by Olanrewaju Oguntoyibo
Last week, I was able to give a generic view of the functions of any Government in a modern society. This week, I shift to specifics. What do the Nigerian people expect of their government? I attempt to make this list as exhaustive as possible, but would invite comments if you feel I have left anything out.
Nigerians Need Employment: We want our governments – Federal, State and Local to facilitate full and meaningful employment across the 36 states of the Federation. The current state of unemployment cannot be further tolerated. We are done with hearing phantom numbers of jobs created through unverifiable projects. We want to see real change.
Nigerians need Maintenance of Price Stability: We operate a free economy agreed. But a situation whereby you are unsure what the money in your pocket can buy is unacceptable. In other economies a price shift in certain essentials of just a few cents sparks protests. Nigerians want creation of an agency that will regulate the prices. Such agency will calculate the running cost of a company and use it to determine what Nigerians should be charged for whatever products they are offering the public. This agency will touch the area of garri seller in the market, Danfo (commercial bus) plying major roads in Nigeria, telecommunication company and so on.
Nigerians Want to see Creation of Wealth and Economy Stability: We are tired of seeing economic growth and development on paper. The present government keeps telling us our economy is growing and our foreign reserves is promising but this isn’t reflecting on the daily lives of Nigerian people, the poor are getting poorer while those who are rich are getting richer. We want to see the growth reflected in our daily lives.
Nigerians Want Security and Protection of Lives and Property: Daily, we hear reports of deaths in one part of the country or the other while committees continue to be set up to look into the issues. As a matter of urgency the NSCDC, Police, Army, SSS and other security agencies should be improved in technology. Nigerian lives should be worth something. Security agencies cannot fight insecurity with their bare hands. Monies that are being spent on spurious contracts like the proposed annual 30,000,000,000(Thirty billion naira) to Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) can be better utilized. If security agents are better trained and properly enumerated, it will be easier to carry out the intelligence required to curb crime to the barest minimum.
Nigerians Need Infrastructural Development: The economy cannot grow without proper infrastructure. All hands must be on deck to provide the citizenry with basic needs: roads, power, and water. As a matter of urgency, state of emergency need to be declared on our roads, this isn’t only on Federal roads, but also on states and Local roads. Only a few states could boast of good roads. The LGAs are the worst hit. The monies set for this projects should be used for the purpose instead of being siphoned by corrupt politicians.
Nigerian Need Education: Our educational system is now a charade. Graduates can’t express themselves properly in public. On the other hand, parents can’t afford tuition fees due to poor standard of living. The student to university ratio is such that less than 30% of those who wrote entrance exam will be able to get admission. Its obvious we need more institutions to accommodate these students. And also we want our institutions equipped to train us to match any institution in the world. We also want our government to make it a must for our institutions to always invite a visiting professor every year to give us a taste of what is being taught outside Nigeria.
Are there other demands of government you feel I have left out? Please add them to the comments section. I believe that if the people in government act on these demands, Nigeria will be a better place in no time.
Nigeria is deteriorating in all aspect and we Nigerians must stand up to demand for what we want as its our right and the part of our social contract. Let us stand up for change and make Nigeria work. I’m a progressive Nigerian youth and I’m looking forward to many Nigerians joining the cause and the New Nigeria Project.
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