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Introduction to the StudyThis study shows the major challenges facing the Giant of Africa as well as home to more than two hundred million citizens living in one of the most populated nations in both Africa and the world. It should help researchers, policy makers, governmental and non-governmental bodies with information they need for projects, policies, laws and petitions to be made regarding the reclining situation in the county in recent times.
Major Problems of NigeriaIn a bid to make this a quick and legible read, we’ve arranged the major issues facing the Nigerian society into various classifications for easy indexation and referencing;
Political Challenges in Nigeria
Corruption of OfficialsMany high occupants of various political offices abuse their political and official powers in numerous situations. Sometimes they employ unmerited but favored candidates into political holdings just for personal gains or for familiarities’ sake. Corruption has eaten deep down into the soul of Nigeria and can be well asserted as the main challenge in all sectors of the nations. However, it is not just the officials that are corrupt, so are the law enforcers who speak the truth with the smooth tongue but also retract their words once handed a #1000 naira note to sell their soul for a fair price.
Nepotism/Tribalism/Tribal WarsWhen asked through a query, a citizen had this to say;
“It’s the same group of people who have been in power since independence, with newer entrants based on vacuums created by death [literally] or fall from favor. So we have been ruled by the same ideologies and attitude, with the basic knowledge or [lack of fear] that justice will never catch up with them….”This shows how much tribalism and the fixation of one’s clan’s men has been a causative organ of various social and societal problems in the Nigerian nation. Governors handing over power to members of their clan as a means not to lose power [clan-wise].Even the national assembly’s being led by the offspring of past leaders and position holders. The domination of presidency by candidates of northerners since our unprepared-for independence
Lack of Accurate StatisticsFor any nation or person to be able to fully provide solutions or abate the problems of any group [or nation], one needs to have a relating statistical data of those he/she is about to work with or for. This however, is not the case in Nigeria, statistics of people & things are either incorrect, manipulated or just left unchecked. This has well-aided the accruing of social issues in Nigeria as no one truly knows the population of anything, really! Remember the last time Nigeria had a census? 2006! Yes ’06, and 14 years later some still believe we’re some 200 million individuals in this nation. – According to who? Even NBS doesn’t have that statistics.
Un-Operative Budget allocationsThe budget allocations in Nigeria can really be disheartening. Maybe [or maybe not] due to the fact that the protocols to be followed, checked or considered by those who should are not. The legislative arm tends to allocate gruesome amounts of millions/billions into issues that wouldn’t require much and this is usually at the dearth in other relevant/well-needed sectors. Voices representing certain sectors have spoken against the immature budgets allocated to them. E.g. the educational, healthcare/medical sectors have been at logger-heads with budget allocators because of the low amount of allocation such necessary industry need but are denied of.
Political Authoritarianism & manipulationPolitical war-heads and servants utilize their political influence [many times] to cause and wreak havoc in many situations involving politics e.g. during political campaigns of opposing parties, during political meetings and so on. They utilize the gullible minds of impoverished Nigerian youths to cause damage to people and properties.
Lack of continuity of previous powers’ plansIn Nigeria, it seems like every time a new head-of-government comes into power, the state has to be re-baptized in the River Jordan and is washed clean of its former sin. So many times have we witnessed the abandonment of projects handled by former rulers and adoption for a totally new and different approach to solving problems in Nigeria. This has birthed a lot of incomplete execution of orders and sometimes even the mass unemployment of many government workers.
Less productive leaders leading high-productive spacesTalk productivity, how does a 80+ year old man want to lead a nation with young population way over 60%? Since the early 2000s, Nigeria has been ruled by a caliber of aged [not older] men who have little knowledge on how the global tides are moving and where to position the nation for growth [consistently]. There are way less youths participating in politics, policy-making and overseeing as a result of the fact that these young men are not allowed to aspire for grand offices except few [rebels] who have decided to take the fight upon them and chase their political ambitions. You can find out more on why youths in Nigeria are less interested in politics.
