Let’s make Nigeria great again… How great? We will get there… Where?

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Make Nigeria great

He who does not know where he is going will never know the way and will never reach any destination. Whether great or not.

 

Some Nigerians celebrate any road-construction, importation and installation as miraculous favour from Nigerian government. So, they celebrate these imports saying: “we are moving gradually, we will soon get there.” Where is ‘there’; what will happen for you to know you have reached there; what are the expected stages or levels to get there; how do you evaluate the process to know you have reached or are getting closer? Many are unable to think or agree on the basic conditions expected in their utopian El Dorado.

 

Second, following Donald Trump’s victory slogan “Let’s make America great again”, many Nigerians accepted the slogan for a better Nigeria. Thus, during Nigeria’s general election, the air was filled with chants of making Nigeria great again. The big question struck: when was Nigeria great, and what was the scale used for measuring its greatness? Then came responses like: “In the early 60s, 70s and 80s, we had steady light, more food, better roads, cheaper cars and valuable naira.” Wonderful! Did all these items come from your great intelligence, collaborative productivity and social responsibility, or just dependence on foreign products in exchange for seized mineral resources from some people’s lands? Were you able to get those items because you produced more of them, or because there were fewer people exposed enough at that time to demand the imported products?

 

What are the main qualities of a great country?

A great country is one where members are maximally productive and socially responsible for common good (everybody’s welfare and survival). So, productivity and social responsibility are the defining qualities and measures for a society’s greatness. This sense of productivity and social responsibility manifests in people’s political structures, social order, policies, institutions and laws. Without social responsibility, productivity becomes exploitation and destruction; and without productivity, social responsibility becomes ineffective noise-making. Hence, to redeem any society, you build the members’ capacity for productivity and social responsibility. And to destroy a society, you destroy the members’ sense of productivity and/or social responsibility.

 

PRODUCTIVITY can be classified into two: material and nonmaterial productivity.

* Material production: are the physical items humans develop from natural resources to directly or indirectly satisfy human needs. They come from applying scientific knowledge on crude or processed natural resources through experiments and creative modifications. They include food, drugs, houses, machines, clothes, books, gadgets, weapons, vehicles, fuel and all the components used for making them. Three stages in material production include primary production for extracting the crude natural resources; secondary for processing the extracted crude resources to become useful items; and tertiary for distributing the commodities to the people who demand or need it.

 

* Nonmaterial production: are the intellectual, emotional, social and physical services humans render to directly or indirectly satisfy human needs. They include production and distribution of knowledge, ideas, music, stories, drama, companionship, recognition, skills, leadership, social order, law, sports, religion, intimacy, beauty and art services. Its stages involve primary production for ideas about the service through research and meditation; secondary for evaluating the application of such knowledge; and tertiary for distributing the intellectual property through speeches, writing, teaching, painting, performing, law-enforcement and other forms of application.

 

Despite being a form of production, nonmaterial production depends on material production for its development, evaluation, distribution and application.

 

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is the feeling of accountability for the society as the source of everybody’s wellbeing, progress and security. It grows from people’s social relationship and agreement to use their material and nonmaterial products for common good. This feeling of social responsibility develops into laws and policies for defining and rewarding social virtues and prohibiting social vices. Social responsibility directs the use of productivity for the people’s benefit, not their exploitation.

 

Where is Nigeria coming from?

Before the colonial invasion, thousands of independent kingdoms and communities have been living and administering different parts of Nigeria. These kingdoms and communities used their lands and resources for producing whatever they could at that time. But their level of productivity was limited due to isolation from modern methods of scientific production and industrialization. Though they had intercommunal relations and intermittent conflicts, the various kingdoms and communities remained independent to independently manage their resources.

 

Where is Nigeria at the moment?

Colonialists created Nigeria by violently binding the unconsented kingdoms and communities[1][2] under a militarized government for exploiting mineral resources.[3][4] They killed those who opposed their invasion and trained the loyal ones to assist them in enforcing the colonial rule. Before leaving at independence, colonialists fixed a constitution to guide their indigenous replacements[5] in seizing and exporting people’s resources only to import consumer products from Europe.[6] To appear democratic, Nigeria’s colonially-imposed government created states, local governments and ministries to share few foreign products as infrastructure, salaries and charity handouts. Since then different Nigerians struggle to occupy the colonially-made offices to enjoy foreign money from seized mineral resources. Then, the millions of people deprived of their means of productivity and survival become desperate and even criminal.

 

Where do some people consider as Nigeria’s destination or El Dorado?

