Another year has passed since Nigeria celebrated fifty years of Independence with fanfare. A year after that event, nothing spectacular has happened except the general elections including the presidential one whose result is still subject of litigation. Of course, the Boko Haram bombs are still a sad reminder of dreadful general insecurity in the country.

The bomb blasts, especially those aimed at the Nigeria Police Headquarters and the UN Building in Abuja seemed to have dwarfed into insignificance of the daily terrible incidents of daylight armed robberies, kidnappings and wanton wastage of human lives. The bad roads, too, take their own human blood daily as sacrifices to propitiate the evil gods lurking in the dark around the main roads.

It is true, but sad, that not many people have felt any remarkable change since 29th May when new governments were installed at the federal and state levels. The sharing of booties has characterized the political horizon, including the nation‘s parliaments. Public Offices are seen as things to be subject to political considerations and nothing like accepting responsibility and demanding accountability.

Many Nigerians in pardonable ignorance and an act demanding sympathy continue to thank the President and State Governors for appointing their sons and daughters into public offices. There is no feeling whether such appointments fit into the realm of national interest. The result in most cases is the existence of a coterie of sycophants who see public duty as a routine affair.

The drift from poverty towards wealth would demand painful sacrifice and careful planning which are not easy to go by. Capital formation to ensure economic development would require avoidance of wasteful expenditure. However nigerians believe in wasteful consumption of their wealth and rely on foreign investments to develop their own economy.

They often forget that foreign investors are not ‘Father Christmas‘. Foreign investors require profits and safe reparation of their capital, when due. Often, they take more than their investment in real terms.

It is a wrong official policy to price the domestic commodities out of the reach of the ordinary users in order to attract foreign investment. The recent case of increasing electricity tariffs to make Power attractive to foreign investment makes mockery of the innovative minds of the members of the regulatory body.

Our British colonial masters developed Enugu coal mines and used coal to power railway engines and supply adequate electricity. At present, Nigeria has water, coal, oil and sun in abundance but lacks serious and innovative mind to solve her problems.

Everyone seems to believe in the magical power of foreign investment to turn the deepening poverty into a dazzling wealth. The 19th century export of British capital to the United States of America was to develop the roads and open the country up. The results are now evident in the development of American capitalism and the wealth of the country and the individuals. America later developed her agriculture to a state of self_sufficiency through state subsidies and protective laws.

Nigeria‘s colonial masters instituted the principle of personal hygiene by appointing Sanitary Inspectors who visited every house in the neighborhood to ensure adequate sanitation against water_borne diseases. Drains were regularly cleared of any rubbish or stagnant water that could cause malaria.

Today, Sanitary Inspectors have disappeared, yielding grounds to all types of malaria drugs. Inspite of these drugs and generous provision of funds, malaria still kills thousand of Nigerians every year. The developed cities of the world no longer exhibit open drains; everything seems to be underground. Pity the poor Nigerians who dwell in overcrowded cities with blocked and smelliny drains.

Many Nigerians (not party supporters) who voted President Jonathan into power might have been influenced by his economic transformation agenda. The economic policy to the layman is eradication of poverty and increase in wealth. An average Nigerian would expect and justifiably so, that by now the National Assembly would have been flooded with bills to create employment, to improve social services, to reform education and improve the condition of living of the people.

Instead, rumors of terms of office holders, change in the colours of the national flag and other irrelevancies are current. At the moment, it is a pity that many workers are yet to enjoy the benefit of N18,000 minimum wage. It is a pity also that the activities of ‘First Ladies‘ are re_appearing after a lull.

It has been mentioned before in this column and many analysts have agreed that any measure to increase employment would have to stimulate effective demand which would encourage the production of more goods. One method is to fructify the pockets of low income earners whose propensity to consume domestic products is very high. Another method is to embark on construction work of all sorts.

The various governments have to spend more on infrastructural projects to raise the level of income and stimulate our dormant demand. During the period between now and the end of the year, old roads should be mended, public buildings should be repaired and, as an act of grace, buildings damaged by political riots and Boko Haram bombs should be rebuilt through public labour.

There is no doubt that poverty can be eradicated by sound economic policy in an atmosphere of political stability. My advocate of a genuine national government still remains unchanged. I am of the opinion that only a true national government can tackle the many economic and political problems that tend to draw the nation backwards under the present partisan politics; it would take a century to survey the area of development. The pity is that we have not even started to look beyond our present horizon

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