they are in office for service.
I belong to the school of thought that all public office holders should have their children school in the country. May I add also, they must get all their medical welfare taken care of right here in Nigeria.
After deep thought, I feel electricity should the first thing any serious thinking government should tackle head-on. It’s a little bewildering that we haven’t been able to get electricity right in this country. The problems electricity will solve in this country are endless: manufacturing, telecoms, small and medium scale enterprises, education, health care. I know you can add more to the list.
What problems do you think electricity could solve in Nigeria? DO you think electricity is not of utmost priority right now? What do you think takes precedence?