Nigeria, not well | The Guardian Nigeria News

Is there any reason to believe that everything is fine with Nigeria and the Nigerians today, from the riddle of intense insecurity in all its varieties, corruption, ailing health and education systems, youth unemployment / underemployment and unrest, rising inflation and the … the associated devaluation of quality are permeated? of life, the worrying plight of the elderly and retirees, a terrifying debt burden on governments – federal and state – impunity, lawlessness and injustice and above all a dysfunctional system of government that has hampered the desires and aspirations of law-abiding citizens? Nonetheless, the government led by the All Progressives Congress (APC) is self-deceptively satisfied with its performance in all sectors of Nigeria’s political economy.

The Nigerian economy is undoubtedly weak, with total public debt of $ 87.239 billion (March 2021), foreign exchange reserve of $ 41.750 billion (September 2021), economic growth rate of 4.03% (third quarter of 2021), a population growth rate of 2.55% (2021) and the unemployment rate, which is expected to rise to 40% by the end of the year. Poverty is palpable and the growing army of the unemployed is a time bomb. In the absence of meaningful jobs, motorcyclists or “okada” drivers dominate many cities and towns that offer transportation services at high risk for passengers. It is not uncommon to see a whole family of five with small children and luggage on a motorcycle due to reasons of poverty or lack of access or drivable roads. As a palliative measure, in anticipation of the cancellation of fuel subsidies in early 2022, the federal government plans to pay N 5,000 per month to each of the 40 million Nigerians, who are considered the “poorest of the poor”, for a certain period of time. According to the 2018 World Bank report, 40% of Nigerians, i.e. 83 million people, lived below the poverty line, i.e. on less than $ 1 a day. Of this group of Nigerians, the federal government will spend N5,000 each month or N166.67 per day so that they live and not die! That the federal government considers this scholarship to be life-sustaining for the citizen is ridiculous and shows how unrealistic it is.

Another separation. The finance minister said on television that the Nigerian economy has been diversified and the government is now deepening it. How and what does it mean? It is incompatible with the local raw materials abundant in the states that are not integrated into the national development process – petroleum and gas, bitumen, solid minerals, agricultural commodities – natural rubber, cocoa, peanut, palm oil, cotton, etc. There is no demonstrable ability Refining crude oil and promoting the downstream sectors, particularly petrochemicals, which support all of our imports of virtually all basic chemicals and reagents. It is regrettable that even cooking gas has now exceeded the average person’s average and costs at least 8000 N for 12.5 kg. Then there are the bizarre increases in electricity tariffs for network operators.

Even with a contributory pension, retirees often experience delays in payment of entitlements – gratuity and pension – due to the government failing to meet its counterfunding obligations. Therefore the Nigerians are in need and unease, and against this background the Catholic Church in Nigeria constantly prays once “For Nigeria in need” and twice “Against bribery and corruption”. First, the Church recognizes that God is merciful and a God of justice, love, and peace. That God rules over all nations. In a supplication, the Church admits that “we are burdened not only by insecurities, but also by moral, economic and political problems”. The Church asks God “to save this country from chaos, anarchy and ruin” and “to bless us with his kingdom of justice, love and peace”. Yes, justice and peace are inextricably linked and they are key elements that are missing from Nigerian politics, leading to the current swamp. But, as we pray, the free duty of citizens to work for a just society is not to be questioned, especially in light of Nigeria’s first political experience of independence.

Nigeria, a multinational state, adopted federalism as its system of government when it gained independence and enshrined it in the constitution of 1960/63. This system of government recognized the social, cultural and ethno-religious diversity of the peoples of Nigeria and the need to take these characteristics into account as the basis for national integration and unity. It recognized the strength of diversity and did not seek uniformity, so each federating component approached development plans from the perspective of its practical needs and priorities.

Prof. Eromosele is former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Science),
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

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