Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Nigeria @ 50- Day 7: Truth Or Dare!

"Nigeria at 50, Day 6 - Tomi

Lot of times I have sat down and ponder on the situation in our once Great country Nigeria and mostly it’s usually about how we got to where we are.

When I have discussions with my friends and family about the situation, I get different perspectives about our where we are and where we are going in the country. I think the major issue we have in the country is that people don’t tell it as it is as long as they or their family is in Government, making money, living comfortably (Nigeria Standard) or collecting contracts and kickbacks from the government. We need to start by telling it as it is which is by accepting that nothing is getting better. We Nigerians, am sorry to say are hypocrites and I won’t say I am not guilty as well.

When I ask people how things are getting better in Nigeria, well they come up with statements like a lot of technology development has been achieved in the country and also a lot of foreign investors are in Nigeria now and yeah not really Nigeria but Lagos is better and the Lagos state Governor is doing great things and sooner or later the other states will take a cue from him. What are the great things he is doing that are making Lagos better will always be my next question. He did “some” roads, he is privatizing infrastructures so that they can be implemented etc.
So people are trying to tell me that a whole state government cannot fix and maintain a stretch of road but all they can do is lease it to an individual for 30yrs to make his money back from it.Lagos-Ibadan expressway has been leased to the an individual for the past 2yrs and he has not done anything on the road because he said he does not have money yet to fix it."Go figure" “Folks also come up with this excuse that actually pisses the pants off me that we always expect the government to do everything for us in Nigeria”

The first question I ask then is - Since majority of us are educated, it is very simple, “What is the definition of a Government?” gathering from all sources “A Government of a country, State etc is an entity comprising of people entrusted by the people to regulate the law, provide security and provide basic amenities (Health System, Education System, Electricity, Good Water & Good Roads) for the people that entrusted them there”. So looking at the Government of Nigeria, I really don’t see why we have one.

We have a lot of groups coming up that they are for the emancipation of the country from our failed leaders but the motives of the people in charge and interacting with the people in power cannot be determine. All we can do is urge and move along with them and see where the agenda lead us to. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to a prominent woman whom I believe has enough wisdom to be able to advice about what is really happening in our country and she actually gave me a reality check about the situation.

She said and I quote “The generation leading us right now is very corrupt to its bones, and our generation (referring to my generation) is worse than the generation leading us now. Then the generation after us is worse than our generation”.

I sat down and thought about what she said and at a point I realized that she is right. The generation after our generation is the ones in primary and high school now and their drive and ambitions to be rich by any means is scary.

This same woman also said the greatest mistake we made in our country is that we allowed poverty to get to a level that to get back from that level will be a miracle and that at a point in time we stopped making the people we entrusted to lead us accountable but started making excuses for them.

Nigeria is a unique country on its own and I think we should stop trying to compare Nigeria to any other country. I always hear people comparing Nigeria to Ghana to which there is no basis of comparison in any aspect.

Accepting and telling how the situation is in the country is one of the major step for us to move forward as a nation.We have people in diaspora moving back to the country and talking about going back to help build the country,but none of these people move back to the country to go and serve and help build the already broken government.Nobody wants to serve as a civil servant right now but we expect the government to develop and move forward.

We already established that we don't have a maintenance culture in the country, so a lot of developed and repaired structures always end up the same way.Establishing a new technology in the country without the backbone to support this technology is not a way to develop or move the country forward.We always fail to build the foundation to support any new infrastructures that is being implemented because the government,people,foreign investor or entity that is implementing the infrastructure is just trying to make a quick buck as much as they can within a certain period of time.We always want to walk without crawling in Nigeria and this always set us back at the end of the day. Most of the time we as the citizens of the country get out priorities misplaced due to us trying to compete or meet up with the oppression from the other folks.

I am very sure some people reading this piece will be thinking that all I wrote about are just negatives about Nigeria, but the write-up is suppose to show how and what you feel about the situation in our country.Wish I could keep writing but I have to put up this post immediately.

The people of my country Nigeria is blessed in anyway you can ever imagine and that is the only reason we are still standing as far as I am concern and God has blessed the land with everything you can ever imagine.

"Nigeria at 50, Day 8 - Isha