In my most quiet moments, I get to question if indeed this country of ours isn’t cursed?
Notwithstanding the fact that I am a die-hard optimist, I still express some doubts in my most secret moments about the future of this country.
A country where corruption has now become the order of the day with fear and insecurity on the rapid rise and Government appears helpless.
My mum once witnessed a robbery of close to 10 banks in an operation that lasted close to one hour. According to her, there were no policemen in sight and it was after the thieves had fled that the police came with their sirens. How would a country, as huge as Nigeria, be unable not deploy helicopters to robbery scenes within minutes of getting information? Some questions, one cannot just answer.
So, would Nigeria ever develop?
I know we are a country of prayer warriors and we will be quick to scream; “yes, by the grace of God!” While I have no issues with that, I wonder if that is sufficient because, even the bible says; “Faith without Works in Dead!”
Anyway, in my opinion, Nigeria can only develop if;
1. We stop pushing our responsibility to God or in most cases, lying with God’s name. I am puzzled that a criminal leader will call the name of God a dozen times during a 15 minutes speech, yet embezzle or misappropriate funds meant to build roads.
2. We hold our leaders accountable at all levels – Federal, State and Local, (particularly the guys at the local government levels, who people hardly add to the equation as they hold sway without hindrance).
3. We invest in the real sector – as a SME, I can tell you for sure that it is more or less a crime to be one in Nigeria today. Forget all the lip service, there is little or no support for SME’s in Nigeria today.
4. Buy & Use Made in Nigeria products – my recent chat with the Indian High Commissioner made me realize how a society can turn around their fortune by believing in their own locally made stuff. Did you notice that the Indians and Chinese have their own cuisines to serve their nationals resident here?
Let’s stop fooling ourselves. Some Nigerians show off with pride how every single thing they use is designed and developed abroad – even to their undies. It’s all good, but let’s note kid ourselves we cannot develop this way. We either believe in ourselves and support locally made-in-Nigeria products or forget it.
5. Invest in Youths: sometimes I wonder if those in Government realize what it means to say above 50% of our youths are unemployed – that is nothing but a waiting time bomb!
We’ve got to wake up to the fact that we need to invest in our youths – I am not referring to giving them N5,000 monthly stipends, no, far from it! I am talking about real time development.
Let me cite an example, just by building 1,000 outsourcing hub equipped with high speed Internet, where youths will be trained and supported to become freelancers, will take a lot of youths out of poverty.
I could go on and on but I will rather stop here.
My final words “if we want Nigeria to truly develop then we have to start doing certain things right , from today!”