Tag Archives: nigerian youths

The Opposition

opposition

The APC was a somewhat formidable opposition to the PDP, especially after it was formed in February 2013. This subsequently led to the party winning the 2015 election, with the “change” mantra being its major campaign slogan. All this is history, and the country has moved on since then.

It is, however, unfortunate but not surprising that in a country like Nigeria, there has been almost no opposition to the current government. While I might no be a strong advocate of opposition, I believe in constructive criticism and not what the likes of our award-winning senator cum musician are doing in the national assembly.

The only credible opposition to a government or party is the electorates – the so-called ordinary citizens of Nigeria. If you are wondering how I came to this conclusion, try to Google the list of “dignitaries” that attended former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida’s daughter’s wedding. Jagaba, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was pictured attending the ceremony of a man accused of killing his political mentor – MKO Abiola, sitting beside who was supposed to be his arch political rival – former President Jonathan.

The only result that can come out of such an association is how Nigeria and Nigerians can be dragged deeper into the dungeon of suffering and poverty. It is, therefore, time for Nigeria and Nigerians to stop the blame game and the winning. Instead, let us criticize and oppose our “rulers,” asking questions and holding them accountable, as this is the only opposition that would give us the change we want if we want any at all.

Be an active part of the polity or let hoodlums and touts decide your future and that of your unborn children and grandchildren.

As area father would say, #ourmumudondo

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Our Teachers Our World

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Every 5th of October is marked as the day for the teachers – World Teachers’ Day and the 2016 theme is titled ‘Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status.’ Teachers are next to parents in all ramifications, and if possible, they should be accorded the same respect and courtesy that parents get from their wards. The government and parents should also respect and honour teachers as not only do they play an important role in the lives of the children, but they also help in shaping the society. It is therefore not surprising that in countries like Finland and other such nations where education and teachers are highly-valued, the countries are more organised and developed, with a significantly better standard of living compared to countries that do not cherish their educational system.

Below is a graph showing the average remuneration of teachers in OECD member countries over a period of 15 years.

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Note : The salary expressed on the Y-axis is in ‘000$

It is not surprising that Switzerland is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world. This simply shows that a nation is a reflection of how the teachers are treated.

African nations are particular culprits of not treating their teachers and almost neglecting the educational sector in totality. Most developing countries devote less than 10% of their total annual budget to the education sector. Nigeria for instance, which is by the way, the “giant of Africa” allocated just 6% of its budget to education, a sector that is meant to cater for the teeming Nigerian youths, with 3% of the budget going to the legislative arm of the government of just 405 persons, that has failed to make any significant law in over 15 years.

If you are still wondering why developing countries have remained “developing” over the years, then you should take a look at the way the teachers and the education sector has been treated over the years, and you are sure of getting answers to your questions.

‘Value Teachers, Improve their Status, Improve the Society’.

Fire on the Mountain

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After hearing “there is fire on the mountain”, the expected response would be “run run run”. This was exactly what the commercial motorcyclist otherwise called “okada” riders did when a van of policemen tried to arrest and of course, confiscate their bikes in a suburb of the FCT – Kubwa. My okada rider was lucky to have escaped the chase as I hired his service few seconds before the arrival of the men in black.

The current socioeconomic situation of Nigeria would ordinarily necessitate some running but the question is how far can we run, not forgetting the fact that just only a few of us can actually do the running. It is therefore not surprising that just as Asa said in her famous song Fire on the Mountain, “there is fire on the mountain but nobody seems to be on the run”, Nigerians do not seem to be running even as the fire on our mountain can be said to be increasing.

Unemployment, under-employment, insurgency and a host of other issues are continuously fuelling the fire on our mountain and it is only a matter of time before these fires graduate to become uncontrollable infernos. From the North to the South, able and agile Nigerian roam the streets everyday and if the adage “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop” is to come into play, then we can confidently say that the issue of boko haram, biafra, and the other forms of insurgency that currently confront the nation are just child’s play compared to what these idle and probably desperate youths can come up with.

Even as the federal government plans to pay a monthly stipend of N5,000 to every unemployed youth, it is worth noting that this will do little or nothing to rescue our situation as we all agree that it is actually not very feasible for an individual regardless of the age to survive on 5k monthly – just above 166 naira daily. The National Bureau of Statistics in 2014 estimated the number of unemployed youths – employable and unemployable, to be 5.3 million with 1.8 million graduates joining the Nigerian labour market yearly. By my calculations, this number should have risen to nothing less than 6.5 million even as some quarters believe that the actual figure of unemployed persons in Nigeria should be above 20 million. This means five thousand naira per unemployed youths would result in the government spending a minimum of 32 billion naira monthly, same money that can be spent on capital projects that would have multiplier effects on the economy and most especially, the unemployment situation in the country.

The statistics above are not only alarming; they are pathetic and annoying at the same time considering that Nigeria has over 30 million hectares of arable land with less than 40% of this land being utilised, no thanks to the rural-urban migration in search for greener pasture and of course, the exploitation of crude oil.

Thankfully, the price of crude oil is falling globally and this should actually be a blessing to the nation as we can at least for once, look for alternate source of revenue with agriculture being at the forefront.

Nigerians need more than the mere lip-service synonymous with previous administrations if the Fire on our Mountain, Nigeria is to be quenched for good.