Nigeria the most populated country in Africa with a population of over 192 million having 3 major ethnic groups amidst its hundreds of ethnic groups, it’s a multicultural nation with its busyness mostly in Commerce and blessed with vast natural and mineral resources. Despite its wealth its still been classified as a developing and recession enveloped country because of so many ugly factors militating against its progress which are merely human induced factors, and these factors have so much dealt with Nigerians that they see it now as a way of life in the running of their day-to-day activities.
The Nigerian Factor can be said to be those ugly factors militating against the nation’s progress which over the years are then seen as a Norm-cum-a way of life in the society. The origin of most of these factors cannot be traced but have continually been passed on from one generation to another, affecting all facets of live and economy. These factors are not limited to but includes;
*African (Nigerian) Time
*Government Na Your Papa Own?
i. CORRUPTION: This as a Nigerian factor can be considered as a flow chart arranged in a Descending order, flowing from the leaders down to their citizenry. The leaders misconstrue their immunity for impunity so much so abuse their powers and get away with it, hence they keep enriching themselves contributing little or nothing to the development of the nation to the detriment of the masses. Thus abuse of power is inevitable, the doctors, lawyers, pastors, traders, civil servants etc all looking for how to swindle money as the rule of law is no longer effective or is enforced with partiality (courtesy of the government in power and the ruling party, this will be a topic for another time) hence, corruption becomes a way of life.
ii. I.M: Popularly known as “ima mmadu” in Igbo or “who u sabi” in Pidgin or “who did you come through” in English is now the basis for employment in most if not all parastatals in Nigeria. The employer is no longer interested in your certificate rather his interest is particularly on the god father or high placed personnel that you came through for the job opening, hence is no longer Certificate rather Sabi-ficate (in pidgin) increasing the high rate of unemployment in the country. Where a 3rd class gets a job over a first class holder, in as much as he was recommended by an influential personality (this has really reduced the young Nigerian interest in studying hard, as it all amount to the same result upon graduation) hence, retarding the country’s development and large scale industrialization. They keep recycling quacks in the system, hence you are bound to see a Nigerian Electrical Engineer working under a Chinese Technician and answering him sir, under the pretense of foreign Expertise which in the engineering family an Engineer is superior to a Technician. Hence bagging good certificate has lost its power to being connected to the high-and-mighty in the society and has adversely affected our educational sector.
iii. BRIBERY: This has so been proliferated that people now bribe to get contracts, jobs, admission into institutions of higher learning, awards of merit, ordained, certified, promoted etc. Nothing is been done by merit again is either you drop something and get it or lose to someone who is ready to drop or “to shake body” in pidgin. Bribery has predominantly eaten into our security sector, especially in our police division whereby if you don’t appreciate them financially at check points you are bound to waste the whole of your day there or get charged for little things that one can only be cautioned for. One would in most cases bribe his way to justice or to evade arrest, hence making the popular saying “Police is your friend” a mere cliche.
iv. AFRICAN TIME: In recent times an average Nigerian believes that an hour or so extra to a scheduled time for an event is the best time to attend the event hence, African Time. This analogy one cannot explain how it developed in Nigeria, were people believe that been early or on time is not ideal, on the believe that nobody will be there or the event wouldn’t have started. This has encouraged the culture of lateness in most Nigerians and make them most times go late for formal occasions and miss job offers and contracts. This is regarded as been unprofessional and not acceptable.
v. GOVERNMENT NA YOUR PAPA OWN?: This particular pidgin phrase which has become popular in the Nigerian society, which was as a result of the failure of the government and its leaders towards the masses. This analogy has eaten deep into Nigerians that the high rate of nonchalance towards government properties and parastatals is at its peek, hence mismanagement of public funds, gross misconduct and vandalism is the order of the day. This in-turn kills patriotism, national consciousness and selflessness which are the basic attributes of a citizen of a state, and the most painful part is that this is been passed on generations as an ideology and or way to go.
vi. UP NEPA: This is a shout of excitement always heard along the streets of Nigeria whenever the electricity company restores power. This is funny but true, electricity which should be a basic amenity has turned to be a wonder that doesn’t come always, and spikes excitement whenever it comes by. This is due to the government’s misconduct in the power sector and mismanagement by its caretakers, which has resulted to issuing of estimated bills at the end of the month whether there was power throughout the month or not.
These and some other factors can be categorized as “Nigerian Factor”. In my next publication we will look at the Dynamics, The way out and lots more.
To be continued…