By Emeka Chiakwelu
Cynicism is the product of intellectual lethargy, especially when history and situational ethics have inveterate the prevailing supposition. As Nigeria celebrate her 54 birthday, the conventional dictum is to be cynical and pessimistic because of the numerous obstacles and challenges confronting Nigeria. “It is better”, as Chinese says, “to light a candle than curse the darkness”. But in reality and evaluation of the progress of the country, I can say for sure that Nigeria is gradually but steadily emerging from the darkness of yesterdays. Let us reason together, hear me out before you start calling names and gravitating to the conventional sarcasm.
The leadership of President Jonathan may not be 100% perfect, but if Nigerians can be frank with each other the country for the first time in the recent memory is lighting a candle of progress. I am by no means implying that Nigeria has succeeded. Things are not yet perfect, but even Stevie Wonder can attest that Nigeria is in right direction. Yes, Nigeria still has a lot of works to be done. For the first time, Nigeria is in upward swing and Nigeria has formulated an industrial policy that will ultimately lunch the country into a modern industrial society. The Nigerian economy is progressively becoming diversified. The oil and Gas sector of the economy is no more eclipsing agricultural sector as it used to do in the past.
Nigeria has experienced massive direct investments that were streaming into the economy from around the world. But lack of infrastructures especially shortage of electric power supply and inadequacy in protection of life and property can derail economic development and deter the successful implementation of the industrial policy. There is a stabilized macroeconomics and well regulated monetary policy. Thanks to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and the rest of the economic and financial team; the days of lackluster and scrawny management of the economy is dead and gone. Nigeria still has myriads pressing problems especially the issue of Boko Haram and its destructive force. Boko Haram has spelled a difficult and problematic matter to be contained and annihilated. But all hope are not lost, the presidency has recently renewed a sense of urgency and purpose in confronting the towering problem. Nigerians must rally together to win the war against terrorism as she did to Ebola disease.
The war against Ebola was comprehensive, decisive and sustainable, that can be extended to terrorism and Boko Haram: The methodology and approach the government utilized and applied to tackle the pernicious and precarious Ebola was quite encouraging. The three tier-governments mobilized the entire country with credible plan to wage a deliberate war and defeat Ebola. I wish the government can apply a similar tactics in confronting Boko Haram, social ills and unemployment. Let’s delve into the massive unemployment: It is making life unbearable for country’s workforce especially the country’s youths. Many of the college graduates and able body citizens are without jobs.
This is a dangerous trend, if it is allow topercolate endlessly and be rooted in the society, the detrimental effect will summon an incredible doom to the society. The Scio-cultural welfare and the stability of the society will be threatened when millions of young and active youths are without jobs and lack source of livelihood. This is a timing bomb that must be attended immediately with strategic and efficient planning and implementation. Image result for president jonathaImage result for obianoImage result for aliyu babangidaImage result for fashola Well, it is not chic to say anything good about Nigerian leaders, but a bulging pregnancy cannot be covered forever.
Few Nigerian leaders are trying, rising to the occasion and sustaining social contract. President Jonathan is giving a new affirmative and progressive face to the presidency; Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State is rising to the status of a statesman, and Governor Fashola is always energetic and creative. And we cannot forget the able Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State whom has contributed immensely in tackling kidnapping and criminality in the state. Governor Obiano is working zealously to restore the environmental integrity of Anambra landscape. All things being equal, Nigerians cannot afford to write off their country because there is only one Nigeria and our children have no other place to call home. Running to abroad and siphoning the country’s resources abroad are signs of immaturity, ignorance and self-hate. Let every Nigerian work together for a brighter future for our children and posterity. Happy birthday Nigeria!!!
Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL.