Development; Why Have You Eluded Us?

Why is it that our contemporaries are well ahead of us in all indices of development? Are we really making progress in Nigeria? Why has development eluded us? What did we do wrong? What are we doing wrong? Why are these countries South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Ghana, Botswana and other making giant leaps while we seems to be retrogressing .Apart from some tangible progress in physical structures can we in all honesty claim to be having a better standard of living say 10,20,30 or 40 years ago. We are not making progress due to the following reasons attitudinal, structural, political, social, economical, legal and technological created impediments. These human -created impediments have hindered our national development, and they will continue to do so except we find ways of addressing and settling these problems.

Attitudinal obstacles seem to have affected almost every sector of our national life .We always trying to cut corners. We glorify late coming by calling it African time. We have neglected merit and good work. Some of other things that we do that are attitudinal in nature include nepotism, disunity among the constituent group ie religious, ethnic and class mistrust among Nigeria. Added to these include insincerity among the population, lack of patriotism, corruption, primordial sentiment, greed, selfishness, sentiments and emotional application to things instead of rationality, a faulty value system in the family ,society and country at large. Apart from the above attitudinal problems affecting our society, there are some other political reasons that equally hinder our development.

Some of the political reasons that hinder our development include a weak and fundamentally flawed and fragmented political structure. The union we find ourselves were not freely entered onto and agreed upon; so it lacks a fundamental foundation and a rallying ethos. This has resulted in the creation of weak institution and structure that would have ensured the sustenance of our development. In addition to this structure is a bloated and ineffective bureaucracy. This aided by disunity, laziness, nepotism, and archaic idea in orientation and functioning. This ineffective bureaucracy also sustains an ineffective, visionless and inept bad leadership and leadership structure. The bad leadership cut across, religion, states, public and private sector. We have bad leadership whose emergence, sustenance and operation is based on a faulty, ineffectual and structural defect. A leadership not based on merit, performance but on primordial sentiment, injustice and disconnect to the masses. Moreover, policy inconsistence, poor project monitoring and implementation, insincerity, lack of maintenance culture all contribute to the state we find our self. All these political reasons have made our society to be dysfunctional and create a situation where the social structures and social parameters are weak. These could not sustain a working society. Other effect of this is corruption. Corruption is a symptom of lack of trust and belief in our political structure. People do not trust the system.

These social structures: be it family, group, religion and culture affinities instead of serving as the bedrock of our development seem to be the contributing to our demise and state of underdevelopment .Perhaps among the most cherished and valued treasure we have also contributed immensely towards the state we find ourselves. Our diversity in terms of religion, ethnicity and cultural differences would have made us a choice but serve also as a curse. If somebody wants to know how disjointed or unstable our nation is, the person should bring these sentiments into play. These three have connived to deny us of hard work, commitment, merit and synergy towards achieving a common goal. These have resulted in primordial action, irrationality, sentiment, illiteracy, killing, wastefulness and lack of creativity. We look for the slimmest excuse to engage in crime against humanity, killing, and destruction of properties, arson and terrorism. We allow ourselves to be manipulated due to our attachment towards our religion and ethnicity. In our families and society, we tend to promote values that do not in any way promote hard work and productivity. We tend to build fractured institutions that would have been the bedrock of a successful nation. These social structures have invariably led us to a fractured and unsustainable economic structures and underdevelopment.

Our economic strength and development does not only lie on our natural resources but on our human resources. We may be blessed in natural resources; but for us to progress and advance in development, we must aim to harness our human resources. For us to optimally utilise our human resources we must aim to develop a variable, competitive, productive, technological and practically based educational system A system that would not only encourage application of knowledge but productive use of talent and research and an ethical society. A society were merit ,talent, resourcefulness and productivity is effectively and efficiently utilised .And also less emphasis should placed on nepotism, tribalism and religious affinity and under-utilisation of the human resources. People should be encouraged to develop their talent and skill .Our financial sector should be encouraged to take an active part in the informal sector. Our educational sector should go hand in hand with skill acquisition .We have also not been able to create wealth .Our emphasis have being on wasteful consumption instead of the productive utilisation of our resources. Also in creating competitiveness in human resources in building infrastructure, diversified economic structure and technologically based economy.

For us to tackle our underdevelopment, we need consciously to build an infrastructure based that would help our productive sector. The most important being the power sector and the transport sector i.e railway, seaports, waterways and roads. In addition, we should not discourage coping of technological innovation, products and the local production, fabrication and alternative technology. We should also imbibe maintenance culture as most of our infrastructure base has been dilapidated .We cannot make any progress if we fail to develop this vital aspect of our life. No nation ever develop without the conscious development of their infrastructural base .We need to effectively put in place a legal and instructional framework as an emergency situation.

As for the legal aspect of the impediment towards our development, we should endeavour to practice and revolutionise not only our constitution but the polices and programme that guard our everyday life. We should be able to have a constitution that would cater for our diverse needs by being federal in practice, fiscal federalism, justice, fair play and accommodation of our diversity. Our laws should be implemented based on the spirit of the letter and not on sectional interpretation.

We are not developed and may not develop except if we tackle our infrastructure, effectively utilisation and development of our human and material resources, implement fiscal federalism, revolutionise our attitudes, build a nation and negotiate a common vision, ethics that would galvanise our diverse but structural deficient society.

Written by
Paul Ogwu Okwuchukwu
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