The fact that the Government of Nigeria has taken the citizens for granted cannot be over emphasized. The government promised health for all yet the National Health Insurance Scheme is dead for almost two years now. This is an organisation that is supposed to ensure that every Nigerian have access to healthcare. The public health institutions are not left out of the institutional decay. A visit to any government hospital anywhere would tell you the story. Every where is a shame for a country that claim to be the headquarter of the black race. When you see pictures and videos of Nigerians living in the Internal displaced camps, one wonders if our governments at all levels are responsible in the least. They wear agbada of irresponsibility and sit over our commonwealth without any conscience and fear of God. People are living in squalor and dying as a result of systemic neglect. Yet they revel in opulence. Meanwhile the president would travel broad for medical check up anytime and at the slightest health provocation. Instead of been an example to the people, he choose to support medical tourism.
The most politicized agenda of Government is insecurity across the nation. We got his word that we can now sleep with our two eyes closed. The events unfolding daily is a ridicule of this promised. In my church, the new apostolic church international, an Apostle and Bishop were kidnapped near Kaduna this week. The matter was reported to the security agencies but there was no solution. On Sunday, a Catholic church reverend Father and church member were kidnapped near Igarra after service at Ihievbe Ogben in Owan East local government area of Edo State. Security agents were informed but we are still praying for their release.
Instead of been more concerned with the security of lives and property, the security men on all Nigerian roads have mounted toll gates for themselves. Even the road safety corps is not excluded.
Any right thinking Nigerian should be worried about the state of the economy presently. Many things are not working for crying out loud. Politicians are ever promising to fix one problem or the other within six months or less only to compound the same after four years in the saddle of leadership and in control of vast resources. Instead of bowing out shamefully, the same politicians would do anything possible to go back and plunder our collective resources again. It is one step forward and two steps backward. We are going back instead of forward. Lesser Nations are overtaking us despite our huge human and natural resources. We pride ourselves as the big brother in Africa and send aids to those who should aid us.
We are supposed to be fighting corruption and we direct our attention to perceived enemies and political opponents while our members continue to plunder our resources. Corrective regimes become the worst and the people continue in despair. We are supposed to be fighting insecurity but it is getting worse by the day. It is no longer in the North East alone. Nowhere is safe now.
Do we not have enough security personnel or enough citizens to recruit into the security forces and secure the Nation? Can the government at all levels not set up farms and employ graduates to produce food for the Nation, reduce unemployment and criminality and increase productivity. No money to pay their salaries did I hear you say? What about the huge salaries and allowances of Assembly members across the nation? The huge salaries and allowances of the executives comprising Ministers, Ministers of state, special advisers and senior and junior advisers to ministers and president and his aides. The same goes for State and Local governments. Very heavy load this country is carrying on its head in the name of governance. Offload this self-inflicted national burden and use the resources to secure food, employment, and lives, Mr. President. Nobody should earn more than N250,000.00 per month if the least worker is to earn N30,000.00. All of you are playing politics with the happiness of the citizens and one day, you will have no place to hide when the bubble shall burst. I am not interested in political affiliations. I am concerned about moving forward and not being numbered among the worst nations of the world.
So many people are leaving the country for greener pastures. Some die on the way, some have become slaves in foreign Nations while many are engaged in dehumanizing enterprises. Many are scavenging to eat while others are cruising in very luxurious cars and living in expensive houses in the choicest of locations at the cost of our collective National resources. They own properties everywhere including foreign countries. Many of them even own businesses abroad but none in Nigeria.
Government is supposed to encourage industrialists and investors who are patriotic enough to create employment by establishing companies in Nigeria capable of employing some of our graduates and creating happiness here and there but there are impediments. They call it ‘Nigeria’. There are protocols that must be followed. The Nigeria factor must come into play. These well-meaning investors must be discouraged and frustrated by the Nigeria Factor. Woe betides those whose mission is to perpetuate poverty instead of prosperity. Those who stand against the well being of the masses by blocking the door for others to progress shall witness their dooms day live.
Look at the National Health Insurance Scheme that by now would have made it possible for many Nigerians to access healthcare. What are they doing there in Abuja? Everything Nigerian must have hiccups? Even the health of citizens is subject to politics. What percentage of the national budget for 2019 is for health and education for the masses? What percentage is for salaries and allowances of government functionaries, open or hidden?
Maybe they want to reduce the population of the country by hunger, insecurity, illiteracy, disease, and death.
