NIGERIA AND CRISIS OF IDENTITY

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Nigeria has consistently played affirmative to all manner of globally calibrated diminished epithet ranging from stunning ranking of some Bretton woods institutions to the musings of world leaders whose actions and inactions may have contributed to Nigeria’s misfortune.
Quips such as “fantastically corrupt” and Nigerians “living In huts” readily come to mind.

What leaves the most optimistic observer bewildered however is the silent acquiescence of Nigerian leaders and political elites.

The United Nations last week listed Nigeria among 10 countries that would be at risk of famine of debilitating proportions resulting from the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Other countries listed are Syria, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Haiti.

Most of these countries being grouped with Nigeria have a recent history of civil war that left broken infrastructure and socio-economic distortions in their trails. Even though Nigeria is not a war-torn country and until of recent exported crude oil to the tune of millions of barrels per day, a huge leadership deficit has consigned the country to the comity of beggarly nations.

Well-meaning Nigerians are wont to ask why the Nigerian ruling elites always choose a protracted taciturnity and muted response when a national ignominy such as the recent UN’s ranking is on the horizon.

In this opprobrious list of potentially famine-prone nations, none of the other listed nations measure up to Nigeria in GDP per capital, human resource capital or natural endowment.

Conscious efforts aimed at industrializing the economy and boosting the agricultural sector is now a “do or die” imperative for Nigeria.

These two-policy denouement have become hackneyed line for public pontificating among government officials at various levels; presidential speech is not complete without reference to the need to diversify the economy yet the economy remains pitiably at the vagaries of untrammeled consumerism, import driven expediency and self-indulgent profligacy.

Now that Corona virus seems to have compelled every nation to mind its own business by using its scarce resources to pursue the first law of survival which is self preservation, any nation still stuck in the comfort zone of immotile status quo might just be cascading the fringes of bankruptcy.

Bukola Ajisola,
bukymany@yahoo.com