A lot of has been said about rebranding Nigeria to have a good positioning in the mind of her citizens and the international world. The then Minister of Information in her effort came up with the rebranding slogan: Nigeria- Great People; Great Nation. But, some years down the line, situations in the country are still creating ruffles in the minds of the people.
- If you don’t know where you are going, you will likely not know how to get there.
- If perhaps you stumble on your destination, you may not even know when you are there.
In the same vein, if Nigerians are ignorant of the kind of destination they want for their country, it will be difficult to come up with plans let alone work towards the achievement of such destination.
I believe in a new Nigeria and I see it happening in my lifetime. Below are components of the new Nigeria I desire and see:
- Clear National Vision and Citizenship Participation: The genesis of confusion is when vision is lacking. Like I explained in the introduction, most Nigerians especially the leaders lack clear vision. I therefore wonder how possible it is to support or participate in a visionless government. It is the responsibility of the leadership to carve out clear national vision which the citizen can run with.
- Visionary leadership with character and competence: It is one thing to have a vision; it is another to have what it takes to achieve such vision. How can you be an upholsterer and your vision is to be a world class architect. The Nigerians leadership needs optimal capacity to function well in the achievement of set vision. It is not enough to come up with unrealistic agenda. In most cases, the moral standards of the leadership conflict with set agenda or vision. Like it has been said, whoever puts a cat in charge of a basket of fishes should not expect a positive result. In essence, the leaders should strive to build sound moral character and competence.
- Security and Value for Life: In theory, it is embedded in the constitution, the right to security of lives and property, but in practical, Nigerians sleep with their eyes open. Insecurity is a major issue in the country. Human lives have somewhat become like lambs’ sacrificed at will to no result. I see a Nigeria that is void of threat to life. A Nigeria that places a premium on human lives.
- Corruption and discrimination-free: I see a Nigeria that thrives on transparency. Corruption in the country is like a virus that has eaten deep into the system. To claim righteousness is to raise the dust of confrontation and crucifixion. It is no news the trend of corruption, looting of national treasury, rigging of elections, misappropriation of government funds etc.
Coupled with the rooted corruption, the diversity of languages and religions has become a major situation in the country. Lives are wasted day in day out on the basis of diverse cultures. Conducted opinion polls reveal variegated opinions. While some people are now clamoring for secession, some believe the country’s strength lies in the unification.
- Uninterrupted Power Supply: Is it not strange to be scared when there is a consistent power supply for about a week in Nigeria? Nigerians are so used to power outage, that whenever there is an uninterrupted power supply, they begin to get suspicious of imminent transformer explosion. I see a Nigeria that can boast of one year of uninterrupted power supply; where companies can breathe air of relief from exorbitant money spent on diesel; where small and medium entrepreneurs can thrive and grow.
- Good rural and urban roads: I see a Nigeria with good road networks that encourage the smooth movement of farm produce from the rural to the urban cities; a Nigeria that dispels the thought of traffic and accidents as a result of bad roads.
- Multiple Transportation sector: I see a country that is not dependent on just one form of transportation system. Imagine a Nigeria where the trains are well-channeled and working effectively; where the boats, buses, airplanes, motorbikes etc are not only in existence but working well to the advantage of the citizens.
- World Class Educational Sector: I see a Nigeria that has sound and updated educational sector; qualified and passionate teachers, conducive learning environment and curriculum meeting international standard etc.
- World Class Medical Sector: higher percentage of death rate in Nigeria is as a result of incompetence, lack of equipment, power supply, delayed response to emergencies, fake drugs, unqualified medical practitioners etc. I see a Nigeria void of these deficient factors.
- Job creation and entrepreneurship: I see a Nigeria that creates job opportunities for her citizens. If the available jobs are below the numbers of the unemployed, then there should be an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to spring up.
- Accountability and Prudence: Over-quotation of contracts fee and misappropriation as discussed under corruption should be tackled with maximum force. Money disbursed for contracts and projects should be properly accounted for. That is the Nigeria I see.
- True Democracy: The recent fuel subsidy issue in the country opened my eyes that what is practised in Nigeria is not true democracy. The people unanimously objected to the unjustified removal of fuel subsidy and the next thing that was observed was the use of the military to enforce obedience. That is not democracy. Democracy is supposed to be “Government of the people by the people and for the people”. I see a Nigeria with true democracy.
- Strong Economy and currency: Increasing salaries is not the solution I crave. The Nigeria I see is one that an average Nigerian’s purchasing power will not be determined by the hugeness of the salary. What benefit is an increment of salary when there is always a proportional increment in commodities? The country I desire is one that an average Nigerian will not live below poverty level.
- Low Rate of Inflation, Interest Rate, Currency Exchange Rate, Poverty etc.
- I desire a Nigeria with diversified economy and not oil dependent only.
- Q: What is your definition of a new Nigeria and what are the things you see in that new Nigeria?