3 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, Lagos –
How educated, enlightened and empowered are the teeming youths in Nigeria ? How engaged and fulfilled are they in their various locational zones? What are the statistics of the employed against the unemployed? How concerned are the various tiers of government about the masses? What are the leadership in the churches, mosques etc. preoccupied with? How integrated are the lives of our youths with that of their parents and leaders (traditional, educational and governmental)?
And where are we heading? How balanced are our youths? How much security can the leadership of Nigeria offer or guarantee Nigerians and our visitors with the current level of dissatisfaction amongst the Nigerian youth? How close are we to a total break down of law and order? How sustainable is the current type of governance structure that Nigeria has? Who are the amnesty beneficiaries and what qualification is required to become a beneficiary of this government largesse? What constitutes a security vote? Who are the recipients? How is this paid and in what manner are these funds disbursed and to who? What system exists to identify and track down those who order, procure, expedite and utilise arms, ammunition and bombs in Nigeria? What is the current volume and “in-country stock” of weapons of mass destruction?
We have a total out of sync perspective of how the type of politics that has been deployed in the past 10 years has bastardised the psyche of the average Nigerian youth. Our youths have been so dehumanised mentally, psychologically, morally and spiritually that they have become pawns on the chess board of any type of leader (good or bad) and canon fodder for those who have a score to settle with the status quo.
And a bomb blast went off in the United Nations Building, Abuja . How does this relate with Nigerian Content?
Nigerian Content is primarily about adding value in the use of natural, human and material resources. It involves domiciliation of activities and projects and the attraction of FDI towards the growth and development of Nigeria and Nigerians. Nigeria must have a good security record and be considered a safe location to invest in if we must bring down insurance costs and attract investment from other countries. For a country that is struggling with its recurrent expenditure of 73.4% being used to service leadership we really must begin to get our act together and tidy up the poor image we have which is on a downward spiral.
How did things get this bad I wonder? We are victims of the poor leadership culture that is predominant in Africa . The: me, myself and I syndrome. Our warped values of honour, respect and disregard for human life, especially where and when money is concerned, seems to have boomeranged on us. This is a wake up call to all and sundry. We need patriotic Nigerians who are educated, enlightened and empowered to do the right thing because the big picture is beyond the individual, family, community, tribe or religion. Nigeria surely must be bigger than these little pockets of uncoordinated powers. Youth Empowerment and Restoration is the way that Nigeria needs to and must go. The adult centered status quo can no longer stand. The President and Vice President, Governors, Senators, House of Reps, Minister and Commissioner must focus on the youth (future leaders of tomorrow). Selfish and opinionated activities that have been run by an inward looking, self focussed government has failed Nigeria and Nigerians. Everyone must be encouraged to take on the responsibility of teaching and preaching the love of God and service to humanity.
How can technology be transferred, joint ventures, strategic partnerships and alliances be put in place to develop the power, infrastructure, petroleum and agro-allied industries? What is responsible for the upsurge of fundamentalist activities and how would this play out in the short to medium term? What investment in education, entrepreneurship and empowerment has been committed to the northern youths in the past 10-15 years? What data and statistics do we have on government expenditure in these areas vis-à-vis genuine concern for the welfare of the northern youths? How does our budget for education and empowerment of youths compare with that of defence, recurrent expenditure of governance and security votes? What is the percentage of Nigerian youths that applied for admission into Nigerian Universities annually versus the number admitted and are such admissions based strictly on merit?
It pleases my heart that a world bank professional and technocrat who understands the import of accuracy of facts for planning and strategic development based on the deployment of information technology to gather, collate and manage accurate information is currently in charge of the Ministry of Finance. Now is the time to put the existence of the entity called Nigeria before the individual whims and caprices of those who have hitherto brought Nigeria to such disrepute and disregard.
About the Author
Dr. Ibilola Amao is the Principal Consultant with Lonadek Oil and Gas Consultants, a firm of technical consultants with their core competence in the area of human capital and vendor development. For more information or to reach Dr. Amao you can email her at [email protected] or visit www.lonadek.com