Dr. Zainab Suleiman writes from Abuja
Undoubtedly, Nigeria has recorded laudable milestone achievements in the last few years and it will not be fair to overlook the successes; From the transport sector where rail lines are constructed and trains brought back on track, down to a drastic reduction in corruption cases, which have been so pervasive in the country. A hydra - headed monster which has turned public service for many into a kind of criminal enterprise.
This impoverished lacklustre has denied millions of Nigerians access to even the most basic social and education services, and such have stiffened police abuses and other widespread patterns of human rights abuses have been drastically brought to a minimum halt.
The anti-corruption battle is gaining ground with several high profile cases already in the courts and President Buhari - led administration have also promised to bring more culprits to book through the court.
Nevertheless, Nigeria is still plagued with several misfortunes, especially in the security sector. It is no news that Nigeria has become one of the hotbeds of conflict in Africa today. Apart from the intractable and dare - devils called Boko-Haram sect that has claimed thousands of lives and condemned several others homeless and scattered throughout the country; the Southern Kaduna conflict, the perennial violence between farmers and Herdsmen all over the country, the renewed surge for secession in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country and the agitation for the birth of Oduduwa nation among the Yorubas. These unrest have generated much inconvenience and concern in the country, thus making people and the general public tensed up. It won't be a misnomer to assert all these to absence of good governance in the polity and a multifaceted intervention from its stakeholders is direly needed.
It's also a sad narrative that Nigeria has an extremely negative reputation internationally due to the vices enumerated above and many more ugly trends happening in the social circle of the nation. One which is the notorious "get - rich - quick" practice among our people, especially the youths. A practice which has become syndromic and unfortunately, this get rich-quick-syndrome among the young ones is eating deep into the fabric of the society.
The said quick wealth syndrome is now more of a harmmattan fire, spreading its flakes into every nook and cranny of our system. As aforementioned, this inglorious act c** mentality is, however, not peculiar to youths as many people across ages in Nigeria today want riches without cracking the taxing carapace of hardwork.
In recent Adolescence Psychology findings conducted by Code Mint, a research platform, it is adjudged that the root cause of this nefarious practice is due to the fact that most families in Nigeria do not have the deal of financial resources, which the need to provide for themselves basic needs for survival. This poverty situation breeds hunger and starvation and by extension, predisposes member of such families, especially our youths to engage in illegal means for survival.
Another social factor is the notorious lottery business which has widely enjoyed a societal embrace in every part of our neighbourhoods with lack of stringent regulations from the government. A practice which is also common among the youths. Such system where a peasant amount of money is thrown into a pool of lottery to win big sums through prediction of game results like soccer, basketball, wrestling etc. The nascent globalisation of mobile technologies have also provided different new ways for people without visiting the bet booths, this has created a tensed atmosphere for the regulatory bodies to control gambling activities owing to its effortless operations.
Unemployment, which forms the pivot on which these vices sit is a great concern militating against the growth and development of our Nation. This owes to the fact that a host of our graduates studied courses which are neither marketable nor enterprising in the universities. Majority of these courses studied in a country like Nigeria is as worst than staying in barber’s shop to acquire barbing skill. Get it, I’m not saying that they can’t make a hot cake course in Nigeria but the level of difficulty this courses can be in the society after graduation is heart breaking.
I will rather advise prospective students that if they must study any of these "non-enterprising" courses offered in our ivory towers, and they are not ready to develop themselves in their own capacity, they should please think twice before going for those courses because no one has made provisions for people with such disciplines in Nigeria today and the little spaces provided has all been taken up by people who studied them before them thereby leaving no vacant space in such firms/sectors.
Giving unfair preferential treatment, especially to family members, nepotism and tribalism are popular cards played in job recruitment processes in Nigeria and this practice has hindered the deserved credibility which should be given to excellence.
We don't need a soothsayer to inform us that personalised ties seldom promote efficiency in work places. A lot of establishments in Nigeria would prefer to hand out job slots to their families, friends and loved ones rather than making the job recruitment processes transparent for the sake of merit c** excellence.
And dealing only with friends and loved ones limits job entries for brilliant folks, which consequently cause them to compromise an important advantage of the establishment. Similarly, such ties in the public sector lead to a patrimonial system characterised by favouritism and nepotism that undermine the transparency and effectiveness of formal institutions. The transmissible and ugly system goes on and on if unchecked and it generically becomes the norm in the society.
At the end of every academic calender in our ivory towers, it is no news that our schools have their focus more on awarding degrees to their graduands rather than drilling them through core areas like entrepreneurship that will afford them sustainable development after their school programmes.
Entrepreneurial instinct is one core shot that will truly help people, especially the youths escape the school-to-prison pipeline and become a successful business owners, so too can it help other young people at risk tap into their own unrealized talents.
As the Nation marks her 60th Independence Anniversary, it will be imperative that the government in every echelon face these aforementioned menaces that ravage our system headlong and draw out policies, this time, I mean public - friendly policies to tackle them. So doing, our dear country will surely become not just a better one, but a pride among nations.
May Nigeria, our dear Nation continue to leap in bounds and the toil of our heroes past shall never go to waste.
I wish every other Nigerian a great celebration of the country's freedom.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
And Happy 60th Independence Celebration to us all!