Contrary to what most people believe, development does not happen by chance. The child who GROWS UP to be a famous criminal, a fraudster politician, or a negligent Medical Doctor did not just become that. He or she had to go through a series of unruly behaviors and attitudes from childhood until adulthood. A man who takes unchecked steps will not stay on the same spot but will take additional steps.
The same goes for what we see today. What we see is not an accident. Our “sudden” desires for fame, colossal money, pleasure, and acceptance in our society are not as sudden as we would like to admit. Instead, they are gradual. Every development is the result of a consistent but slow process that has been taking place over time. It doesn’t matter if Nigeria is a developed or under-developed country. It is not surprising that Nigeria is experiencing a political crisis, and politicians are crossing over from one party to another. It is evident that our leaders’ attitudes regarding money (laundering and looting) are not a sudden occurrence. We have taken specific steps over the decades that have lead to the things we see and enjoy (or endure).
There are many reasons for our underdevelopment. I will only be looking at the top 10 in this article. These are the top 10 reasons Nigeria is still underdeveloped after 54 years of independence:
Mongo Park is believed to have discovered the Niger River, while other explorers found different parts of the globe. It is incredible how people can be located, but it is also quite sad. People are discovered by others. They learn about their strengths and weaknesses. Then they make sure that the people found are exploited and have the resources to do so. However, they keep the people discovered IGNORANT of them. IGNORANCE of SELF is the greatest obstacle to our economic development. Life coaches are well aware of the barriers to personal success caused by a lack of self-awareness. I believe that until we recognize who we are as individuals or nations, we will end up trying to be anything and every one among nations. IDENTITY is the key to focus and courage. Without it, we will continue to want others like us. We have lost nearly everything that we can call “our heritage.” Our heritage is now being passed on to cultures and peoples who know their identity and are confident in their self-awareness.
2) The Sense of Nationhood
Although the assumption is powerful, it is often not true. We often assume and act on our premises. Some people truly live by their beliefs. Some people are so afraid of the reality that they believe everything. My wife and I were shocked to see how little people actually felt moved by the Independence Day celebrations on October 1, 2014. Most people use this day as a chance to get away from work. A nation is more than a group of people living together. It’s a connection of people with the same culture, economic lives, and ethnicity. Actual productivity will not occur unless Nigerians regain their sense of nationality. Nigerians need to be able to see beyond their immediate family and the whole nation that is Nigeria.
3) National Sacrifice
This is related to the previous. It will be easier to sacrifice for the entire Nigerian people if we can see ourselves as part of a larger whole. It is not possible to achieve development with a single pot of gold. Although it may sound noble to go to the moon, leading an expedition for your country is a great sacrifice. Many countries we now call developed are just nations whose citizens have made sacrifices for the common good.
4) Social Structure
Sacrifice can be made in private and public ways. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, advised Nigerians that they sacrifice for the benefit of Nigeria in the protest against fuel subsidies. However, Nigerians quickly advised him to reduce his entitlements, benefits, and allowances for Nigeria’s good. A poorly organized society will be challenging to manage and order. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is growing every day, and the government isn’t doing enough to close it. A society that praises corruption and “over-smart,” the community that expects so many things from rich men, but doesn’t care about where their money comes from, is unlikely to be a developed one. To truly develop from the grassroots up to the center of government, we must reform the structure of our societies.
It is believed that all things remain in a state of rest until an external force applies pressure to them. Nigerians have great potentials and are a strong nation. However, they have been taught to rely on elders. It is evident that Nigerians have not had the will to venture into the unknown and try new things. Influence is what determines where people go or where they end up. We are the result of the impact our leaders have had on us. We Nigeria today is not developed because of the influence that our leaders, past and present, have had on us.
Scarcity doesn’t have to be accurate in order to feel; the problem in Nigeria isn’t scarcity per se, but a SCARCITY mentality. This mentality causes people to think and act as if there are no opportunities, people, or positions available. If a man has a scarcity mentality, it is likely that he will try to get as much, steal as much, and connect with as many people as possible. A nation with a scarcity mentality will be one that is not open to new possibilities, explorations, and new experiences. Instead of people trying new things and exploring new avenues, everyone stays in the same place and tries to grab the most significant share. If this goes on for too long, the perceived scarcity becomes real. Nigeria is not undeveloped simply because the necessary resources for proper development are not available. But because nobody wants to abandon the few who live under the ground or hide in the corners. We must therefore decide to free ourselves from the shackles that bind us to scarcity and discover more opportunities and environments.
My opinion is that shallowness does not necessarily mean emptiness, foolishness, or inability to reach higher. As a society, we are full of potentials. The problem is with our stress levels. We believe that “just enough” is enough. Nation’s do not grow over decades with shallow thinking, shallow inventions, or shallow ideas. They develop in-depth! We need to resist mediocrity and embrace excellence. We have all the resources to be great scholars, politicians, teachers, designers, and other professionals. All we have to do is tap into our inner potential for national excellence.
8) National Vision
We cannot achieve it together unless we all see it together. We cannot solve the problem of lack of vision but of lack of national vision. It is up to us all to come together and create a vision of the future that we all envision. Vision is the key to speed, confidence, and creativity. Without vision, we cannot reach the same place as people.
9) Role Models:
According to the saying, “people do what they see,” so if Nigerians see enough images of their national and personal futures, they will be inspired and motivated to face any challenge and endure it all. Nigerians require more trustworthy, experienced, and specific SHOULDERS to help them on their way to greatness. Role models are meant to guide individuals towards personal success, which leads to national attainments. However, a nation is lacking transparent models (men or women) who have a track record of success in their own pursuits. Many “role models,” such as marriages, businesses, and associations, are in decline today. For the sake of Nigeria’s national posterity, we need more reliable MODELS.
10) Reward Program:
The national honors should be given to the most honorable citizens of the country, I believe. However, this is not the case in Nigeria. Men and women with questionable records and character are denied various national awards. A national merit award was presented to a politician who lost a race for the governorship. The award was not given to the winner. Nigeria is a country where honor is bestowed on those who do not deserve it. In such a setting, very few people whose benefit isn’t from governments or men but God have been able to accomplish great things without being weighed down by the government. If we want to be part of the international committee of progressive nations, we should give national honors to more entrepreneurs, professionals, and statements in Nigeria.