The message or the messenger, where some believe in myths or mystics, the wonders of the world can’t easily be summarized by short-sighted people and without a beautiful summary, the focus to be steadfast on tasks towards fulfillment will be difficult to maintain. As a people with no link to the western world, we had a resounding history without appropriate written records, through sterling revelations inherent in stories from fore bearers, diverse races lay claim to a beautiful culture of love for humanity.
It is not lack of ideas or ideological demarcations that hampers growth and development in Nigeria, it is the odd wave of absolute dependence on western worlds by both the government and citizens alike, if historical occurrences predating our supposed independence in 1960 were doctored by the colonial masters, who then takes responsibilities for every mismanagement of our commonwealth since 1960.
We ignored the signals when we refused to harness our potentials to develop home grown economy towards forbidding hunger and poverty in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, instead, we developed cities at the expense of rural areas then created a social class for the affluence, a population drift away from rural areas to urban, in search of social amenities and personal fulfillment, all the cities we created are now congested and the rural areas remains awkward in most circumstances.
Now that the present economic situations are no longer favourable to all citizens, now that the future blinks, we have refused to learn, all we do is lean on falsehood as premise for future plans, instead of searching for the point where we lost our core values, examine where we actually got it wrong and get our priorities right and to hold an ultimate determination to create a future where honesty and sincerity of purpose will be the hallmark of our Children, our romance with corruption and lust for power still misdirect our affairs.
A Country that cannot feed the Citizens and create enabling environment for home grown economy rather mortgage National Assets under guise of privatization or Public Private Partnership to create wealthy personalities richer than the Country itself and rely majorly on exportation for citizens needs cannot be regarded as independent. When the Youths expected to be the soul of the Country vituperates over marginalization, leaning on pre-independence and immediate post-independence dictates and youthful ages of leaders of that era as yardstick for negotiating inclusion in government, I wonder if common sense or logical reasoning still dictates human rationalities of leadership or governance, then all our hopes just withered away.
We are always full of praises for our fore bearers in Nigeria, we sing their eulogies as Saints Tafa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo and the rest of them, we acknowledged them of having good intentions for the Country, they meant no harm is our conclusion, only the coup executors that derailed democracy are the demagogues that deserves full condemnations, now that we have 17 years of uninterrupted democracy how well have we fared as a Country.
Education is a necessity for growth and development, but we failed to utilize the true essence of learning in Nigeria, we preference education as a tool for seeking emolument and paid job, by default, we over-emphasized certificates to a degree where education has become fully substandard in Nigeria and the quickest means to affluence is romance with public office. Except skeletons of countable few among government owned industries in Nigeria as at second republic, all others have been dubiously acquired by political office holders through privatization exercise over the years and the vicious circle continues as shown by recent proposals on sale of national assets. What killed our industries other than mismanagement of funds by the handlers, just to create a psyche that government cannot successfully operate revenue generation industries in Nigeria?
Using the Power Holdings as a recent reference, we handed over the running of that institution in care of moguls to become richer and remit peanuts into government cover, most government owned facilities privatized still functions at optimal productivity level as against the old order when fully operated by government, yet Nigerians are the same people running these facilities.
Accountability seems to be our greatest task in Nigeria, people holding public offices constitute themselves as the authority instead of allowing government to be the authority, the rules and regulations guiding their operations is primarily abandoned in the discharge of their duties, all they care about is full authority without check or confrontation, the recent House of Representatives suspension of the Budget Padding Whistle Blower for 180 days is a case study. Where the masses groan in penury under economic recession regime, we witnessed misapplication of funds in the Federal Budgetary Allocations by key leaders in the National Assembly, an action meant to expand their grip on resources in an era when they are expected to be remorse and fashion way out of the recession.
In the early days of Naira, a Naira has value above a Dollar and as at 1970, a dollar was not above a naira but today, a dollar is valued above 400 naira and the worst scenario is created by our dependence on exportation which explains the unprecedented rate of hunger in Nigeria today, the situation on ground goes beyond blame shift, it is our collective fault, just a few are contented without getting enmeshed in the bid for instant and immeasurable wealth, it is time for total redirection of our energies towards making our Country independent.
Over 70 percent of our local needs are imported and we only export about 7 percent while the rest is local production not enough for home consumption talk less of industrial needs. Year in year out, we deceive ourselves with celebration of Independence as a Country, alas we celebrates self-rule where the political class rake our resources and mismanage our affairs, then we call that independence, we will be truly independent when our home grown economy can provide at leasy 70 percent of our needs in Nigeria.
I disagree with the term economic recession on the ground that we don’t really have a defined economic system in Nigeria, all we have are fraudulent economic policies formulators with no sense of economic management or how else do you define the continuous economic woes befalling the Country since 1977 unabated till date. The right term that expresses our current predicament is intellectual recession or intelligence malfunctioning as we refused to cut cost of running government.
There are several irrationalities in our thoughts and actions along divides as a people, rather facilitating good cause of actions towards sharpening the populace mindsets towards One Nation, widening of ethno-religious gaps remain the ultimate pre-occupation of the policy makers as sentiments still dictates our priorities. A reset button must be pressed to return Nigerians to the era of absolute patriotism and trust in the functionality of Nigeria as a Country.
For a second, let us evaluate our level of financial indebtedness to international agencies and value the worth of government assets in Nigeria, what you find is a Country on borrowed time sitting on a keg of gun powder, we are totally dependent of foreign Countries to make ends meet and we pride ourselves as independent. Nigerians engage in all desperate moves to travel out for survival as the government fails in her responsibilities to citizens.
The population of Nigeria in the diaspora, our affinity with smuggling of contrabands through the national borders, pervasion of justice and get rich quick syndrome among the populace speaks volume, we need to sharpen our perspectives towards home grown economy to provide for our basic needs, when these anomalies are addressed then we can claim independence.
Comrade AbdulRahman Agboola
Mass Action for Good Governance and Grassroots Development in Nigeria