Nigeria, a nation with Orbital Issues but with Leaders looking for long ladders.
I made a statement similar to this on Twitter over the weekend and it wasn’t until hours after putting it up that it hit me how profound it was. We are currently struggling to stay economically relevant in this new 21st century age and we still haven’t figured out a way to move beyond merely managing our problems in many aspects of our existing society.
As things stand Nigeria is an entity living on the edge of irrelevance by all accounts in a world constantly changing and evolving, both culturally and technologically. We have as a productive society refused to introduce far reaching ideals into our broad working environments, ignored the need to institute professionalism in all crafts and skill based industry, have fully embraced mediocre standards or even substantially substandard skills, products & services. These observations have become by and large the norm in everyday life, spreading into hygiene, healthcare, education, governance and even religious practices.
Nigeria as a nation has failed to make progress technologically despite the claim to possess some of the best minds in the world.
The point which sticks with me the most is policy development. One which sits at the top of all of these issues listed. Policy development which comes from a largely uncommitted civil service and is implemented by the same body largely has left almost all aspects concerning human activities at a disturbingly substandard level. Granted a few leaders have been made aware of these shortcomings but their subsequent actions has been to seek further mediocre solutions that don’t exactly solve the problem but manages it.
We live in an age where significant innovation not only eradicates problems but lead to creating sustainable ecosystems and opportunities for socio economic growth and change. Instead the Nigerian government has applied band aids to gash wounds and simply returns every 4 years with either a bigger or smaller band aid thinking it is fixing a problem instead of creating processes and policies that not only permanently fix the problem but are also set up to ensure repetitions are not experienced, situations are better managed and contingencies are out in place should preventive safe guards fail. Our system currently is mostly reactionary, not preemptive.
Our current situation of low oil earnings is supposed to be a wake up call. One which emphasizes the need for crucial diversification of revenue generation. Fortunately we recognize this as the pinch is being felt deeply, unfortunately we are looking in the wrong areas for fixes. For a world that is more technology inclined it baffles me that our focus hasn’t at the slightest shifted to this as a possible avenue to jumpstart our own indigenous technology revolution. Instead we have gone back to commodities, screaming Agricultural exports. Considering our inability to build physical infrastructure at a consistent pace which will assist in moving these commodities from the producers to the end users/exporters/process industry wouldn’t it be much easier to further develop a substantially cheaper information system infrastructure that will further expose the youth to innovative ideas and opportunities while focusing equally on improving power supply so as to encourage already existing Start ups & SMEs … As a key player in the African Economy Nigeria has the potential to be a hub for service providers, both in terms of customer care and technical services.
I am sure I’m not the only one who sees this and don’t get me wrong, I am not stating Agriculture is to be abandoned, I am simply saying the solution to the problem is to aim higher.