A Diaspora Agenda for Nigerian President -Moses Ilenbiluan

Nigeria is a great country but she is fast going down the wrong path. A poll of People of Nigerian origin living outside the shore of that country suggests that several crucial issues which should be part of the bid for re-election by President Goodluck Jonathan are actually not being fully addressed. The global media attention brought on Nigeria by the upcoming 2015 Presidential serves as a good opportunity to review some of these crucial issues:

Photo Credit -Kulsmithe

President Jonathan -Photo Credit -Kulsmithe

Security – the Nigerian security apparatus is nothing to write home about. Life is worthless in Nigeria and someone can threaten to kill you and that is it. For a token of N2000 to any hungry guy, you are gone. Kidnappings are rife for ordinary citizens. Even worse for those visiting the country from abroad with fe family members. Such people have become targets of kidnappers who assume they have brought dollars from abroad, not knowing that it is not as in foreign countries as well. The inefficiency of the Nigerian police and corrupt law enforcement agents is an additional contributor to the security threat in present day Nigeria.

Unemployment – This is a canker worm which needs be tackled. Joblessness especially at the “educated level” can be a precursor to crimes. Government should pay attention to employment at all levels. Employment-driven education based on proper economic development planning should be emphasized. Coming out of a university and not finding a job after three years of active job hunt is not good enough.

Education

Education– gone are those days when universities like University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria in Nsukka, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife and Amadu Bello University in Zaria could contest with the Harvard, Yale, Columbia and similar ivy league institutions of Higher learning in United States. Government should tackle this educational degradation and fund our universities accordingly.Land and Housing – Governments should provide land with C of Os at affordable prices to willing Nigerians particularly Diasporas’ willing to build in Nigeria. Land alone going for N30 – N40m is crazy.  Government should consider this seriously to attract Diasporas back home.Corruption – Nigerian legal system which grants immunity to elected/government officials and treasury-looting should be reconsidered. There should be a good pay-back penal system even if it means capital in addition to forfeiture of all illegal wealth to the states.

Photo Credit: Premium Times--Nigeria

Photo Credit: Premium Times–Nigeria Health – There is need to upgrade our healthcare delivery system. We have brilliant egg-heads in the industry by way of necessary manpower who are wasting away.

 

Roads & Highways – A lot of Nigerian roads have remained death traps with pot-holes over the years. Ironically, our roads are the most flogged with the best sophisticated expensive cars you can think of in the world. More money should be invested in this area with the collaboration of the private sector. Maintenance culture of these roads would have to be imbibed. Give contracts to qualified contractors rather than party cronies who flag-off projects with funfair and disappear with project funds.

Power –  For years, we have voted billions of dollars to NEPA to no avail. The privatization seems to be no panacea to the darkness looming everywhere. When there is gas, there will be no transmission lines; when there are transmission lines, there are no transformers. We are always putting the cart before the horse. If this power problem is solved, Nigerian development would be immeasurable.

Photo credit: VOA

Never Expect Power At All (NEPA) Photo credit: VOA

Power –  For years, we have voted billions of dollars to NEPA to no avail. The privatization seems to be no panacea to the darkness looming everywhere. When there is gas, there will be no transmission lines; when there are transmission lines, there are no transformers. We are always putting the cart before the horse. If this power problem is solved, Nigerian development would be immeasurable.Government  should ban the importation of generating sets into Nigeria because those importers would do everything possible to see that the power turnaround does not work.

 Editor’s Note:

The perspective expressed the article above is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of  the publishers of African Metro News, its agents or associates. Readers comments are  welcome and encouraged.

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