ACCOUNTABLE NIGERIA...great people, great nation
Nigeria At 60: Problems and Solutions In Perspective
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Nigeria gained its independence in 1960 and its 60th anniversary of a tough marriage indicates how far she has come. It’s been sixty years of highs and lows. Sixty years of plenty and lack. Sixty years of short, bright lights and extended darkness. While some things are left unchanged for the sixty years, some other things are even worse, with any, hardly better than it ever was.
We have never been here before, and as such, may not understand what it means to be sixty, and underachieving. What we most definitely understand is that Nigeria is blessed beyond measure and has some of the biggest potentials for possibilities in the world. The potential we carry is enormous but rather than continue in this state of existential hopelessness in our situation, we may need a renaissance and a rebirth.
A country that has problems will have solutions. And while very many propositions have been made, Nigeria has not made clear-cut moves yet to plug the gaping holes. Successive governments, both military and democratic, have failed to be true to governance, with corruption being the bane of the growth of Nigeria. Her youths are expectedly tired and demoralised as the leaders continue to have a field day in their poor leadership and governance.
Nigeria has pretended to grow in the last 60 years but its flight is deceiving, promising so much yet giving so little in return. The promises are left unkept, the streets are left unkempt, faces are sad as they are stricken with poverty and hit regularly by hunger. Unemployment is rife as at over 20%. Despite an avalanche of resources, the sources of Nigeria’s survival are still nations who have managed their own resources well. Our history of waste is not mysterious. Our present wasteful reality is still largely a part and parcel of it. We are nowhere near where we want to be, but there are solutions to these problems we face. Let’s try to identify our problems. In them, we will find our solutions.
From simple citizen-based problems to clothes that have leaders as their sources, Nigeria must start answering the questions she is being asked. Our Problems Unemployment: Nigeria has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, of any country its size. At 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020, Nigerian youths are greatly unemployed. This is not to factor in the many that are also underemployed. Nigerian families have graduates yearly and it becomes extremely difficult to see the same graduates, most of whom are old enough to stand up, find it extremely difficult to cope. Some of the reasons for these area; Inadequate jobs, Unemployable graduates, Poor academic institutions, Cultural bias. Some of the solutions to these problems are practicable, and are working everywhere in the world. They are;
- Opening up more streams of employment opportunities through the setting up of better structures
- Encouragement of foreign direct investment to open the economy further and help lower the burden of joblessness in the country
- Teaching youths and students in school to be independent. Education for self reliance. Improvement of the power sector. There is a lot that is possible if Nigeria sorts its power sector. The cost of fuelling machines, of every form are a source of worry to Nigerians.
- Insecurity: No nation in the world is totally safe, but there are safe nations and places to be at Nigeria, especially the North East and North Western parts of the country are currently internationally recognised areas of danger. We have a war that lasted the better parts of the last decade and has snowballed into another one now, carrying banditry as one of its allies. Nigeria is unsafe for many Nigerians. From kidnappers, rapists, armed robbers, and many more and it is a turnoff for foreign business owners. Sadly, this has almost been happening forever. Solutions may look difficult here but they are not far-fetched. They are: Sincerity of purpose Diligence, sincerity and honesty of Service Chiefs and Security Heads. Community vigilance and sincerity to security Local solutions and following it to the letter
Corruption: By far Nigeria’s biggest problem, we’ve been plagued for decades and are held back by the pains of corrupt practices. Irrespective of how much we claim to reclaim, we are still a long way behind due to corrupt practices across all levels. From the smallest unit of the nation, the individual and family, Nigeria is soiled by corrupt people, and the future must be purged of such holdbacks. The solutions to corruption are very many but we will limit ours to four and they are;
- Stricter punishments for corrupt leaders
- Making political offices less monetarily attractive
- Sincerity of purpose
- Putting Nigeria first
Youth Suppression: Nigeria has had youths as leaders, and the stories are mixed. They have been good or bad, but the best have also happened at that period of our existence. Ever since, it has been way more difficult for youths to emerge. A very lopsided 1999 constitution also pegs youths back and the suppression is at a very high level. Rather than get youths involved, politicians and leaders have often found youths as agents of war. They use them as political thugs and keep their children abroad. Until recently when the Not Too Young To Run Bill was passed, Nigerian youths were largely left out from the polity. And their suppression has continued till now as the politics of money strategically keeps phasing them out. Solutions to these are problems are;
- Involvement of more youths in politics
- Growing youths interest in politics, leadership and governance
- Good mentorship of youths by more elderly and good Nigerians
- Teaching youths to be better leaders in their various schools.
Women Suppression: Nigeria has never had any female President. Many nations also have not, but there is a sad gulf between male and female involvement in politics in Nigeria. Virginia Etiaba is the only female governor Nigeria has had so far, and she never was until Peter Obi, Anambra State governor at the time was impeached. The closest Nigerian women have ever come to leadership is being docile Deputy Governors, which is no fault of theirs. They’ve been Ministers, legislators and so many more, but they have hardly ruled as executives. More women should be more involved in politics as the countries of the world where this has been shown are vastly improved. Some of the solutions to suppression of women in politics are:
- Involvement of more women in politics
- More regulations to support participation of women in politics
- Making the political climate less tense to grow confidence of women in politics
- Making leadership, governance and politics less monetary
Police Brutality: Police brutality is a serious problem in Nigeria. Extrajudicial killings have become the order of the day and this has lasted some years. Historically, the Nigeria Police have always been a core section of the nation but have not been transparent enough to give citizens the protection they deserve. There are many killings recorded in Nigeria and many families have lost their precious sons and daughters. While many have complained and protested against the continuous existence of SARS, a section of the Police, government has tarried in undoing the needful as Police reforms are still awaited. The use of guns has been bastardised by Police officers and many of them are poorly trained in the art of protection and defence. The ways we can solve these problems are: Gun control in Police officers Stricter punishment and deterrence for many who way want to do such Use of stun guns Better training of officers and the employment of more educated and refined individuals in the Police Other problems identified in Nigeria are the problems of motions that have failed to achieve anything, poor infrastructure despite the spending of billions, bills that have done to fuel citizen apathy from politics and the country, tribal differences, poor healthcare, a struggling business environment, votes buying, education, poor governance and leadership. Nigeria at sixty also has a lot to be hopeful about, especially its youths, but there is also a lot to improve upon for the future. The government must also step up in its delivery of good governance to the people, as they are very important to the betterment of the country.