Nigeria, a sick country that needs urgent cure

NIGERIA as a country has been infested with many illnesses that require urgent cure. In recent time, it has become a known fact that Nigeria, the most populous black Africa nation, has been engulfed in many crises ranging from insecurity that includes but not limited to (ethno-religious conflict, terrorism, armed banditry, herders carnage),  unemployment, corruption, falling standard of education (due to incessant strikes by both the Academic Staffs Union of  Universities and  Non Academic Staffs Union of University), high level of poverty, high cost in (housing and food), cultism and street gangs fighting among others.

In the last five years, the situation has become worse with no remedies insight. Terrorists such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Province (ISUP) have continued terrorising and killing citizens of North East Nigeria. They engage in barbaric, devilish and senseless acts by kidnapping, , murdering innocent citizens and military personnel at will. Fulani Herders are killing people in the middle belt of Taraba, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau and Adamawa states, while armed bandits are engaging in kidnapping for ransom mostly in the South West of Oyo, Ondo and Ogun States and North West Nigeria of Niger, Zamfara States. As a result this, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost to the nefarious activities of the criminals engaging in this barbaric act.

Corruption continues to be cankerworms in government from local government, state and federal levels whereby funds allocated for projects to serve as dividends of democracy are being siphoned with impunity, while all agencies of government responsible for checkmating financial recklessness are rendered toothless bulldogs because of lack of political will to enable them to function appropriately in accordance with the law that set them up. The order of the day is stealing with impunity and selective trial of corrupt public officers and politicians. Our judicial system has been corrupted, justice is being delayed and sometimes cases on corruption are struke out on technicality.

It is on record that this present federal government recovered some looted funds amounting to billions of naira from corrupt government officials and politicians, but the whereabouts of the recovered looted funds are not known and majority of the citizens of Nigeria continue to live in abject poverty because funds meant for provision of road infrastructure, social amenities, good and affordable housing, qualitative education and food security, amongst others, have been looted by some few individuals.

Education said to be the bedrock of development has been relegated to the background. The standard of education in Nigeria has continued to fall because of lack of adequate funding and neglect by the government. Mostly affected are the higher institutions of learning because of incessant strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Non Academic Staffs Union of Universities (NASUU). Because of the strike, education of students in Nigeria universities is being destroyed for more than nine (9) months. The strike action persisted because of the insensitivity of the government to reach an accord with the striking lecturers and staff of the universities. The effect of that is continuous dwindling in our educational standard and this no doubt has resulted in the country producing half-baked graduates because students are being subjected to crashed programmes which is not good for our education standard. Governments are not being proactive in dealings with universities unions whenever there is industrial action.  They always handle them with levity. This action of the Nigerian government in the last two years has adversely affected our university education and it is worrisome because no responsible government all over the world can be so comfortable allowing universities to be closed down for more than nine months without finding urgent solution to the crisis.

The leadership of the ninth National Assembly and its members that are supposed to be playing the role of checks and balances as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution are only rubber-stamping most government policies. The Senate just approved the request of the Presidency without considering the implications. One of the examples of these is the recent confirmation of the immediate retired Service Chiefs of the Nigeria Military as Non Career Ambassadors as requested by President Buhari.

Before those Service Chiefs retired, there had been agitation from Nigerians that all of them should be sacked because of non-performance to secure Nigeria most especially the terrorist attacks in the North East Nigeria. Even the Nigerian Senate was among the agitators that wanted all the Service Chiefs sacked for non-competency. Surprisingly, it is the same Senate that confirmed the Service Chiefs as non-career ambassadors. What a country?

In 2020, the unemployment rate in Nigeria was approximately 27.1 percent. In the last 5 (five) years, Nigeria’s unemployment rate has more than tripled. There are more unemployed graduates in Nigeria after graduation and the compulsory National Youth Service (NYSC). Many Nigerians graduates are roaming the streets, majority are engaging in jobs such as factory work, bicycle (okada) and tricycle riding. While the unemployment rate continues to rise in Nigeria, corruption steadily increases, the allowances of the legislators in the Senate and Federal House of Representatives are always increased during the yearly budgetary allocation.

No country can progress when faced with the myriads of problems Nigeria is experiencing in the last five years. Nothing seems to be alright in Nigeria. Security of lives and properties not guaranteed; education sector is decaying, unemployment rate nose- diving, our roads are bad and accident rate on the roads is alarming.

Now is the right time for the government to cure Nigeria of its numerous sicknesses if Nigeria as a country must survive.

 

  • Agunloye sent this piece via bagunloye@gmail.com

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