On the first of October, 1960, Nigeria Was declared a sovereign nation. This proclamation meant that Nigeria wasn’t under the control of the British authorities who historically were regarded as our colonial masters. In the same vein, the proclamation gave the Nigerian nation powers to make her own laws and rule her own territory without undue and unnecessary interference from others. By this, Nigeria was listed as one of the countries in the world. Several efforts were made to secure this victory as it was not a war fought on a platter of gold cum a bed of roses. Success, as it is often said is not a straight road. Thanks to the likes of Chief Anthony Enahoro, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello all of blessed memory who assisted in securing and sealing the victory. Preceding this event was the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by Late Sir Frederick Lord Lugard in the year 1914.
This year been the year 2020 makes it 60 years of celebrating the proclamation of Nigeria’s independence. In the same vein, it is the year in which the country aims to celebrate the achievement of the proposed vision 2020. From all indications however, there is nothing worthwhile that calls for celebration. From the human point of view, any individual celebrating the diamond jubilee must have attained some life time achievements in terms of earthly possessions and the likes. But in the case of Nigeria, we are as it were still crawling. Several areas of the economy are facing one challenge or the other. No wonder we are still been referred to as a developing country. While I was growing up, I always heard the popular appellation which is “Nigeria: the giant of Africa”. However, it seems the appellation is more of a wishful thinking and not something that is realistic. The country is planning on celebration the golden jubilee anniversary in a grand style. However, the question that comes to mind is this: “IS NIGERIA TRULY FREE?”
In the political scene, the country is still battling with issues bothering around thuggery, vote buying and other large scale electoral malpractices. Politics is seen as a do or die affair where one party has to be in power at all cost. The educational sector which is sine qua non to human capital development is at the mercy of industrial actions, poor infrastructural facilities and and quack administrators among other things. Several of the nation’s educational institutions based on an article I read recently are regarded as “Institutions of Regimented Passage and not for Scientific Discovery”. Hence, people go there just to pass the time.
Furthermore, several things which could have been the backbone of the nation’s economy, and could generate huge amount of revenue are not existing. And for the ones that are existing, they aren’t performing optimally as expected. Some of these include the Nigerian Paper Mill in Jebba, and the Bacita Sugar Factory both in Kwara State, Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State and a host of others. I remember the story a teacher of mine told me in secondary school of how Indonesia came to buy a seedling of palm oil in the late 1980s and now, it is the largest exporter of palm oil. Should we say that the gods are angry or like a popular non-fiction series that the gods are not to be blamed for Nigeria’s woes.
Ideologically, we patronise other goods at the expense of our. This on its own is having a ripple effect on the nation’s economy. In the area of security, there is a quantum level of criminal activities such as kidnapping, cultism, insurgency cum terrorism. This has even reached a peak stage as foreign investors are afraid of investing in our economy. Many countries have even sounded notes of warning to their citizens dissuading them from travelling to Nigeria for investment and for other reasons. Healthwise, there is high level of dependency on foreign hospitals for treatment. The question I keep asking is this, Why then are people studying medicine and health sciences if hospitals aren’t functioning effectively and the sick and diseased are flown abroad for treatment?
Well time wouldn’t permit me to highlight some other areas that are subjected to critical challenges. I do hope that in the next decade, Nigeria would actually be able to boast of been an independent sovereign nation free of all maladies. Or what is your take on my topic of discourse? Kindly share your views in the comments.