An economy can be said to be depressed if all micro and macro indicators say so. There is high cost of living; inflation is high, static income with low purchasing power and poor infrastructure. Business is dull and employees lay off is rampant. Unemployment is usually very high and poverty level also high. Crimes and criminality is the order of the day.
Nigeria is currently experiencing this scenario but the government is totally playing the ostrich. We need to honestly face the reality that we have a depressed economy in our hands and proffer solutions.
- Cut the allowances and salaries of Government political office holders and appointees.
- Cut the allowances of Legislators at all levels of Government.
- Increase spending on infrastructure across the country. These should include roads, railways, water transport and electricity.
- Increase modern processing and packaging of Agricultural products and wild tree crops like Mangoes, Cashew fruit and nuts, ducanuts, walnuts etc. These products are actually wasting all over the country.
- Increase education in Agriculture and empower graduates with start off funds and land to establish modern farms.
- Set up communal farms in all Local and State Government. Government and private sector partnership in Agriculture would work as it is working in other sectors.
- Provide low interest loans to businessmen to enable them revive the industries.
- Provide alternative source of electricity. Utilize the gasses been wasted in the oil producing states and establish power plants across the country.
- Increase spending on education and health.
- Abolish medical tourism totally in Nigeria.
- Make politics unattractive. The do or die in Nigeria politics must stop.
- Enact enabling laws and ensure compliance.
- Let the arms, agencies and departments of Government be free to do their work effectively and efficiently. Let there be equity and rule of law.
- There should be proper National Orientation so that the citizens would respect their country and be ready to die for it. This should start from Primary School to the University level of education.
- Develop the sports sector massively. In foreign countries, sports is a major employer of labour. Start from primary schools and feature as many sporting activities as possible. The objective should be to compete globally. The Government should pass an enabling law to encourage and compel multinationals and local companies to sponsor sporting activities and have necessary tax rebate. This will help the youths to channel their energies into gainful sporting activities. There is no reason why the Dangote group of companies are not heavily involved in local sports development instead of planning to buy a foreign club.
- Privatise all companies owned by the government and let the private sector drive the economy. Be a regulator and impartial umpire. I am convinced that these are the ways out of the present downturn of our economy.
There is the urgent need to return to the old days in our standard of education in terms of content, delivery, monitoring and evaluation. The standard of education is falling despite the advent of modern information technology including the internet that should enhance it. The truth is that the basics are ignored by modern day educational Administrators.
We identify the problems associated with our educational system to be:
1. Poor quality of teachers. Teachers of the good old days were trained in Teacher training colleges and well equipped to handle primary school which is the foundation stone of childhood education. Do we still have a single Teacher training college in Nigeria? We now have colleges of education with standards less than the TC2. The graduates of these schools have little or nothing to impact on our educational system as their teachers are not even qualified to teach at that level.
2. Lack of learning materials is another bane in our educational system. In those days, when you pay your children school fees, they are supplied all necessary textbooks and writing materials on the day of resumption. Today, most students have no textbooks. They are only lucky to have notebooks. Mathematica Set and drawing crayons are now privileges.
3. Dedicated teachers are no more. What we have now are Business men and women or farmers in the rural areas. They focus more on life outside school and neglect the children. It has become only a stepping stone to better paying jobs in oil and gas, banking and telecommunication. There is hardly any proud teacher anymore. How noble is the noble Profession now?
4. Lack of supervision by both internal and external inspectors. Teachers are not supervised by the headmasters and inspectors from the ministry of education. Teachers rarely write proper lesson notes checked by the headmasters or his Vice. Teaching is no more methodical, captivating and interesting. Students are not sufficiently engaged by their supposed mentors.
5. Lack of extra Curriculum activities after normal School hours. Engagement in sports, arts and crafts, general School labor, social gathering, guardian counseling, free lessons, civics and moral instructions are lacking in our Schools today. Children go to school, help teachers to hawk or plate hair and have two or three lessons instead of eight, close and go home till next day. The poorly groomed teachers often give assignments that they cannot solve. What a shame.
6. Modern teachers are psychedelic. They dress very poorly in unofficial outfits unbefitting of mentors. The attitude and carriage of our teachers is reckless. Their relationship with students sometimes unprofessional. We hear of teachers sharing students lunch or asking parents for help. Where is the dignity of the Nation builder. Majority of the teachers should actually be students elsewhere.
7. Poor motivation of teachers by authorities is not only criminal but also wicked and insensitive. How do you expect a hungry teacher to perform. How on earth should teachers not be paid their salaries for months. The authorities have reduced the profession that made them to beggars.