Monday, December 26, 2011

Is Nigeria a Failed State or A Failing State? (Part 2)

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With all the oil wells and the abundant deposit of coal in the country Nigerians are still groping in darkness; power supply is erratic and epileptic. Many people die from fumes from the exhaust pipes of generating plants which are imported into the country in their millions, which has made her the highest importer of generating plants in the world. With over $20b sunk into the power sector, electricity still remains a mirage. While the world is running away from nuclear energy because of the associated dangers to health, it is now that Nigeria is considering building a nuclear energy plant to cater for the electricity needs of the masses. Our natural gas and coal are begging to be tapped.

The country has the 2nd highest deposit of Bitumen in the world (second only to Canada), yet her roads are death knells, infested with potholes, which has increased the incidence of road traffic accidents with thousands of innocent souls sent to their early graves daily. The annual budgets approved for the ministry of works and housing disappear into private pockets while the poor masses continue to be exposed to untimely death and have no where to rest their heads at the end of the day.

A country that is so blessed with vast arable lands imports rice, beans, peanuts, etc. to the tune of several billions of Naira instead of developing her agricultural sector to create jobs for her teeming graduates; she even imports sardine from Morocco and Tuna from Ghana despite the oceans and rivers that surround the country. The saddest part of it is that the country imports virtually everything from bicycle spokes to tooth picks, peanut burgers, cotton buds, sewing needles, biro, matches, photocopy papers, second hand cars, refrigerators, etc.

The abundant solid mineral resources that are evenly distributed across the 36 states of the federation are mined by a selected few and by those with political connection, with some of them already being depleted but officially this sector is yet to be tapped. For how long should the poor masses be deliberately fed with lies by those who govern them?

Hospitals merely exist by names but can hardly deliver quality health care because they are poorly equipped. Sadly, the country sends minor cases that should be handled here to Egypt, India, South Africa, Ghana, Israel, USA, etc. Today, the nation ranks amongst the countries with the highest maternal and infant morbity and mortality rates in the world. Nigeria recently became the second most HIV-infected country, only second to South Africa. Children die in their droves daily as a result of malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition while our politicians milk the national cow dry. What an irony!

Our colleges and universities churn out graduates who can hardly express themselves in simple Queen’s English let alone defend their degrees. ASUU hardly maintains a full academic section without the universities embarking on strikes. It now takes an average student an additional 2 to 3 years extra to graduate from the university due to incessant strike actions. Politicians deliberately crippled the educational sector to give their children unprecedented advantage over the children of the poor. Their children school abroad and come back home with bogus certificates and ‘Toronto’ degrees which eventually position them to become managers and directors of the few institutions and government establishments available. No wonder our institutions are failing by the day.

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