As Nigeria clocks 62 years as an independent nation, Deola Otemade, Olufunmilayo Aremu and
Gbebemi Irayesorisane speaks with a cross section of Nigerians on what they feel concerning the situation in the country and what could be done to make an improvement.
Chesterfield Efe | Educationist/ Socio-political commentator
As an election year approaches and we seem to have another shot at getting it right, hence we must not lose heart. The citizens’ psyches and moral values have been grossly compromised so that they begin to perceive ussues such as social justice differently. The average Nigerian, having been maliciously undone, whipped, and downtrodden by past administrations has been irrefutably put into a survival mode, where they would do just about anything to stay alive. Sadly, corruption has become a norm; so much so that the average Nigerian, if he must make his way, cannot be explicitly clean, except on very exceptional occasions. You can hardly have a regular transaction with a government official or without paying a bribe here or there.
They even request so audaciously, that if you refused, they may punish you for it by cooking up some lie just to disrupt your plans. The situation is pathetic indeed and therefore calls for urgent attention. We must desist this. It would take very strong will and discipline. Discipline is enforced only when there’s a strong moral conviction.
“With a better economy, there’ll be less hunger, and by extension, a reduced need for bribery and corruption. This is still inclusive of the self-moral discipline of the individuals. Small Scale Enterprises should be encouraged by giving out more accessible loans. But what’s the use if there’s poor power supply and inaccessible roads? This is why priority should also be given to good road networks and power supply which are all pivotal to great entrepreneurial accomplishments. The need for empowerment across all demographics should not just be a song that is sung, but an action that is taken.
Stephen Omoyola | Lawyer
The major problem that has to be immediately resolved is the issue of security. As we all know, Nigeria is currently ravaged with issues of threats to life which negates Section 33 of the constitution. Our lives are being threatened; people are scared to travel by road. How many people can afford to travel by air? The issue of security needs to be addressed. To do so, the defense force of the country needs to be revolutionised. They have to reform it into something similar to that of our peers in other countries.
“They have to get competent and reliable hands in the force, they have to be equipped with high-tech and sophisticated machinery, and their salaries also have to be increased as this will serve as encouragement and curb bribery and the likes. They also have to ensure that a reward is given when an officer loses his life in the line of duty.
“Another thing is to revitalize the economy. Nigeria as a country has to produce. We have to be more of a producer than a consumer. If our net profit increases, the strength of our currency can increase. When the value of the Naira is strong, the economy will boom. When we produce more, we will get investors; they will look into our areas of production and begin to invest, that way, employment opportunities will open for youths. Presently, the rate of unemployment is high. If we produce more, there will be employment opportunities.
“Then, in the quest for employment, the issue of corruption, nepotism, favoritism, and tribalism, have to be eradicated.
“Competent people have to be allowed to rule. The country has to recognize effeciency as the mechanism for growth. At this stage, when we begin to put competent people in positions of power, changes will begin to emerge, the economy will grow and there will be development across every sector.
Christianah Akinwande | Entrepreneur
A lot of things have to be put in place to make this country a better place. The government must improve the country’s security condition for a better economy. When government secures lives and properties, when people can move freely without fear, I believe the economy will improve. Another thing that has to be fixed is the rate of unemployment. If the thousands of graduates of our tertiary institutions yearly are employed, either by the government or they become self-employed, I believe the economy and the country’s situation will change for the better.
“One other area is bribery and corruption. It is now seen as a normal thing in this country. If people who are caught are tried and punished appropriately, others will desist from such acts. I also think another way to help the country is that Nigerians in the diasporas to come home and invest in the country.
Muniru Dangaladima | Teacher
The only thing that can bring a better Nigeria is a change of attitude. In all things, we have to change our attitude. Our leaders have to be selfless; we also have to work with the mindset of making things better. People who want to rule the nation should go into politics because they have the interest of the nation at heart, not because they want to make money off the country.
Chinedu Chinyere | Student
We need to take our educational sector more seriously. This feud between the federal government and ASUU needs to come to an end. Students need to return to school. Also, in terms of insecurity, the federal government needs to look into it. Personally, I would love to stay and live comfortably in my country without having to turn my head in fear every minute. If I’m not safe in my own country, where will I be safe?
“Lastly, I really pray for more job opportunities in the country. There are many graduates of good universities but no jobs. I am a student and trust me I’m scared that after school, the same issue may become my fate. If job opportunities are provided, people will be engaged and have honest sources of income.”
Miss Temiloluwa Adeniran | A fashion designer
“We obviously have so many issues in Nigeria; for example, we have security issues, poor electricity, bad governance and so many more. If we want to make Nigeria a better place, we have to work together as one to eradicate bad governance. In the upcoming election if we vote for the right person, that would be a good start in making this country a better place.
Mr. Peter Akinyonju | Web developer
As a person who is into technology, this country is actually not the best place for me to stay but I really want to stay here because I believe this country can be great again. To make Nigeria a better place for all of us again, we the citizens, and the government need to work hand in hand, work hard.
