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|Nigeria At 56: A Way Forward by Uzeinalkali(m): 1:44pm On Oct 01, 2016|
First and foremost, I congratulate my fellow Nigerians on this independence anniversary. I must say that it is not an easy feat to attain 56 years of political independence. Despite the tussles the country has gone through we have remained undivided, determined and hopeful of a better future. Despite the continuous hardship we face I encourage that we shouldn’t despair but rather as a country face these challenges squarely. I also encourage that we should be proud of what we have accomplished so far regardless of how trivial these achievements may be.
Although development of the country has been a progress – slow and steady since it gained independence few decades ago, there still pose to us some challenges we must overcome. The full potential of the country is yet to be manifested and this is as a result of the fusion of fear, frustration and continuous failure of the government year after year; there is decay in almost entire sector of the country starting from the school system, agricultural/food sector, power, security, to mention a few.
Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise anymore when some Nigerians attribute the predicament and failure of the country to bad leadership and this is not far from the truth but I think we the ordinary citizens and followers should also bear the cross. After all, we are the ones who keep electing incompetent leaders into power, especially the youths who have become tools of unfounded violence and intimidation during election.
Also, Nigerians have embraced unpatriotic attitudes towards their fellow countrymen; greed has eaten deep into the national fabrics. We have continued to ignore the need to serve our country judiciously putting aside our vested interests. Over the past few years, politicians who are supposed to serve the people took the opportunity to betray the people’s trust until recently when Nigerians displayed their disappointment by electing a new government.
After years of corruption and incompetency, Nigerians decided to elect a new leader who serves as an inspiration for good leadership. So far, President Muhammadu Buhari have done quiet an impressive work in the aspect of security and war on corruption and this he should be given credit. However, the country has since faced economic hardship which many ordinary Nigerians like myself have to cope with. I suppose Nigerians understand and are aware that this is mostly the fault of the past administration but we have become sick and tired of the blame game. What we need now is solution; both short and long term solutions. The economy has plunged into recession and we know what that means. Companies and factories have shutdown as a result of economic hardship, others strong enough to continue have begun to lay-off workers because salaries can’t be paid. The Naira is losing value daily and as I write 1USD is equal to 304NGN. It is that bad that In fact, many of us have begun to lose hope in the present administration but I believe it is not too late to get things right.
I must confess that I am not an economist or else I would have been able to use the necessary economic formulas and jargon to proffer a solution to the current economic crisis, this notwithstanding I shall attempt to explain this in simple layman words and to my understanding of how things should work.
I am inclined to mention that the option for sale of national asset is not a viable option. Instead of selling off our national assets we should rather improve on their use. It is no news that top government officials are paid way too much for a country in recession; the salaries these representatives collect especially the law makers is too much and therefore should be slashed. Also unnecessary allowances should be temporarily or permanently halted and invested in more important issues. Invest in local industries; give more contracts to local industries, this I believe will provide jobs for many Nigerians and of course will be reinvested into the economy that can lead to growth.
Diversification of the economy is another solution but sadly we are good at theorizing but find it extremely difficult to execute solutions; the government isn’t doing enough for agriculture despite the fact that we are blessed with rich, abundant land resource for food cultivation. Although, the government have created incentives to empower farmers, this to the best of my knowledge is not enough. My preferred solution to this is the creation of state owned farms; every state should be given the opportunity to own farms of their own where they can produce foods that are compatible with the areas, this will not only create jobs for the people of the states but also serve as a rescue for our current food crisis. This I believe will also shift the economy from an oil dependant country to a country reliant on agriculture saving us the embarrassment and expenses of importing food.
My wish for Nigeria
I wish for the renaissance of Nigeria in the coming years and this goes beyond economic revival but also a moral re-awakening among Nigerians. I wish that the coming generations will not have to go through as much hardship as we currently face. I wish for a Nigeria that is led by good leadership that serves the interest of the people rather than those of the elites. I also wish for a Nigeria that is filled with a sense of patriotism among fellow countrymen free from corruption and betrayal.
All these cannot be achieved without the efforts of every Nigerian. Bearing this in mind we should all come together to ensure that whatever action we take is for the betterment of the country. Once again, Happy Independence Celebration.
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