Young Nigerians decry underdevelopment as country marks Nigeria@60
On Thursday, October 1, Nigeria marks 60 years of Independence from Great Britain. There are diverse views on the country’s progress as an independent nation, but no one hardly hears from young people. So, we decided to ask 10 young Nigerians if they thought Nigeria was headed in the right direction. Below are the responses they gave Nigeria Today’s correspondent Mazeedah Olutosin.
1. ADETAYO OLUWADARASIMI
No, I don’t think nigeria is headed in the right direction.
The government is being selfish and are not considering the demands of the citizens in the financial aspect, no job opportunities for most youths and prices are being increased from various quarters, still with the high level of unemployment among the people.
2. IBRAHIM ABIODUN ALIU
Heading in a right direction? No. I don’t think so. With the effect of the pandemic, the economy has been in shambles and we are yet to get back to our normal activities. The less privileged are still struggling, our government is not getting it right.
We are only hoping for the best.
3. SHOYOMBO MOSHOOD OLAMIDE
We are not headed in the right direction, Ma.
A lot of things are not in order. Our educational system is outdated. We are grappling with bad social amenities, poor infrastructure (road, power, etc.), high cost of living, low job opportunities and many others.
It’s so painful that a country with high economic potential and is Africa’s largest economy and with the number of millionaires and billionaires we have in the country, we are still suffering from high poverty rate.
It makes me remember the words of Mr Oluseun Onigbinde on June 12 during a virtual program organised by the Lagos State Government. He said, “We have 3 main tribes in Nigeria; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, but the tribe of poverty is the biggest and it cuts across all tribes. “
Just imagine this, in a country that claims to be the giant of Africa. I don’t want to talk much.
4. ADEYINKA TOHEEB TEMITOPE
Nigeria might not work principally because the saying “unity in diversity” is the problem. We are too diverse as a people to work.
So far, nothing appears to be working.
Take healthcare, for instance. Nigeria improved with the 1 per cent increase in the budget during the 8th senate but it hardly made any dent. COVID-19 has taught us that we need at least 6 world standard hospitals to thrive and compete in global health standards. Most of the rich would have left the country if COVID was just in Nigeria only. Doctors are underpaid, nurses are not well treated. The midwives are mixed up and no synergy between all the medical professionals in the country.
And talking about electricity, it has been a major factor from the onset and we are still battling with it. Nigeria needs to do better. About 32 per cent of villages in the country has no light. We need to diversify our energy sources. Increasing tariffs has nothing to do with stable power. We just need to devise ways to have good and stable power.
5. ODUBAJO JUBRIL ADEOLA
About Nigeria, I think we have been taking one step forward and two steps backwards. The present administration came with a lot of promises and admiration but they have largely disappointed.
But generally, the mood is great with the increase in fuel price and electricity tariff. In the midst of a pandemic, there is transportation fare increment abut there is no basic increase in the income of a common Nigerian.
But to an extent, Nigerians are the problem of Nigeria, we want a better country but we don’t do better ourselves.
There was a misappropriation of funds during Jonathan government where money meant for specific things would be directed to something else or be stolen by some set of people. Jonathan chose people he trusted and whom he thought could do the work. He couldn’t be everywhere at the same time and could only monitor from afar.
Who are these people who mismanage funds? They are Nigerians like you and me. We need to do better if we want to take this nation forward. The exact same thing that happened then is happening now. The incumbent President entrusted some funds to some people and it is being diverted.
Everything all boils down to the fact that we should do better so we can help one another.
6. AKINOLA MARYAM
I think Nigeria is not headed in the right direction, in that, education, which is supposed to be important is not even given due attention. Same thing for the health sector. Only the transportation sector is fair and even that has a few commas.
Also, I think our leaders are too old, while that means lots of experience, it also means minds not as strong as the youths’. They want things that’ll yield results now and immediately, which is not supposed to be. Long term results are what we should focus on.
7. UDEMBA JAMES
Since Nigeria got independence from Britain, the country has not gotten it right. Even the First Republic, which appeared better, was not without problems; the military struck. We had a period of military interregnum that affected the development of our democracy. There are myriad of problems militating against the economic development of this beleaguered nation.
It is disheartening that we are marking Nigeria@60, the country is going to be 60 years old and we are still in the woods. The aphorism ‘A fool at 40 is a full forever,’ can be applied to us as a sovereign nation. Nigeria is blessed with enormous human and material resources, but what do we have to show for it? We have been battling with selfish leaders who fight and cling onto power for personal aggrandizement. Corruption, religious and ethnic divide are other militating factors.
Until we sit down to restructure Nigeria, political stability and social justice will continue to elude us. Nigeria does not have economic problems but moral ones. People behave wrongly in public offices because of their sense of entitlement.
Nigerians and their leaders don’t believe in the country. Our people think first as Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, etc., before they think as Nigerians and that is the foundation of Nigeria’s underdevelopment.
The solution to Nigeria’s problems at 60 is to formulate a mechanism that, based on research and study, would create the principles of justice that would take us forward.
8. ADETU OLAYINKA
Nigeria is a work in progress, I believe. Despite my love for the country, it would not be patriotic to say that all is well. A number of factors, including social, political, and economic, reduced Nigeria’s political strength and thus increase national pessimism.
It’s no gainsaying that since independence, the country has been struggling to deal with the negative consequences of bad leadership, it’s complex societal and economic realities.
However, because a number of Nigerians have always refused to take the baton, lift up their voices and play their part in remaking a better Nigeria, we have no choice than to go through the mill of hardship.
Until we all blaze the trail and turn the tables will Nigeria head in the right direction. Remo Omokri says, Nigerians can act spontaneously for irrelevances but look out for others to act for them on relevant things.
As we celebrate six decades of our nation’s existence, I hope we realise soon that we have serious work to do to lead Nigeria to prosperity and true freedom.
9. OYEDENU DEBORAH .A.
With the recent happenings in Nigeria, it is only God that can help us retrace our step. We have lost track already. Should we start from security, recent hikes in petroleum and electricity tariffs, rapes and so on?
I would want to think positively about my country, but as it stands now, we need a big restructuring to be redirected back to the right direction.
Should we talk about the neglected and poor fundings of our educational system? Should we talk of the rich evading justice? Should we talk of how our judicial system fails to be the last resort of the common man? Should we talk about corruption as a big topic? These and lots more are what needs to be looked into so that we can be back on the right track!.
This is the little I can say.
10. FUAD BADRU
Thanks for the question. Personally for me, I’ll say Nigeria is not really heading in the right direction because of the many constraints. Although, in some aspects, we’re trying to improve, but it’s not still leading to economic growth.
Economic growth has to do with the gradual and consistent growth in all sector of the economy which is devoid of corruption, poverty, unemployment, etc. However, economic development is a wider concept because to attain economic development, you need economic growth.
From this, we can say that all that Nigeria is doing is still isn’t economic growth, but just trying to grow. We’re still battling abject poverty, the unemployment rate is higher, corruption is increasing, the level of servitudes isn’t reducing at all! Although these ills also ail other countries, they have a way to minimise it.
Recently, when the lockdown was enforced due to COVID-19, the country had to readjust her budget by almost 30 per cent. Why is this? It is because we still didn’t prepare for circumstances like this. People lost their jobs overseas but the government was providing them with palliative. But in Nigeria, we saw it on the pages of the newspaper.
Join the debate? Do you think Nigeria is headed in the right direction?