Economic Challenges in Nigeria
Over dependence on oil as a source of income for the nationSince crude oil was first discovered in Nigeria in 1956, it has been and remained the most dominant source of income to the nation. The returns from exporting oil products has been the pillar to the Nigerian society for the longest. However, due to constant instability in the exchange rate such as buying fees, tariffs from other nations, disturbing rate of the naira when compared to other trading currencies (especially the dollar), (other) government policies and several other factors, the Nigerian society now runs at a deficiency. Despite having a bank filled with gold, her produce is valued less due to her poor currency when trading with other nations of the world, even third-world nations.
Under-utilization [exploitation] of alternative resources that can act as revenue sources for the nationNigeria is rich! Truly a rich country but we still wallow in poverty and are classified a third-world [developing] country because of our failure to see the gold mine at our back-yard. Resources such as tin, iron-ore, coal, limestone, gold, niobium, lead, zinc, cassiterite, clay, phosphate and many more are abundant in various locations within the Nigerian axis but are under-utilized and this leads to the dismissal of what they can contribute (even in a fair quota) to the Nigerian revenue. Even agriculture which contributed over 40% of the nation’s GDP in 2017 is still an under-explored source of revenue for the nation. Thankfully the agricultural industry is not being invested upon and we are hopeful to see some positive results from that economical faction.
Nigeria is rich! Truly a rich country but we still wallow in poverty and are classified a third-world [developing] country because of our failure to see the gold mine at our back-yard.
Brain-drain [in most/all sectors]Due to the fact that the Nigerian economy has witnessed a lot of instability and has failed to provide the millions in its territory with a better standard of living, many Nigerian has emigrated from the nation in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Since the educational system in Nigeria has proven to be a faulty one, thousands of Nigerians literates and experts [who could help build the nation into a better one if allowed the chance and right opportunities] are moving into European nations, even other African nations in hope for a better life. Workers who do not see hope of change in their various sectors turn to leave the nation so they can better utilize their skills for those who will appreciate them better and this has resulted in the nation losing a lot of big names [who might’ve become nothing if in Nigeria] we now witness. Scientists creating inventions, students winning awards and so on are just part of the factions of those this nation keeps losing daily.
Mismanagement of authority by head of officesIt is no longer news that many heads of various public corporations misuse their authority while in office. The awarding of contracts to firms familiar to them, misuse of public funds meant to run projects converted into their private cash flows, recruitment of personnel based on nepotism and personal affiliation. These and more are some of the games played by officials in power. Eventually, these lots take their various trolls on the economy of the nations at the long run.
UnemploymentThe lack of job opportunities for working class individuals in Nigeria is a dire situation that needs an intervention urgently. With well over 200 millions Nigerians and more than half of the over 100 millions youths (working class) unemployed (equivalent to over 25% of the entire population unemployed) due to various reasons including the highly competitive job markets and the over-demanding job requirements. Youths have turned to other demeaning and morally-decayed measures to fend for themselves. An activity as gruesome as cyber crime popularly tagged yahoo yahoo is the new norm of youths in Nigeria and now is even on the faces of teenagers adolescent. Issues like this makes us wonder whether the young ones today are truly the leaders of tomorrow or maybe the National Anthem too was telling a lie in its own form.
Infrequency of ElectricityThe issue of unstable power supply in Nigeria has caused the nation more than what is known to many. Electricity is not just utilized by T.V watchers and BBN fans but also by entrepreneurs, business owners, corporations who all contribute to the growth and development of the nation’s economy. Due to the lack of stable electricity in the nation, many firms have been closed down or migrated to other nations because of their inability to cope with work without power as electricity is the driving force of machine. Other firms who can cope with such high prices pay heavily for electrical supply through the use of generators and inverters which cost quite a lot to utilize and maintain for work.
Under-development in most rural statesIn case you didn’t know, not all states in Nigeria are as exposed as Lagos, Ibadan or Abuja. It would surprise one to know how much intellectual gap or digital divide still exists within some states in Nigeria. This is a result of gross mismanagement of funds and corrupt practices of political leaders in such states which leads to their being belittled economy-wise.
