What Counts Most

It is a fact in the world that nobody can grow beyond the level of information at his disposal. Likewise no nation can develop beyond the level of information at the disposal of her citizens.

Some nations of the world have realized the power of information or better still knowledge and some haven’t.

Israel is a country that does not joke with the education of her younger minds. The government of Israel over the years have fashioned out a scheme whereby everyone that passes through their educational system develops the national ideological perspective of the nation of Israel.

Education in Israel starts at the age of two when the kids are expected to attend pre-school till age five. They thereafter move to K.G., from where education is free and compulsory.

After secondary education in Israel, students are conscripted into the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to learn some things about the military.

Israel is a nation surrounded by enemies but one thing about the Israelites is that, no matter their ideological group, they respond to national assignment anytime and share the same opinion about their neighbors.

Likewise in Palestine, some citizens give everything to the training of the young Palestinians to believe that America is their greatest enemy on earth. Right from childhood they develop the orientation towards that believe. As a teenager, such people are ready to carry any bomb and blow any American establishment despite the fact that he knows fully well that he will die with the explosion.

An average American child grows with the orientation that he is better off than any other national on earth.

That represents the value of information at the disposal of citizens of different nations on earth and how it influences/affects the behavioral pattern of that nation.

Every generation has a duty to develop and nurture younger people coming after them.

Unfortunately for us in Africa, we do not value knowledge. We consume rather than produce. We buy rather than sell. We receive rather than give the reason for our poverty level. Poverty is a mentality; it is a state of the heart.

The power of ideas and intellectual capital in the world today is so enormous that countries without any resources are richer than countries with abundant natural/mineral resources. Japan does not have crude, but Japan is richer than oil rich Venezuela. The standard of living of the Scandinavian countries cannot be compared with the standard of living of the African countries despite the huge mineral deposit in all African countries. Africa is blessed. So blessed that I wonder what our problem really is. When I move around I ask myself questions that have obvious answers.

It is in African countries that you see extreme unimaginable poverty and 100 K.M. away from there you see wealth wasting away. It is in Africa that you see citizens that cannot afford three square meals daily and their government is living in splendor.

One thing African countries have refused to understand is that education is the bedrock of any meaningful development anywhere in the world. Without a functional educational system, we’re going no where.

Nigeria has all it takes to be a world power in less than two decades if and only if she can work on three most important things. They are:

1. Respect for the rule of law.
2. Free market.
3. Science and Technology.

Sincerely speaking, Nigeria does not need more legal practioners to codify a system of laws, she has the best of Lawyers/Judges any country can boast of, some have served in the Judiciary of nations. All she needs is the respect for the written laws. No animal should be more equal than the other. There must be equality before the law. Justice must always be done if heaven will fall.

A free market economy is not new to Nigeria. More and more companies are being allowed to invest in Nigeria on daily basis. The world today is seeing the millions of opportunities in Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed so much that there is virtually nothing that cannot be produced locally.

What we however need to work on in Nigeria is the Science and Technology sector. That is why more battles will be won by Nigerians in the schools than on crusade grounds. Nigeria has millions of lawyers but they cannot produce their wig and gown. Nigeria’s media men need Technology to voice their opinion to the world.

The most important investment Nigeria needs now is educating the younger generation. We need Technicians and Engineers in all areas. Nigerian’s in the diaspora should come home and build a new generation of people that will take the bull by the horn. It ought not to be a government project but a national assignment. If Nigeria does not develop, Africa is doomed in the 21st century. We have the ability to coordinate sister African nations.

Our people who have achieved in other fields can set up schools in Nigeria to train people in the area of Science and Technology. It is a very important factor if we want to be a world power at all because the world has shown that it is not the number of resources that one has that matter but people who can produce something out of nothing.

Today, Malaysia does not have crude but has functioning refineries while Nigeria, the sixth largest producer of black gold has four non-functioning refineries all because she lacks local manpower for the Turn Around Maintenance.

Bill Gate, the super hero of our time has conquered more regions than Julius Caesar did with just an idea. Bill Gate is richer than the 10 poorest nations put together. He earns $USD 500 per second while 3billion people in the world earns $USD 500 per month.

Philip Emeagwali, the man of the internet, a Nigerian, voted 35th most important African in the world designed the internet that processes 10billion worth of information per day. Much more than what all the postal agencies in the world put together can do in a month.

Technology is the access to the world in today’s age and time and whoever has it controls other countries of the world whether they like it or not.

The government of Nigeria though very rich can build the biggest & the most well equipped hospital in the world with our crude oil income but will need technology to maintain the medical equipments. Nigeria is currently passing through a telecom revolution but foreigners are handling the technical department of all our telecom companies. None of the companies has a Nigerian as its technical head.

The Railway system is no longer functioning in Nigeria because the employees were not trained to carry out technological innovation. The various steel Rolling Mills are no longer functioning. Our Ofada rice is not getting to the international market simply because there is no technology to sieve the shaft and par boil the rice locally. Our Refineries will work if you can offer an idea about the Turn Around Maintenance. Our Machine Tools can manufacture cars, war ships, air planes but lawyers won’t do them. Only Technology can.

Nigeria is a blessed nation. So blessed that when I explain the resources at our disposal people think I’m just being egocentric. This is a blessed nation but are we blessed individually?

Nigeria needs more well equipped schools than churches, mosques and masquerades put together.

Nigeria needs more Engineers than Harvard Business School graduates.

Nigeria needs thinkers, philosophers, problem solution providers. Education is the gateway to tomorrow’s greatness.

We currently have a growing generation of youths that are poised to making Nigeria a great nation. Will you join them to build the great nation on the way?

God bless you!

God bless Nigeria!

Written by
Opeyemi Ajayi
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1 comment
  • Reading your article brought tears to my eyes!!! Who’ll tell my people that the world has changed, who’ll tell my people about shift in paradigms??? My people people perish for lack of knowledge….not about the scriptures in the bible but about knowledge to move from point A to B. Are we a cursed generation?? What is happening??