• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Will there be an end to Nigeria’s multifarious problems?

Methane emission could be major cause of rising heat wave in Nigeria – AfriTAL

That Nigeria is a troubled country is an incontrovertible fact.

Nigeria, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, is hobbled on many fronts by diverse problems. Is she not bedevilled by economic crisis, epileptic electricity supply, insecurity of lives and property, technological backwardness, infrastructural rot and deficit, youth unemployment, and national disunity? The answer to this question is a categorical yes. But our country’s problems didn’t start today; they date to 1960 when she became a politically independent country.

Over the years, since we achieved flag independence in 1960, Nigeria has not got it right, politically, what with the military overthrowing our incompetent and corrupt civilian governments. The first and second republics, we should remember, were truncated by the soldiers. And, then, the military rulers, who fancied their governments to be corrective regimes, performed far worse than the civilian governments they overthrew. They’re, simply, armies of occupation.

Thankfully, today, Nigeria has enjoyed twenty five years of uninterrupted democratic government, with one political party handing over the baton of power to another political party, peacefully and seamlessly. But, the question is this: What have we achieved in our many years of having unbroken democratic governments? The answer to the question is not far-fetched. Nigeria is still stuck in the morass of economic stagnation and technological backwardness.

Read also: Nigeria’s declining democracy: Who is responsible?

Now, in Nigeria, it has become the fashion of members of each new civilian government to blame the failures of their government on the maladministration of the immediate past government. For example, President Muhammadu Buhari, who contested the presidential election several times before winning it, whined endlessly about his predecessor’s in office inability to checkmate the monster of corruption in Nigeria.

Progressives in Nigeria argue that the country’s economic situation has worsened due to decades of economic abuse by previous governments. The rising prices of food, fuel, and cement have led to a depressed economy and a naira depreciation, erasing the middle class.

President Bola Tinubu, who served as Lagos state governor for two terms and fought for democratic governance after the 1993 election, is believed to have the necessary experience to tackle Nigeria’s problems. However, his leadership began with the withdrawal of fuel subsidies during his inauguration speech, and he has implemented other economic policies that have negatively impacted the economy, reducing millions of Nigerians to subhumans.

This highlights the need for a more balanced approach to addressing Nigeria’s multifaceted problems.

And in today’s Nigeria, it is not only the economy that has not looked up since the inception of the Tinubu-led government. Our security challenges have exacerbated. Homicidal deeds are being executed by terrorists with reckless abandon, which have left thousands of people dead; and countless others displaced. And the abduction of well-heeled people for ransom is pervasive and commonplace in Abuja and surrounding environs.

Nigeria is grappling with youth unemployment, with thousands of graduates leaving universities without jobs due to lack of numeracy and literacy skills. Even government employees, who earn living wages, are not living on the margins of society, as their salaries cannot sustain them for a month. This has led to a poor welfare condition among Nigerian workers, who often resort to industrial actions. The federal and sub-national governments have failed to abide by agreements with the National Labor Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on minimum wage issues, leading to labour unions engaging in industrial actions, causing significant damage to the economy. The poor welfare of Nigerian workers is a major issue affecting the country’s economic system.

Read also: Fractured opposition, fragile democracy

So it is imperative for the President Bola Tinubu-led government to up its game and offer us goal-oriented, responsible, accountable, and visionary political leadership. The APC government, which is at helm of our national affairs, should stop whining and, instead, take proactive and decisive actions to solve our myriad national problems so as to put a lie to the narrative that this government is bereft of ideas on how to remake Nigeria and put it on the trajectory of irreversible technological advancement and sustainable economic growth.

And more importantly, President Bola Tinubu should know that Nigeria is perching precariously on the precipice of political conflagration. Are the biting economic hardship, which we are experiencing in Nigeria; and the security challenges, which have bedevilled our country not portents of doom for our country? President Bola Tinubu should take this proverb to heart and act speedily: A man whose house is on fire should not chase rats.

So, now, the patience of Nigerians, who are chafing under severe economic hardship, is running thin, which resulted in their staging protests in major cities of Nigeria to register their displeasure with the existent ugly status quo ante in the country. The devaluation of the naira, our country’s epileptic electricity supply , the rising costs of goods in Nigeria, the security challenges in our country, and Nigeria’s infrastructural rot and deficit are the auguries of the impending doom, which is looming ominously over Nigeria.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Chiedu Uche Okoye; Uruowulu-Obosi: Anambra State. 08062220654

Okoye is a poet.