Nigeria will be 50 years old as an independent nation on October 1, 2010 but yet there is little or nothing to celebrate. There are many problems bedeviling our nation: irregular electricity supply but yet we pay the bill for the inefficiency; No drinkable water many homes still rely on water from wells. As there are no free schools, fees are arbitrarily increased yet teachers are not paid as when due like the case in Oyo State this year.
A trip from Abuja to Lagos requires one to carry along a paper-bag to throw up due to terrible bumpy due to the bad roads. The pot-holes on the major highways not only serve as heaven for armed robbers but also have caused the loss of many lives to avoidable accidents.
Nigeria is regarded as the giant of Africa but sadly it is just big in size and massive in sufferings. Everyday, we wake up to strife, hardship and discomfort. A trip to neighboring not only the advanced nations like USA, United Kingdom, China, Australia and Germany would prove that we are indeed suffering and smiling in abject poverty of needs and ideas.
The country is so blessed with mineral resources that other countries are envious of our natural endowment. Out of despair and poverty, there are many beggars and mad people on the streets than the average normal people. If only Government could sweep these mentally-retards out of the streets into a facility and then the beggars provided for, a major problem would be solved.
In the face of all these challenges are the sectional conflicts and religious crises instead of working towards a united and prosperous nation. Nigeria is rich enough to put its citizens in affluence; we have suffered enough in times past in the hands of colonialists and bad leaders, let Nigeria walk straight, be truly independent, not crawl.
A nation at 50 years old needs no 10billion or 6billion naira to celebrate its birthday but to utilize such budgets to better the lives of the citizens. It is our responsibility to challenge the leadership to provide the citizenries with the basic needs: good roads for accident-free society, affordable health-care services, affordable transportation including air travels, functional railways services and for justice to prevail.
At 50 Nigeria is still lagging behind with foreign investors shunning the country, preferring to do business with its neighbors. We should take the pride in our nation and work towards its greatness.
Mass Comm, LCU, Ibadan
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