Nigeria is a great country with vast natural and human material resources that has placed it as not just the wealthiest country in Africa but also one of such in the world. But as yet, Nigeria is rated as a “third world” developing country. We lack infrastructures that would make us function effectively as a nation. This is not as a reason for the nation being poor. As a matter of fact, Nigeria is a very wealthy country. This is due to the high level of irresponsibility of people elected into positions of authority, including those who were appointed into positions of authority. The time has come for us to open up Nigeria economically. How do we do this? By being responsible and organized and by developing new infrastructure across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
We have been suffering from bad governance and corruption but I think that the only way we can control this problem is by ensuring that Nigerians, not just those in positions of authority, are responsible for their acts and duties. If nigerians were responsible, we won’t have people siphoning our treasury’s with such impunity as we have today. Neither would we have people appointing their relatives and ethnic groups into public offices and therefore denying graduates who have no political or economic connections the right of employment into the federal and state civil services.
What pains me the most is that we still use infrastructures built during the colonial era. Most of them have been left to rut away while some new ones being built by those in positions of authority, are substandard. The lagos-ibadan-benin-ore-onitsha expressway has been there since independence. We have failed to build new roads linking the rest of Nigeria. The lagos-benin-ore road axis is totally in bad shape. Motorists need to drive through rubber and cocoa plantations to avoid heavy traffic. Because of the dearth of railway roads or tracks in Nigeria, heavy duty vehicles now divert onto our roads and they have become a menace to road users. These vehicles destroy our roads and God save us if their containers should fall over. We had functioning land, sea and air ports in Nigeria before the civil war but due to some conspiracy, lagos has the best sea, land and air ports in Nigeria today. Imagine that we had sea ports in states that border the atlantic ocean, like lagos, ogun, ondo, edo, delta, bayelsa, rivers, akwa ibom and cross rivers and the same level of ships should grace these sea ports as they do in Apapa, lagos. We would not just create jobs but also create new business opportunities in these states. How about having ports along the river niger and benue, especially in Onitsha and Lokoja. We need a new Niger bridge in Onitsha because the old one is bulking under the pressure it receives year in and year out. Maybe when the government builds a four lane expressway from lagos to onitsha, then we can start thinking of building a four lane bridge over the niger. State capitals should also build new road and railway lines linking their state capitals and this would improve the movement of goods and people across their states. It isn’t the duty of the federal government to do these things but state governments. Each state needs to have an airport. We need more international airports in Nigeria. We also need more land border posts were goods and people can move in and out of nigeria with ease. We need to have agricultural and mineral refineries in the areas were these materials can be sourced. Why should people who grow and source these materials be made to transport them to states far away from them. It will be cost effective and affordable if these refining factories are situated in the rural areas these materials can be found. When these materials are refined and packaged, then they can be transported to the cities and foreign countries to be sold and exported, respectively. We need to make things cheap in Nigeria and we need to have a unified tax law in the country. Let the States be the major tax collectors.
Let us refer back to the revenue sharing formula before the military changed all that to what we have now. Let us give peace a chance and stop denying others their rights and opportunities they deserve. I wonder what they yorubas are scared of that they should make lagos the only functioning economic hub in Nigeria, were everything that goes in and out of Nigeria must come in through lagos alone. We call ourselves a united country were one tribe wants to control everything by themselves. That can’t work.
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