Nigeria At 55: The Journey So Far | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cover Choice, POLITICS

Nigeria At 55: The Journey So Far

Posted: Sep 27, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Cover ChoiceOn  October  1st  2015, Nigeria would be rolling out drums in celebration of her 55th Independence Anniversary. When the country got her independence as a sovereign nation  from British colonial rule  in 1960, the expectations of our founding fathers were very high. None of them expected that by this time, the country would be facing myriads of challenges ranging from terrorism, irregular power supply, deplorable condition of roads, insecurity and unemployment, judging by the fact that the nation is  endowed with abundant natural and human resources.

But the abundant natural resources in the country have not been properly managed to the benefits of its teeming populations.  Nigeria remains one of the countries with the highest poverty indices in the world  and also among the leading exporters of food items. It has been observed that one of the greatest threats to Nigeria’s economic growth is corruptin.  Analysts believe that if only 50 percent of the country’s resources that have been frittered away to foreign counties could be  recovered and properly utilized, the country’s wouldn’t have been in the  state of economic quagmire it find itself at present.  Judging by myriads of problems confronting the country, many Nigerians believe that the country has nothing to celebrate at 55 because. They contend that many hospitals in the country is a shadow of itself with some ailments that are supposed to be treated in the country being referred to outside the country for attention.  The quality of education in the country continues to deteriorate with no Nigerian university named among the best 1000 in the world.

Despite the disappointment,  others are quick to point out that the country has a lot to celebrate for the mere reason that the country remain united in the mist of crisis it went through over the years.  Such people are not in a hurry to forget the civil war fought in the country between 1967 and 1970 which would have divided the country.  The war which was fought between Nigerian soldiers and that of Biafrans led to the death of millions of people.  Apart from the civil war, several elections conducted in the country since Independence have been characterised with violence and wanton destruction of lives and properties.

The emergence of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country some years ago was the greatest threat to the corporate existence of the country. While some leaders continue to claim that the corporate existence of the country remains sacrosanct, the reality on ground did not support the claim. Unconfirmed report has stated that more than 500,000 Nigerians lost their lives since Boko Haram insurgency took a deadly dimension in 2009. 

As the country prepares for the anniversary celebration, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as usual intended to make the event a low keyed.  That could explain why the administration budgeted only N70 million for the celebration.  This year’s celebration is coming at a time when the economic downturn occasioned by the fall in the price of crude oil at the international market is taking its tolls on the country.  Many state governors who depend on allocation from the federation account to pay salaries and embark on other projects are currently stranded.  They have to depend on bailout from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for them to be able to pay workers who are owed salaries for several months.  But will thing change for the better under Buhari and  the All Progressives Congress (APC) ?