The hype on amenities and infrastructure as development creates a dependence-mentality to import and install finished goods as El Dorado. Politicians brag about buying vehicles, computers, street-lights, food, utensils, office-gadgets and using foreign companies to build roads and houses. They hope to free Nigerians from poverty by importing a new Nigeria with factory-fitted amenities and infrastructure. To pay for importing their new Nigeria, they follow the colonial scheme of seizing and exporting various people’s resources to industrialized nations. Yet, the foreigners gaining the people’s mineral resources will never want to stop exploiting you in their skewed trade. So they keep installing quick-spoiling assets like roads and amenities that cannot develop your people’s productive capacities. “No European nation is ready to genuinely support the aspirations of African countries for smooth industrial take off.”[7]

 

Where should be the actual El Dorado and how do we measure it?

Nigeria’s El Dorado is when all Nigerians are developing and using their potentials for productivity and social responsibility. There are many Nigerians who are capable of using the various mineral resources in Nigeria for producing relevant items. If every able-bodied Nigerian can produce enough goods or services for fifteen people’s use daily, the exchange will cater for Nigeria’s sufficiency and international trade. Unfortunately, the colonially-imposed and alienating government uses military force to deprive able-bodied Nigerians access to their production mineral resources.[8][9][10][11]

 

How do we get to Nigeria’s destination?

The first step in getting to a destination is to define where you are going, otherwise you continue to wander aimlessly. To get to Nigeria’s destination, a sincere government can follow these steps:

  • Conduct a social research to discover and acknowledge the different people colonially bound up in Nigeria along with their cultural beliefs, respective lands and resources.[12]
  • Organize intercommunal conferences among the kingdoms, local governments and districts for a national conference where they will discuss and agree on their destination and their mode of partnership.[13] Hence, the constitutional decisions and laws will reflect the people’s beliefs and agreement for human development and productive partnership.
  • Invite and integrate local and foreign-trained specialists to train the various natives to process their local resources for more industrial production. Then establishing secondary industries to use the processed mineral resources for productivity.
  • Release people’s lands and resources for industrial productivity and eventual tax-payment to the central government. This will encourage the government to protect the people’s productivity for better tax-returns, and encourage citizens to become productive and socially responsible.

 

A woman with damaged womb cannot expect to carry pregnancy or bear a child by temporarily renting children and shouting “we will get there” when she rents a child, or “we will be great again” after the rented children return to their parents. Her chances become worse if she does not understand the importance of having healthy reproductive system and sexual intercourse in conceiving and bearing children. Then, she will hope that renting children from time to time will magically put babies inside her, without treating herself and mating with a potent man. The man’s semen is scientific knowledge for production, her ovaries (eggs) are mineral resources and her womb is industry. Without steadily applying scientific knowledge on mineral resources in industries, Nigerians will remain unproductive and without a destination. Nigerians who suggest buying amenities and infrastructure to appear great, without access to mineral resources to apply scientific knowledge need understanding of social growth and industrial productivity.

 

 

[1] S. O. Oyedele, “Federalism in Nigeria” in Issues contemporary political economy of Nigeria (edited) Hassan A. Saliu, op.cit, p.57

[2] cf. Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. (New York: Public Affairs, 2010). p.3-4

[3] Walter Rodney, How Europe underdeveloped Africa, 2009 edition (Abuja: Panaf publishing Inc. 2009), p.273

[4] C. C. Dibie, Essential Government (Lagos: Tonad Publishers, 2012), p.137

[5] Cf. Walter Rodney, op. cit. 319.

[6] Walter Rodney, op. cit. p.319.

[7] Oladele Fadeiye, European conquest and African resistance (Lagos: Murfat publications, 2011) p.165

[8] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2 “… all lands in which minerals have been found in Nigeria and any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone shall, from the commencement of this Act be acquired by the Government of the Federation…”  “No person shall search for or exploit mineral resources in Nigeria or divert or impound any water for the purpose of mining except as provided in this Act.”  “The property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with this Act.”

[9] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[10] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[11] 29th March 1978, Land use act. P7

[12] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “The social research for a new Nigeria” in Restartnaija June 5, 2018. https://restartnaija.com/2018/06/05/social-research-new-consented-nigeria/ retrieved 29th May, 2019.

[13] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “Organizing the national conference for a new Nigeria” in Restartnaija February 5, 2019. https://restartnaija.com/2019/02/05/organizing-nigerian-national-conference/ retrieved 29th May, 2019.