Security Challenges in Nigeria
Domestic terrorismDomestic terrorism has claimed the lives and time of so many Nigerian citizenry especially the northern dwellers.. Terrorist gangs such as Boko Haram, Ansaru (emanated from B’Haram) etc. have laid various attacks for various reasons and in turn, disposing millions of properties and thousands of lives. Even inter-tribal wars within Nigeria has laid its claim on hundreds/thousands of lives.
Human TraffickingHuman trafficking is one major issue facing the Nigerian society; thousands of individuals have been trafficked from a home location to a foreign environment. They are forced to travel through badlands and journey through illegal means to get to their oppressor’s location. The major target being women and children, victims of these deplorable act are traded into slavery of various forms; young ladies get sold into prostitution or are employed (forcefully) as domestic workers, children especially males get traded off as work-slaves, pick pockets and get entangled in other inhumane tasks, young children (females) are mostly sent off to work as domestic help to big madam who abuse and treat them as less humans. When caught in the web of human trafficking, living becomes hell and escaping it seems as an impossible task.
Less figure of Law Enforcement agentsThe lack of adequate man-power in the various enforcement agencies in the nation is an issue to be looked into. The reason for this issue is not so far-fetched. The policing profession has been marred by its own. Many youths have lost interest in this policing system; since it’s mostly a corrupt one.
Law Prevarication by Security OfficialHave you ever seen a police man riding a bike the opposite direction on a one-way lane? Yeah, you know the feeling. Security officials contribute much to law prevarication in Nigeria. It’s not so uncommon to see a police biker disobeying the red signal and walking off clean from the act with no one probing such. (Not a chase, but a drive!) These practices are done in the open and when such is witnessed by civilians, what respect do you think they’d have for the profession?
Misuse of AuthorityIt’s a sad scene to watch when militants (soldiers, army, policemen, Security Anti-Robbery Squad) roughen up civilians. Many law enforcement agents abuse their power and civilians are the one to pay for such. A good example is a Danfo driver unintentionally hitting a soldier’s car – you know the result right? In the trend recently has been SARS officials roughening up harmless civilians for doing nothing than having a locked hair and being in possession of a laptop.
Educational Challenges in Nigeria
- Poor Standard of education
- Indifference of [many] Public Educators
- Poor human development
- Lack of a beneficial infrastructure education
Environmental Challenges in Nigeria
Lackadaisical attitude of Nigerians towards climate changeMany Nigeria still see the issues surrounding climate change as an European thing and not for us. But really is it? The improper placements of masts by network providers in residential neighborhoods is one of the sad catalysts but people do not seem to care because people get paid to shut up and they do so.
Improper Waste Disposal MethodsWaste management in Nigeria is in a deplorable state, most Nigerians would finish off a consumable and throw off the package on the street through the window. This plays its role in the clogging of gullies which eventually leads to flooding of various communities.
OverpopulationSeriously, 200 million Nigeria is a lie – no one for sure can give an estimate or even approximate addition of Nigerians in the country. The increasing number of teenage pregnancy and child-marriages in the nation is leading an adverse uptrend towards population. We already are the largest in Africa and can’t manage both ourselves or the nation. What will be when we are more than we know?
The Average Mindset of NigeriansDid you know that average Nigerian will get into position only to do as the trend is and will loot money and move public funds for personal profits? Being a Nigerian, the mind gets programmed to think in a box – if you can’t beat them; join them. All activities begin from the mind, for Nigeria to have a lasting solution; it has to begin with a paradigm shift for its plebeians and elites.
Feasible Solutions to the Major Challenges of Nigeria
- Systematic restructuring from top to bottom of the whole nation; concerning laws and the constitution.
- Involving minor tribes in the politics of things
- Youth involvement in the political scenery of the nation
- Devolution of major political parties in the nation for the formation of newer ones.
- Strict amendment of the constitution
- Proper statistical analysis