Why Nigeria?

By Fatima Yahaya

Nigeria which from time immemorial is
known to be the Giant of Africa, the
most populous black nation in the world
(with over 160 million people) and
recently Africa’s largest economy. It is
also known to be among the first
10 biggest producers of crude oil in the
world and has one of the largest
proven reserves of petroleum.
Unfortunately however, the nation has
gotten a debit side that weighs oddly
against its credit side. Bribery,
corruption and impunity have become
the
order of the day in Nigeria, and hardly
do the dusts of one financial
scandal settle down before a fresh one
emerges. Even the discovery of
petroleum and natural gas are believe by
some to have unreasonably prompted
high rate of corrupt practices.
Such that higly respected and public
office holders find it difficult to
come clean in any dealings.From the
2016 budget padding saga involving
principal officers of the House of
Representatives, to Senator Rabiu Musa
Kwankwaso presidential campaign funds
scandal, to Governor Ganduje N300m
inscription cleansing, to the ever missing
funds at Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). There’s
also the embezzlement saga involving
former petroleum Minister, Deziani
Alison Madueke and the arms deal saga,
to mention just a few.
The stark reality is that acts of
corruption and impunity are continually
being perpetuated by our politicians,
public servants, private bodies,
security agencies and even religious
leaders, among others. Why Nigeria?
Do we bother to ask why should citizens
of a nation so blessed with
abundant resources are living in penury?
Why should a country blessed with
abundant mineral resources including
Bauxite, Gold, Niobium, Zinc, Iron Ore
etc, have a non vibrant refenery and
mining industry.
Moreover, Nigeria is one of the most
ecologically wonderful places on the
planet, with over 4,700 types species of
plants and animals, yet a sizeable
percentage of Nigerians live in abject
poverty and 70% remain unemployed.
Why Nigeria?
A nation that describe itself as the giant
of Africa, yet none of its
universities could make it to the list of
100 best universities in the
world, while billions are being budgeted
for the education sector
annually. The decay in the education
sector is so much that university
lecturers could go on strike for almost a
year only for their counterparts
in polytechnics and colleges of
education to join them later. Nigeria has
also become a place where students buy
exams grades from their lecturers.
why?
The health sector is not any better. It
remains one that faces some of the
biggest challenges, which is why even
the president, his wife, government
functionaries and other wealthy Nigerian
have continued to seek medical
attention in places like Dubai, Germany,
Britain, United States of America,
India, and so on. This is because most
of the state owned health
institutions and facilities are in terrible
state. This ranges from lack of
inadequate equipment and medical
personnel to dearth of effective
infrastructure. Yet, billions are budgeted
yearly. Why Nigeria? Why?
What happened to the nation’s
enormously rich agricultural sector
which
used to be the main foreign exchange
earner and at a time when it was one
of the largest exporters of ground nuts,
cocoa, palm oil in the world?
Again, despite its privatization, Nigerians
are yet to begin enjoying 24
hours of uninterrupted electricity supply
and even have to buy it at a high
rate from the distribution companies.
Whereas South Africa is set to
produce additional 27,000 megawatts of
electricity, in 4 years to come,
Nigeria (with a population of over 160
million) can still not boast of 5000
megawatts, prompting Ghana to offer
help to export electricity to Nigeria.
Oh giant of Africa! Why?
Although the NNPC has the capacity to
produce 445,000 oil barrels, per day,
yet, the company boasts of only 18%
capacity utilization and efficiency. Oh
Nigeria! Why? Thus far, trillions of naira
have been spent on the war
against insurgency, with security gulping
about 800 to 900 billion
annually, one need to ask how all these
money was spent, as the terrorists
keep waxing stronger, killing/maiming,
raping, kidnapping and destroying
properties? Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and
other northern states have suffered
on a daily basis in this respect. And
while Nigeria is yet to rescue or
secure the release of the more than 200
Chibok girls still being held in
captivity by Boko Haram for over two
years now, Cameroun was able to secure
the release of its nationals and
foreigners alike.
All these and others too numerous to
mention has made the nation to remain
one of the most backward and corrupt
countries in the world. Why dear
Nigeria?
Questions…questions…questions…all
begging for answers that can halt
the negative trend and projection!

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