Few weeks ago, one ‘Derica’ measure of ‘oloyin’ beans was about N300, but today, the same quantity goes for N700. That is about 133% increase. At the same time, a unit of sardine increased from N250 to N700 within the same period, that is another 180% jump. This is exactly the experience with all food items. How does an average citizen survive with this trend?
There is no guarantee these prices will be the same tomorrow.
A salary earner, expectedly on a constant pay for at least a six-month period will also be massively hit with these cutthroat hikes in prices of basic commodities. This explains why everyone clamors for an opportunity to exit this country called Nigeria, however forgetting that not all is well with other countries of the world.
For instance, London is currently facing fuel scarcity coming from logistics issues around distribution of the commodity from COVID-19 and Brexit induced situation. In fact, it is a recessionary outlook for almost all the countries in the world as there are contractions in their GDPs.
In addition, the security situation is now a great concern as unabated cases of kidnapping and banditry have now spread to all nooks and crannies of the country including our dear Lagos state which just experienced the kidnapping of a retired Air Vice- Marshal.
Likewise, South Africa, United States and many other countries have also faced (or still facing) some security challenges from gun attacks to looting to killings etc.
With all these happenings around the world, one would wonder why are young Nigerians still willing to leave the shores of the country and seeking to live abroad?
A discussion with a few compatriots revealed that no one is experiencing the Nigeria we all dreamt of. In other words, we mostly feel that this Nigeria is moving too far away from us. We all seem to be losing hope in our dear nation. All basic amenities that should be guaranteed with no stress have become luxuries for the masses.
When I was growing up as a kid, I experienced a happy Nigeria, a Nigeria where meeting basic needs was not a stress for the families around us. A Nigeria where we looked out for ourselves. A multi-cultural entity where Najeem Ewesesan, Afam Onodu, Robert David, Ayo Elegbede etc were best of friends with no boundaries.
But now this country called Nigeria has become a strange land where calls for secession is becoming louder by the day and hatred for one another is well pronounced even among supposed families.
While growing up, the Nigeria I knew was the one that allowed continuous trainings for students even after school. This entrenched ‘can do’ spirit in all of us then. No room for laziness, we worked with joy. We were interested in excelling in our various fields. We challenged ourselves mentally right from classrooms to the field of play till while on our way home. We brought out the best in ourselves. I remember Dada Adeolu, Gbenga Adejumobi, Wale Adetuwo, Yahaya Kazeem etc. They were all positive outliers.
Today, this country has become a place where teenagers encourage themselves into engaging in internet frauds, ritual killings, armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry among other odious acts of criminality. No parent is guaranteed safety of their children left at home. Young girls do not stay at home again in the name of searching for free money and support. They have all become weird and wild. Nigeria appears not capable of catering for its own youths again.
Still while growing up, we could see opportunities (leadership roles, project handling, international engagements etc) provided by the founding fathers of the country including Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Tafawa Balewa to those coming behind them. They encouraged them, they pushed them to be the best. They mentored them. They trained them.
Today, this country has in its leadership position self-centered and insincere handlers making it difficult for those with right attitude and orientation to take charge of their destiny.
The trajectory of a better Nigeria I experienced while growing up is fast blowing away.
At 61, what type of country do we want our dear fatherland to be?
The Nigeria we want is that of opportunities.
The Nigeria we want is that of adequate security.
The Nigeria we want is that of infrastructural development.
The Nigeria we want is that of equal opportunities.
The Nigeria we want is that of state-of-the-art social amenities.
The Nigeria we want is that of support for youths and women.
The Nigeria we want is that of free and effective political participation.
We want a progressive Nigeria!
And it is possible.
God bless Nigeria!