Over the past few years, Nigeria has been on the brinks of collapse. This was so serious that her immediate past president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, conceded defeat to Mohammed Buhari at the April 2015 polls on the ground that countless heads would have rolled if he did otherwise. In Mr. Jonathan’s very own words, My political ambition is not worth the blood of a single Nigerian. Over the years, too, Boko Haram has been a cankerworm in Nigeria’s system. And most recently, the crash in the global price of oil has hit her economic life below the belt. Of course, there are many other national concerns and serious issues that are spitting fire at her.
However, I wish to contend that she’s not even seen the worst yet – unless she maps out a workable plan to arrest the situation. I’ve the following reasons to back up my claim:
1. Education is not yet her priority
Truth be told, all effort directed at education so far put together amounts to little or nothing when pitched against global standard. Needless to say, our budgetary allocation to education is just a little more than nothing; it’s never ever come any close to the UN benchmark. And so, who is deceiving who?
Given that education is the one determinant of development, and sustainable development at that, not according education its pride of place on the national scheme of things is tantamount to national suicide. I can assure you that Nigeria is reaping the dividends already, albeit negative: unemployable graduates and skyrocketing rate of unemployment. Trust me, she ain’t seen anything yet, unless…
2. She’s still paying lip-service to diversification – of the economy
Successive Nigerian governments of the past kept chanting:
Diversification! Diversification!! Diversification!!!
The most some of them did was try, but their trial wasn’t try enough. Of course, it was all lip-service, given that they didn’t pass necessary laws or leave behind a convincing roadmap for the way forward.
And then, oil shocks Nigeria! The price crashes! The Dollar appreciates unbelievably against the Naira! And everyone gets panicky! Nigeria is still lucky it wasn’t the case of oil vanishing, with the pipelines running dry. Interestingly, that’s going to happen someday, and if she’s still paying lip-service as at then, then your guess is good as mine: This house would have finally and truly fallen.
3. Nigerians really don’t understand the difference between value and cost
Nigerians have been winning ridiculous awards lately: Most Corrupt, Most Religious… I think we should add Most Ostentatious to the list; Nigerians are ostentatious to a fault – with the craze for articles of ostentation to show for it. Mega million-dollar cars and jets, billion-dollar mansions, lavish parties, precious stones and metals, etc; even food items, like rice, pasta, drinks, beef and chicken. Nigerians import virtually everything. Terrible!
This ostentatious orientation has a root: Nigerians’ understanding of the difference between value and cost is terrible, to say it lightly. Some things are just not worth the craze, and simplicity has been the most amazing way to lead a worthwhile life. And truth be told, this manner of conducting a personal life has a ripple effect on the general economy. The state of the economy, for instance, is a function of balance of trade: the relationship between import and export.
If Nigerians continue this way, then trust that the worst is on the way. Unless…
4. She’s yet blind to population dynamics
I continue to wonder what National Population Commission, NPC, is all about. Nigeria’s sense of numbers is something else. Do you know that no meaningful national planning can be done without a workable census figure? It’s even held in some quarters that Nigeria’s population is far more than it is being kept out. But where did these people get their figures from, too? What a comedy of errors! Of course, we hear stories of what happen in some sections of the country during census, how figures are doctored to serve the interest of geopolitics. Aside those, Nigeria’s record of births and deaths are nothing to write home about.
Population determines virtually everything, and for Nigeria not to have a close-to-the-truth figure, then the worst is yet to come.
5. She’s still oblivious to the time-bomb called unemployment
Every year, the hundreds of tertiary institutions in Nigeria churn out graduates who only get to fall in place on the unemployment queue. Every year. Every year. And every year. Yet, nothing pretty serious is being done about it. This foretells that the worst youth restiveness is yet to come. In pigin: Niger Delta militancy and Boko Haram dey learn work for where wetin go happen dey. It is squarely a case of do something or…
6. She’s never taken the need for orientation seriously
She said she has a National Orientation Agency, NOA. No doubt. But what has it been all about. It could have been about whatever all along, but it hasn’t been serious business.
Mental reorientation and attitudinal change is everything Nigeria needs to move to the very next level.
Christ said it best: Anything other than this comes from the evil one.