The Socio- Econimic Problems In Nigeria : Causes And Remedy
The Nigerian state is unarguably at the point where the citizenry should reconcile from our ethnic cocoons to tackle the socio- economic and political vices which have been retrogressing our nation. It is disheartening that despite our huge population, which supposedly will be a catalyst for econimic boom still counts as a factor for our underdevelopment. Obviously, when a country, as ours, has all available resources to progress and prosper but unfortunately cries for the lacks of basic and fundamental needs, it is either the leadership of the country is poor or the systems put in place are ineffective. As of today, Nigeria is faced with many well known problems that we can proffer solutions to, only when we all have our hands on deck. Perhaps, some of these challenges which are but not limited to insecurity, unemployment, ethnic conflicts and bad leadership are all contributors to our socio-economic problems.
To begin with, the Nigeria state is critically faced with security challenges that most Nigerians in every part of the country, especially in North-Central and North-East, can barely sleep with their two eyes closed. If the reports in our National dailies does not point at herdsmen and farmers clashes, Boko Haram ravaging terriorism, it would be bandits, unknown gunmen or abductors who may have also killed innocent citizens or abducted some to their victims. This disposition does not in any way, speak well of our country as foreign investors and entrepreneurs may not find our territory safe to invest their resources. By implication, aside that the persistence of herders and farmers conflict could lead to food insecurity, these foreign investors would divert their investments to other safer countries as an alternative which could also decline our economic growth. Until government at all levels are proactive in their approach to restore absolute security to every nook and cranny of the country and ensuring the prosecution of perpetrators to serve as deterrent, human lives which are sacred would be treated with contempt and a fundamental right to live without fear would be an illusion. The way forward in my opinion is the need for local security outfit to be sustained and established where non exist.
Moving on, unemployment is a major obstacle in the wheel of progress of our beloved country. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, it was reported in the fourth quarter of 2020 that Nigeria unemployment rate was at 6.5 percent. That means that estimated 23.19 million of Nigerians are unemployed. By implication, this has affected grossly the socio- econimic being of our country in different dimensions such as insecurity, econimic decline and unproductive human power. In relation to insecurity, how could a country of about 2020, 206.1 million population have 23.19 million citizens as unemployed and expect to be a crime-free State? Those without jobs will have to live and sustain themselves. They however have to put food on their tables, even if not regularly. Mind you, if government does not create conducive and productive environment to get her citizens employed, they would inevitably be ready to engage in all forms of criminalities to make their ends meet.
Little wonder why many unemployed Nigerians are easily recruited into terriorism and many other social vices because as the saying goes, an idle hand is devil's workshop. Additionally, there is need to be aware that unemployment also contributes to the decline in growth of our country's economy. It is only a country which engages its youths in productive activities that can experience economic boom. For our country to be salvaged from this shackles of unemployment, government at all levels must do the needful. Though, I must acknowledge that no government could employ all its citizens in government establishments; yet, every government has the resources and machinery to ensure that the country is conducive enough for private and foreign investors and entrepreneurs who have the capacity to bring progress and development to our dear State.
Moreover, our ethnic differences which often precipitates clashes in political space has played major role in retrogression of our country. Truly, Nigeria has many ethnic groups and different tribes, but Nigeria is not the only country in this world such composition. In Mali for instance, the people live in harmony. Ethnic and tribal differences should rather spice our social-cultural values and not to disrupt the progress. As Nigerians, we must bear in mind that regardless of ethnicity, our founding fathers fought for our Independence to give us a sovereign state. Therefore, what they had given us on a platter of gold should not be broken in shreds. Perhaps, ethnic conflict could be as a result of alleged marginalization of some minority groups from political the affairs of the Nation. Should any ethnic group feel marginalized, what we need at this point is diplomacy and dialogue to resolve all issues for our nation to progress. While I believe that agitation or successions will not bring about a solution, we should embrace dialogue for the unity of our country.
Lastly, as I have earlier stated, the progress of a society is in the hands of those who hold leadership positions of the society. Nigeria is blessed with different raw minerals and resources, tranquil climate and energetic and intelligent people, yet we battle with a human disaster which is 'leadership deficit'. It is saddening that many of our elected officials are too corrupt to demonstrate quality leadership. Apparently, corruption, a cankerworm has been the mother of bad leadership. Without accountability and transparency, good governance will be a mirage. Either elected or appointed, government officials must bear in mind that they owe Nigerians accountability. The tread of siphoning the public funds to the private coffers of some few elite should be curtailed to the minimal. For this to be achieved, we need strong institutions where government itself will have limited influence or control on our resources. We should rather have strong institutions and not strong individuals. In the suggested process, effective management of our collective resources becomes inevitable. To eradicate the phenom of bad leadership, the onus is still on us. Until we abolish political apathy and discourage vote buying which is the strategy of corrupt politicians, the mantle of leadership positions of our Nation will not seize to be held on by crooked and merely ambitious individuals.
Damilare Adeleye is a content writer and an undergraduate in Lagos State University. For comment, observation or correction, contact: 09063561152.