There is a lack of sustainable solutions in Nigeria. It seems we always like to tackle problems from a myopic view and by we I mean our political class, policy makers and leaders. Politicians come out and criticize one another and seem only adept at trying to solve problems from the surface. We are a country in dire need of think tanks and policy makers who would listen and reason with the recommendations of such think tanks to offer lasting solutions to the many problems that beset our nation. We are a nation of brilliant, intelligent, hard working and creative men and women so it behooves me why we keep giving temporary and short term solutions to long term and recurring problems.
How else do you explain the situation in the Niger Delta? I moved to this region 3 years ago and I was far from impressed with the land that lays the golden eggs for Nigeria. Despite having its own ministry, the Niger Delta Development Commission, a 13 percent derivation, the presence of oil companies that have become pseudo-governments unto themselves and provide water, electricity and roads in communities where they operate, heavy taxation of said oil companies by state governments and the regularly scheduled federal allocation; I see an effort but nothing that amounts to more than throwing money at a problem that at its core has to do with accountability and a lack of oversight. The amnesty program is a temporary solution to militancy that will only serve to enrich a few of the brigands that are in place now while encouraging a coming generation to take up arms as a sure way to get government attention and subvention. The Tompolos, Dokubos, Boyloafs, Asiris and co have been made wealthy without the legitimate effort of having a sell-able idea, going to school or possessing a skill other than one for extortion. I believe this sends the wrong message to other youth in the region, why should I stress myself to go to school when I can be a ruffian and if I play my card right own a private jet. An example of leadership that lacks foresight and refuses to think of sustainable solutions. There is no reason why many communities in the creeks should be inaccessible except by boat or chopper.
Another example is the insurgency in the Northeast and violence in the North in general. We have over the decades witnessed religious riots, political uprisings and killings way before boko haram came into existence and each time we have been helpless to prevent these things from happening. We have had reactionary governments who respond to these situations with violence which is not inappropriate in itself but the recurring nature of the problem calls for a more robust and sustainable solution. It could be a state encouraged brand of teaching and Islam in mosques, a serious educational drive that goes beyond setting up almajiri schools which I think are still an insult to the people of Northern Nigeria, greater protection for non-indigent populations in the North, a commitment to the oneness of Nigeria not through rhetoric but actions and laws that perhaps give some of these “settler” populations power in these communities. As much as I applaud our government’s recent successes in the Northeast and the brilliance of a regional solution no matter how late to the problem is welcome news to my ears. I support the Nigerian military and believe in their success. However, I have said this on twitter and I will say this here again. Solving the Boko haram problem and preventing it from coming back in decades to come requires a robust economic plan of recovery for the northeast. We need to bail out the region else we will create more poverty in a region that was even before the insurgency the poorest and less educated part of the country. A marshal plan for education, healthcare, welfare,infrastructure, small and medium businesses as well as a general economic stimulus backed by accountability and oversight will help prevent a repeat of the current insurgency. I strongly believe that an economically prosperous people are a docile and peace-loving people.
These are two examples to me of situations where we have failed to apply sustainable solutions to very real problems and just give rhetoric/turanci. Dear readers, what sustainable solutions do you believe we can implement in this country to prevent many of the recurring and long term problems we currently face. What are other nagging problems that require sustainable solutions? Lets discuss!