My good people of NIGERIA, happy independence celebration at 59. This October 1st celebration of our independence annually is worth DISCUSSING, especially the journey so far. Enumerating our good deeds and exposing our bad deeds for correction and amendment over the years ahead is very important.
It is just remaining 41years and Nigeria will clock 100 years. What we have achieved as a nation is worth commendable and our lapses are also worth being discussed. I will like to discuss our achievements as the Giant of Africa and also as one of the nation’s in the world that is rich and blessed with human resources, mineral resources and bioresources.
In terms of human resources our country has performed credibly well by training numerous gifted Nigerians at home and at abroad in various academic areas of lives and skills like in mining, aviation, ICT, Engineering, Sciences, Management, etc. through TETFUND, ETF, Amnesty programmes, NGOs scholarships, grants etc. This has reflected positively in making Nigeria to have the best professionals equivalent with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
It is quite unfortunate that these graduates with special skills are not paid well in Nigeria and there is now drift of our professionals to the outside world for more greener pastures. At 59th independence we have lost many of our best brains to the outside world and most of them now have been exposed to Xenophobic attacks in South Africa and other countries yet to be discovered.
In terms of Internally generated revenue, Nigeria has tried to beat many of the countries of same ranking with her introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In terms of Foreign reserves, Nigeria is doing well. In terms of proliferation of Churches, Mosques and other religious organizations, we are number one in the world. What a great achievement.
In terms of food security we are trying our best but cannot produce enough food that can sustain us despite huge agricultural grants, investments and various schemes deployed by the Federal and State Governments. The fertilizers, subsidies and other form of incentives to help boost agric production normally fall in the hands of the rich who are not farmers but stay in the cities and glass houses but not in the farmlands.
We have improved in animal production especially in cow rearing, piggry, bee farming, poultry productions, fish farming, etc. But cow rearing is dominantly practiced by the Fulani ethic groups and they are very good in animal husbandry than other tribes. They rear their animals to all parts of the country where there is enough forage.
The Federal government has designed ranching program to modernize this practices but it was not welcomed in some parts of Nigeria due to fear of dominance, divide and rule,etc. This has led to cows moving here and there in our urban cities in this modern 21st century.
Terrorism, Bokoharam attacks, militancy and kidnapping was thing of the past in Nigeria but has increased this days. Insecurity is now seen everywhere and the Government is trying best practices to calm the tide but as the Nigerian population increases, insecurity and other vices increases.
Anticorruption crusade has been the watch word of the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari since inception in office but some elderly statesman in the country says that the crusade was selective in favour of some political allies. But to me he is doing what he knows best as a former General. Recall that once a General is always a General.
Rule of law was practiced and later collapsed in Nigeria. This had led to several protest by human activists and some of them are in detention like Sowore and their cases had gone to court and they were granted bail but some super authorities are yet to give directives for their release as a result of fear of alleged Revolution. They are even in detention as we are celebrating now.
The IPOB and other groups are agitating for freedom and attacking their brothers to help popularize their ideas instead of providing solutions to one nation or achieving their freedom agenda in a peaceful movement devoid of embarrassment at the international community. I am not against plans for freedom but sensible moves is worth commenting than official embarrassment at the outside world.
Nigeria has increased power production and transmission and NEPA bills are piling up everyday but as a I am writing this piece, I am in a dark room using my small Nokia phone as my torch and tired of the noise of power generating set being used every day. The noise has been much that my ear drum has been sensitive to it and sometimes I shout when am supposed to talk quietly.
Other Nigerians have suffered from hearing losses and we can’t avoid inhaling deadly carbons generated by these generators. This means that majority of people in Nigeria are smokers of carbon from power generators which has constituted to an increase in global warming. At this 59th independence we are all smokers believe it or leave it.
In terms of education class rooms are maintained by TETFUND,ETF and other sources but we have lacked maintenance culture for public utilities in most MDAs, Federal and State institutions, in the military, police, Civil defence, immigration, customs, etc.
Government vehicles are not routinely maintained and serviced. Buildings are not maintained at least bi-annually. Furnitures are not serviced as at when due. We like buying new ones and this has lead to wastage of resources. At 59th independence we have to think about all these and proffer solutions.
The Local Government autonomy has been granted by the Federal Government. This is worth commendable in this year’s 59th independence. But are we going to forget the past? Analysis should be how many roads at the local governments can we count at this 59th independence celebration in Nigeria? How many roads have been tarred by the State governors who normally appoints caretaker chairmen over the years boycotting Local Government funds and the elections. Who will hold them responsible? Now on the State side, how many new quality roads can each state in Nigeria be proud of at this 59th Independence celebration? The answer is very difficult to answer by any of this present and past Governors in Nigeria.
The Minimum wages of workers in some States and Federal establishments in Nigeria are yet to be implemented till date of this 59th independence despite negotiations and agreements reached.
One may like to know whether Nigerian workers are happy or not, the answer is simply they are hopeful with promises made but yet not fulfilled.
Nigeria at 59 is a child hoping to grow up in the nearest future and God will help us in all our areas of shortfalls.
This is the Nigeria we are celebrating at 59th independence, the journey so far and my comments.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria, God bless our law abiding citizens, God bless our past presidents, God bless our Present president.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION!
Engr. Onyenobi Samuel,Mnse
A social writer & professional Engineer.