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Nigeria And The Challenges Of Development

August 7, 2012

Nigeria is indeed a blessed nation, rich in land mass, human and natural resources. Nigerians wherever they are, are always among the best in whatever they do. However, the standard of living and quality of life of most Nigerians in the midst of these plenty is what this article is all about. Why do Nigerians live in abject penury and want, when the country is richly blessed? A pensive look at the irony of the Nigerian state will reveal that a lot of reasons account for this. However, these reasons will be streamlined to three main issues.

The first reason that readily comes to mind is the vexed issue of corruption. The problem of corruption has been one that has been with us since the days of independence. Corruption accounts for the poor facilities we have and other anomalies eminent in the Nigerian polity. It creeps into the system when those who are saddled with the responsibility of running the affairs of this country become greedy and self-centered.

They therefore accumulate wealth for themselves against the interest of the generality of the people. Successive governments have made attempt at curbing the growth of the scourge of corruption, but these efforts seem to have yielded little result. The current government of President Jonathan seems to be at home with this scourge. This is because corruption thrives while the government looks the other way. There are a lot of examples to buttress this point.

The Halliburton’s case, and so many other misnomer abound that one will not want  to mention here. No nation can develop as long as corruption continues to be a clog on its wheel of progress. As long as we continue to dignify and celebrate corruption, it will continue to thrive and the younger generation will also take to corruption. I wonder what those who celebrated the release of Chief Bode George, a man who was convicted for corruption and recently the birthday of Chief James Ibori, who is serving a prison term for corruption, seek to achieve.

The second issue that comes to mind is the problem of unemployment. This is an issue that is also eating daily into the Nigerian fabric. Millions of energetic youths who possess the capacity roam the streets daily in search for jobs that barely exist. Thousands graduate yearly but, there is hardly any job waiting for them. Those who gain employment these days are those who have “long legs”. If your leg is “short”, then you’ll have to travel the length and breadth of this country to attend one job interview or the other without any hope of securing such job because somebody somewhere has submitted a list containing his/ her candidates. These youths become frustrated and thus, become tools and mercenaries in the hands of those who want to use them to cause confusion in the polity.

They grab this opportunity because they see it as an avenue to get back a system that has given them nothing but frustrations. They therefore become a security threat  to the society. On my own, I have personally interacted with several youths who are either cobblers or okada riders, who are graduates and have undergone the mandatory NYSC. How bad!

Closely following the problem of unemployment is the issue of insecurity.

There has been an upsurge in Insecurity of lives and properties in Nigeria. The reason for this is not may not be far-fetched. Injustice in the system has been the reason for the growing rate of insecurity in Nigeria. We live in a country where the rich grow richer while the poor get poorer. The inequality ratio in this country is just too wide. Let me hastily state that, this insecurity situation is not limited to Boko Haram alone. The insecurity situation may persist until the injustices in the system are corrected. I am in no way justifying the current spate of killings going on in the country, but our system has to work. When you have too many people crying on empty stomach, what do you expect? Need I say a hungry man is an angry man?

Finally, let me conclude by saying that unless and until we checkmate the growth of corruption, we cannot have industries, good facilities adequate hospitals, good roads and other basic amenities that will enhance the standard of living of Nigerians. It will also create millions of job spaces for our teeming population of youths, who will be gainfully engaged and will therefore have little or no time to become a malaise to the society. God bless Nigeria.

Culled from PointBlankNews of 7th August 2012

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