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Thursday, September 30, 2021

INDEPENDENCE DAY: FACE OF NIGERIA AT 61... (INSECURITY AND CORRUPTION)

 



At midnight, a few hours the presence of a vast assembly and more humble folk, British flag was hauled down and Nigerian flag raised to replace symbolic of the entire spirit coming to independence of this populous of African states that Governor-General, Sir James and the Prime Minister of the Federation, Alhaji Sir Tafawa Balewa, should have out together to stand side by salute the exchange of flags-- sovereignties. As they marched the Royal Stand, where was the central figure representative of Queen Elizabeth, the Prime Minister who waved his greetings to the although the Governor-General, once raised his hand knowledge the cheers.


Nigeria’s population is estimated at over 250 million, which means the country has skilled and unskilled labour in abundance. The population also makes it a fertile ground for global trade. Nigeria is also rich in mineral resources. It is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest, and the world’s 13th largest, producer and exporter of oil.


These endowments should have made Nigeria one of the key destinations for global investment. And with its wealth in petroleum and natural resources as well as its vast agricultural potential, Nigeria should have by now become Africa’s undisputed economic giant.


However, 61 years after independence, Nigeria, like a vehicle struggling to climb a hilly road, has yet to achieve its potential. Its large population has thus become a source of weakness, not strength.


A country that is seriously battling with the issue of insecurities which is seriously affecting the growth of the nation. For over a decade, Nigeria has been fraught with insecurity challenges, from Boko Haram and their ISWAP counterparts to Bandits and unknown gunmen, in the midst of all this, the statistics of unemployed youths and graduates in the nation has been rising to an alarming rate, the basic development infrastructures like electricity to enhance the industrialization of the nation in order to create employment opportunities has been lacking, thereby crippling other efforts to drive the economic resurgence of the 7th most populous nation in the world.


It’s a fact that the issue of insecurity in the nation has invincible social sponsors like poverty and unemployment; these contributes to frustration and anger that can result to one taking to armed robbery, kidnapping or pitching tent with agitators calling for dissolution of the nation under the guise of revolutionaries thereby creating more panic in the society.


Leading nations of the world are undergoing a process of modernization, encompassing changes such as industrialization, urbanization, and growing social complexity in the modernization perspective. Insecurity in Nigeria and Imo are social problems inherent in Nigeria, and as a social problem, can be seen as failures in modernization. For example, in today’s world societies that fail to industrialize will be poor and conflict ridden. On an optimistic note, this perspective suggests that these problems can be solved through government intervention to lead society on the road to modernization.


So many of today’s social problems are global in nature, we cannot hope to solve them by focusing on individual nations, ISWAP that are recently credited with killing of Shekau the Boko Haram leader, is an offshoot of a globally recognized terrorist network. 


It has been observed by scholars and commentators that corruption is a major challenge to social, political, and economic development in any country. The consequences of corruption are unfavorable for the progress of any society.


Corruption in Nigeria is a constant phenomenon. In 2012, Nigeria was estimated to have lost over $400 billion to corruption since its independence. In 2018, the country ranked 144th in the 180 countries listed in Transparency International's Corruption Index (with Somalia, at 180th, being the most corrupt, and Denmark the least).  While many politicians own or have shares in these industries, tax revenues from the energy sector are diminished and the benefits of Nigeria's energy wealth is not evenly distributed throughout the country with Lagos State benefitting disproportionately. Oil and gas revenues therefore account for the vast majority of the federal budget and the salaries of government officials


Nigerian politicians find themselves in a strong position of power and wealth due to their connections with the oil and gas industries in Nigeria. These gas industries are under the control of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). 


Vote rigging by political parties in elections is widespread and corruption is endemic within government. Business arrangements and family loyalties dominate governmental appointments paving the way for politicians, officials and their business associates who together make up the ruling elite to ensure that they all become wealthy through behind the scenes agreements and the awarding of profitable contracts to favoured supporters. 


From massive contract fraud at the top, through petty bribery, money laundering schemes, embezzlement and seizing salaries from fake workers, it is estimated that corruption within the state apparatus costs the country billions of dollars every year.


With the continue rate of insecurities and corruption in the country now; is Nigeria face not bastardized among its peer in the African states and globe at large. We also need a working security architecture to fight the continuous insecurity in the nation. 


LEO COMR ERASTUS TEMIDAYO OGUNMOLU 

An advocate of good governance, student unionist, Writer.

Ogunmoluayo01@gmail.com 

08102443375

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