“Bad governance is one of the main problems in this country, followed by unemployment. How can a first-class graduate in Computer Science be jobless for four years due to unemployment problem in the country? If we have a good government, unemployment issues and every other problem would be solved and the country would be a better place.”
Dr. Temi Akran | Real Estate consultant and missionary
“Given what is going on in Nigeria, the way forward in my own opinion would be that the present administration or subsequent administration Nigeria needs to revisit the report of the national conference put in place by the Goodluck Jonathan administration. A lot of brain power and ideas went into that conference, and I think we should revisit it in light of current events.
“Nigerian citizens need to come together and hold their leaders accountable. Nigerian leaders need to mobilise the human and natural resources to move the country forward. For instance, the brain drain being experienced in this country is much. Everyone wants to leave for greener pastures, and whenever Nigerians go abroad they shine. In the USA, Nigerians are among the most brilliant doctors and the most dedicated nurses. It’s not that Nigerians are not industrious; it’s just that we have a system that is not fostering growth. If we can look into this matter then Nigeria would be a better place.”
Ayodele Oluwapamilerin | A student
“In my own opinion, we need a good leader to fix the various problems. We need to work more on our goods, use our own products, and export more goods rather than importing.
“Also, we have to work on our refineries, a known fact that oil is our major source of income. We are giving it out to foreigners to help us refine it and bring it back to us, which does not make sense.
We have to improve our security, banditry, and kidnapping have to stop.
“Nigerian youths are unemployed; people are running away from the country, we need more human resources, and we need factories to employ.
For Nigeria to be better, we need to solve our economic issues, especially inflation; cost of living in Nigeria is too high and it is killing Nigeria. Lastly, a good country is built on knowledge, power, and wisdom, so good leaders should be selected based on these factors.
First for our government to get it right majorly in the power sector, power, as we know, affects everything, especially production. If the power sector is functional that’s a step in the right direction.
The government should also empower the Judiciary to prosecute without any form of interference. The basic democratic system should be followed to the letter. There should be stiff punishment for politicians who embezzle public funds and they shouldn’t be allowed to re-contest for any political position if found guilty.
Mrs. Kenny Lawal
To start with, a new and young president should be voted in and the old ones are removed, jobs should be made available for citizens so people can make ends meet, social amenities should be looked into, good roads , electricity n good health care will improve slot of things in this country n lastly welfare for less privileged should be put in place n God on our side His mercies will prevail in Jesus mighty name amen. * Education should not be left out ASUU has been on strike since March, Education is very key, knowledge is key, ignorance is a killer, and the future of the young generation are been joked with.
Mrs. Magdalene Williams
Change the core value system, moral value needs to change. Nigeria is a very religious country and it is run by men of God and Imams or prophets of Allah who encourages their congregation to practice religious rituals. An average church in Nigeria asks you to keep praying for a change instead of working for it. The value system of the country is MIRACLE instead of PRINCIPALS, PROCESSES, and PROCEDURES. Everyone wants to get rich fast and they depend on a supernatural uplifting. If you can get most people in Nigeria to think and believe that they are 100% in charge of their outcome and not God, Nigeria will change in less than no time.
Dare Tunde Damilola | Student
There should be the reformation of every sector in the country to meet our present needs and demands. Our political and economic systems should also be restructured. The constitution and other rules need to be reviewed and amended; citizen should be allowed to be involved in this, and laws that don’t align with our present reality or need should be removed. Also, there should be a constitutional conference, Citizens from every part of the country and social status should partake in the discussion covering the constitutional amendment and review.
Adedotun Oladimeji | A farmer
To make a country like Nigeria a better place to lives, good leadership must be provided to the people of this country because having a good leader will make life easy to live such as the provision of good schools, hospitals, good roads, electricity and security.
Mr. Johnson Adesola Adebowale | Agriculturist
The present situation in Nigeria is heartbreaking and it’s painful we have found ourselves in this critical condition. Brief memory from while we were growing up, the Nigeria we had in the early 70s and ‘80s was a country that had hope for growth and development, hope for the future, hope for the youths, hope for the totality of the citizens of this country. Today it’s so heartbreaking and touching that the country we had then has slipped away from our hands and we have found ourselves at a cross. To every problem, there is always a solution. In my own view, there is still a way out for this country. Nigeria can still be saved.
We need more effort in believing in ourselves as a country; we need more time as citizens to sit and rethink to channel the way forward for us. Our policymakers have some work to do; they need to develop policies that would help our youths to take their rightful place in the country.
Owojuyigbe Mayokun | A student
I would say the government should extend TETFUND grants to private institutions. It will help private institutions expand more than they are doing, and take some pressure off public universities. Also, youth involvement in government is a thing we really should look at now in this country. A lot is changing in the world. The world is running on new technology and new ideas; everything is future-oriented now. The much older generation may not really be in touch with the global trend. We need to start involving younger people who are qualified in government.
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