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51st Independence: A Nation Groans Despite Huge Promise

By on October 1, 2011

Our nation celebrates again with growing certainty amidst violence at various flashpoints in the country. The president did not stop short to tell everyone who wants to know that while we remain where we are, is as a result of the absence of strong institutional framework. For this he promises to provide structures at the end of his ongoing transformation process.

We cannot deny his seemingly indecisiveness in tackling the nation’s challenges. We cannot hide the fact that street kids still litter the roadsides, running in weird traffic to fend for themselves and families. Academic results being churned out have left a soured taste on our lips. The irritations about our students’ performances in various examinations get higher. Benin-ore road, among others still snatched lives away. The privatization process has been dented and the nation’s economy walks in snail-like manner towards consistent power supply. The population of almajiri put at over 8 million is escalating. Tomorrow seems dim.

But there is always a chance to start afresh. It could just be now for country with the missing link:  a state for all. We can start by ensuring better elections, urban renewal and improving in our internal party democracy. The state has to show a clear direction and a swift drive towards development.

With the fear of the unknown keeping everyone guessing, we can checkmate terrorism by reconstituting the disbanded anti-terrorism unit. We can improve coordination and monitoring among security outfits.

Yet all is not all bad. Renaissance Capital survey points to an optimistic picture on economic growth, values and entrepreneurship and the huge and expanding possibilities in consumption boom. Nigeria as one of the world’s fastest growing economies, has grown its per capital GDP from $390 (in 2001) to $1, 541. It holds a huge market potential in an expanding middle class which is fueling GDP growth in Africa’s most population nation.

More so, the survey declares the middle class as constituting 23% of the nation’s population. The survey which was conducted with1, 004 middle class Nigerians with 70% of them at 40 years or younger and residing in cities like Lagos, PH, and Abuja etc.

Above all, it demands an improvement in supply of electricity, reduction in unemployment which hovers around 19-25% with crime rate put at 5%.   The survey reveals that three-quarters of Nigerians are optimistic about the future of Nigeria. We know our nation holds a big promise and at 51st independence it is the time to unleash that promise into reality.