Nigeria is a country of diverse people, cultures, religion and political groups. The country achieved independence from the British colonialist in 1960. The country marked 54 years post-independence on October 1st 2013. The journey so far has not been an entire smooth one since independence. The country has had to face several challenges and problem. It is becoming a laughing matter anytime somebody mentions about some problems facing Nigeria today, the obvious rebuttal from your listeners or readers would be what solutions do you have to solving those problems?
While suggestive solution is an answer to a problem, or a process of solving a problem, implementation of such a solution however, is the fulfillment or accomplishment of that problem. In order words, a problem is unsolved until you implement the suggested ideas or solutions. Most Nigerians will cite bad leadership, as the number one problem that is facing our country today. Since 1960, Nigeria received her independence; either the military coup lords have ruled the country, or puppets, which were hand-picked by the outgoing leaders, after rigging the elections.
Nigerians have never had the opportunity to elect their leaders through fair and free elections. Therefore, our first step to solving the leadership problem in Nigeria is to institute an electoral system that will ensure true, free, and fair elections, to enable Nigerians elect leaders of their choice. Can this be done? YES. However, it cannot be implemented because any party in power will like to perpetuate its leadership. This is often achieved through fraudulent electoral process.
The ruling party operates the electoral machines, therefore is capable of manipulating the election results to favor the party. The way I see things Nigerians overdependence of oil might lead to our downfall. How? A country with a monolithic economy will not be able to survive any small adverse happening which affects that natural resource. For instance the Nigeria economy suffered seriously during the crises that befell countries who depended mostly on its oil deposits between 2008 and 2010.
It is usually advisable that countries should diversify their economies. This is usually the solution of avoiding economic depression. Nigeria can diversify into Agriculture, Manufacturing, Production, Development of Human Resources etc. Though, no nation is free of security challenges due to the fact that these challenges vary among countries. Nigeria’s security challenges would differ from those other countries. Security threats in a country may be directed against the citizens, the organs and infrastructures of the state itself.
The importance of security to economic well-being of a country and her citizens was amply highlighted by a former American Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara when he stated “that security is development and development is security”. Therefore without security there is no development. Examples of such activities that endanger Nigeria include: Terrorism, kidnaping, oil theft and pipeline vandalization etc. I personally think the solution will come from Nigeria redoubling its efforts at nation- building, provision of employment, public enlightenment on security.
Besides, security is not the only challenge we face. After all, corruption is known as one of the pressing problem we have. The upsurge of corruption in Nigeria in recent times is disturbing. It seems the menace has defied all treatment and the damages it has done to the national life cannot be quantified. The menace of corruption leads to slow movement of files in offices, police extortion at tollgates and slow traffics on the highways, port congestion, queues at passport offices and gas stations, ghost workers syndrome, election irregularities, among others.
Even the mad people on the street recognize the havoc caused by corruption – the funds allocated for their welfare disappear into the thin air. The situation becomes worse with the politicians who because of the quest for power manipulated votes and rigged elections. The judges are not left out. As a result of corruption, justice is perverted and judgment is delivered in favor of the election riggers who are able to pay their way through. It is a common belief that corruption is endemic in all facets of Nigerian economy.
It affects both the government and non-government organizations. Examples of this acts are bribery, fraud, embezzlement of public resources, nepotism etc. The first obvious solution is that the leaders should be willing to fight this menace head-on. The government should have political will to deal with corrupt officers. The society must develop a culture of relative openness, in contrast to the current bureaucratic climate of secrecy. Finally, the merit system should be adopted in employment and distribution of national resources, etc.
The importance of education to human beings cannot be overemphasized. Globally, education is considered as a human right that should be accorded to all human beings, in facts it is a human right. Paradoxically, in spite of her enormous natural and human resources, Nigeria’s education system is bedeviled with the challenges of underfunding and thus poor infrastructure; inadequate classrooms and teaching aids such as projectors, computers, libraries, laboratories etc; paucity of quality teachers, poor or polluted learning environment.
As a result of mis-directed attention of stakeholders to issues of quality education for our people and country, our education system is further plagued with numerous social vices like examination malpractices; cultism; and infant- hooliganism. Solutions to this issue at hand are; empowerment approach to education, proper governance of schools and implementation of Schools Management Committees (SMCs), adequate budgetary provision (funding of educational sector), employment of professional (qualified teaching staff).
Above all, the power supply in Nigeria is quite poor. Many Nigerians do not enjoy light for twenty-four hours in a day, In fact, many areas are without power supply for several weeks and months and nothing is been done about that. It is self-evident that the poor performance of the electricity power sector in Nigeria has been a significant barrier to private investment in the country, the overall development and economic growth.
The sector’s market structure like most economies of the developing world is dominated by the state-owned power entity – Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), formerly the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) – in a monopolistic, vertically integrated business. The controlling body which is the PHCN is fond of turning the light anytime it wants. Even the President of our country and many of our governors have been in darkness for several hours and nothing has been done to the PHCN officials. Power is important to the commodity for commercial purposes.
Solutions to these issues are restricting government’s role on policy formation and execution, mandating PHCN to operate according to commercial principles, introduction of competition. In conclusion I do believe that in every challenge we face in Nigeria there’s a possibility that just one man can make a difference in their generation. Therefore if one man can make a huge difference certainly our youths, the leaders of today can provide the much needed impetus to drive a complete turnaround of our economy and society.