The rest of Africa is laughing at Nigeria. On developmental indices, the items we continue to boast about are population, GDP and natural resources. Without education, electricity, health, justice and equity, of what use are those things? What is our GDP per capita (which is a measure of the wealth of citizens)?
It is because of our problems that nations require visas before we are allowed to come. No one wants Nigeria’s population at their doorstep. No one wants millions of uneducated character stripped refugees.
The political elite not only have a direct line to our resources, they also have residency status in other countries. It costs $150,000 to buy an investment related second passport. And so, they have an escape plan, second home and foreign bank accounts. What is doing you will never do them. It is in the interest of the middle class and masses to restructure Nigeria, not theirs.
The political elite aren’t afraid of us. We are easily pacified and our representatives are easily settled financially. Whenever we complain, they throw us a bone. Whenever we agitate for change, they quickly present us with old leaders wearing new clothes.
Nigerians know how to advocate and agitate. We scarcely know how to strategise and groom leaders. So whenever there’s a power vacuum, like the Biblical story, seven stronger demons simply step in because my generation is never quite ready to lead.
Who is currently building a 20 or 50-year programme for Nigeria? Who is taking the long term view, with the knowledge that population, education and health crises are upon us? Who is quietly executing while everyone else is making temporary noise on social media?
When we speak of nations like Singapore or nation-states like Dubai, remember that from the time they began restructuring to when they became developed nations, at least one generation had passed. I will probably be at least 90 by the time Nigeria fully transforms, if we begin today. So why does my generation feel they have time or that they are building for themselves alone?
Here’s what I have resolved – planning and strategy will be the focus in this phase of my life. I’m done with the cyclical political bullshit that my generation seems fixated on.
For more of my random thoughts about life, you should get my new book, UNSCRIPTED.