Friday, 23 August 2013

PROBLEMS 101


My dearest  Yemmie recently drew our attention to 2 'posts' about Naija that have been making the rounds and she asked the question .....'Is Nigeria Really This Bad?'. Please go to her lovely blog to read.

I have to say that I didnt watch the video but I read through Tim's write up and I can honestly say that there is nothing he said that I found untrue.

Granted, if we only focus on the negatives, we might become blind to the positives within Nigeria BUT I am not one to shirk from the truth and the truth is that we have serious problems in Nigeria.

We like to deceive ourselves that Nigeria is fantastic but we need to realise that the system we have in place is just not right. We have problems ...


- There is a problem when people feel they have a right to LOOT the coffers of a nation...

- There is a problem when an intelligent person is born into poverty and there are NO institutional routes for him/her to advance educationally.....

- There is a problem when faced with a new law or regulation; the average Nigerian's first thought is 'HOW DO I AVOID THIS LAW/ REGULATION?'


- There is a problem when dirty old men feel it is their right to SLEEP with every female job applicant they come across?

- There is a problem when young girls feel it is normal to BED HOP with men older than their fathers.........

- There is a problem when our young men would rather cross a DESERT than stay in their own country.........

- There is a problem when RELIGION is used to manipulate people into becoming cash machines and murderers.....

- There is a problem when politicians are seen as 'EXCEPTIONAL' just because they tarred one stretch of road.....

- There is a problem when children value MONEY over and above all things....

- There is a problem when contracts are AWARDED, RE-AWARDED, RE-RE AWARDED & RE-RE-RE AWARDED ............without any accountability....

- There is a problem when provision of education has become so poor that we send our children to Ghana...Togo....Poland....India.......JUST ANYWHERE........

- There is a problem when the LOVE FOR MONEY has made kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual murders and extortion the norm............

- There is a problem when we need to fly out of the country for BASIC health care.........

- There is a problem when a DOCTOR can let anyone...but especially...a child or pregnant woman die because the relatives dont have the means to pay for their treatment..........

- There is a problem when our LEADERS are happy to say they are 'flying abroad' for medical treatment......

- There is a problem when the brothers/ sisters we supported through APARTHEID (South Africa) now wish they had fewer numbers of us in their country.....

There is a problem when a country can go from being the LEADING PRODUCER of a product (Palm Oil) to an importer of the same product........

- The BIGGEST PROBLEM is not acknowledging we actually have these problems. Self awareness is teh first step towards growth. I know it hurts to hear but like a parent with a deviant child....sometimes, one has to face the truth before things can change.

We need to stop pretending all is well. ALL IS NOT WELL.

Yes, there is nothing like home......BUT....It sure would be great if we acknowledged that 'Home' is not perfect and we are part of the imperfections.


23 comments:

  1. Well said. I also agreed with his analysis of Nigeria and i'm glad that it has started a national conversation. Most times when a Nigerian writes about the issues Tim raised, we just ignore it when the Nigerian lives in Nigeria, and when the Nigerian lives abroad, we roll our eyes and quip that the person is out of touch because Nigeria isn't THAT bad. The question is how do we go forward and change our
    Country? Perhaps changing our attitudes toward a Nigerian's criticism of our country maybe a place to start. It is not okay for us to barely blink or take notice when a Nigerian analyzes the state of our country, but then roll and bend over backwards when a white man does it. That is colonial mentality.

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    1. I would have to respectfully disagree. Nigerians living in Nigeria are painfully aware how bad things are. If you as much as try to forget, PHCN will remind you with a power cut. You leave your house and the bad road reminds you. You mistakenly switch to local TV and you are bombarded by the amount of mediocre news that assault your senses. " A senator has provided water tanks for his community and the women are out in force, wearing uniforms and dancing a jig under the hot scorching sun to thank him for spending 0.00000001% of what he gets on their behalf on them". We are painfully aware of the situation. However, we are also aware that corruption exists on the other side. There are homeless people in the UK, USA and any other country that is paraded as being far superior. There is poverty in those countries, there are mass murderers there. There are pedophiles there (the only thing is that the law actually does curtail them a bit). There are girls that sleep with old men for money there. Religious tensions exist there as well. Why did America have to start the "No child left behind" program.

      There are social issues everywhere. However, it would appear that ALL that is reported about Nigeria are our social issues. It gets tiring. One of Chimamanda's TED talks is about a SINGLE STORY. This has become ours.

      The Nigerian optimism should not be looked down upon as it is what helps us get up everyday to face our troubles. We know that the problems exist. Beyond complaining about it, there are activity groups that try to make a difference. The media does not focus on this. How can they, seeing that as most of them are not paid their salaries on time they have to report the stories that they are given a bribe (or facilitation fee) to report.

      We know that there are various problems but that is not our SINGLE STORY. That is the reason why when people try to tell that SINGLE STORY about us, we shrug it off and hold fast to our optimism. After all, if we do not think that e go better, how can we face another day?

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  2. My thoughts exactly! The first thing that came to mind when i read the excerpts that Prism posted the other day (and after sifting through Sisi Yemmie's post a lil while ago) was that soooooooo many of our problems, as Nigerians and as a global society in general, could easily be solved if people would just stop living in denial. If change were more important than petty egos. If we didn't have to sugar coat, hand hold, and coddle in order for people to even listen. Its a shame really.

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  3. There's no better way to put it. Since our leaders are deaf to criticism, it is only right to say that the revolution has to start with us. Unfortunately, our problem is just as concentrated at the grassroots. The kids are practically immersed in the act of malpractice, parents take bribes, embezzle funds and even get their family members to cover for them. The police and armed forces are the architects of corruption and instability. Even the clergy men surprise us with some highly ungodly acts.
    Despite all of this, we just can't give up.
    I love this post...

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  4. First of, welcome back!!!

    I heard about a neighbour who's first son failed his SS2 exams so he wasn't promoted and he had to repeat. He refused to repeat in the same school and the mom tried to get him into another school. She wasn't successful so she registered him for SSCE/NECO and GCE. In the meantime, the boy dresses up every morning in his school uniform and heads to his friend's house (who is also supposed to be repeating) because his dad is not aware of the whole shenanigan and he has to 'form' going to school.
    The mom is also trying to 'buy' a good result so he can get admitted into University because it was done for someone she knows.
    Where is the dad in all of this, you might ask. Well, he is out "making money" and he has no idea.
    That's a family with a ticking time bomb on their hands. For how long is the mother going to continue "buying" stuff for her son?
    I know this happens a lot and it kills me because these are the same future of tomorrow.

    Our problems are too deep rooted. We need a way to demand accountability as opposed to this "siddon look" we mostly do.

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    1. Didnt plan on 'commenting' until I read your comment.

      Jeez...I used to hear of such in the days of yore, never imagined any '21st century' mother could still engage in this act.

      Some 'mothers' breeding and raising some 'leaders'!

      Very serious problems we have as a nation...God help us all.

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  5. Hello NIL. Nice to read form you again.

    Every Nigerian knows there are numerous problems in this country,all you have listed and more. Some think by not acknowledging the depth of our problem they might wish it away.
    Some others feel there is Absolutely nothing they can do to change ill issues around them,so just accept and join the band wagon.
    Talking about our leaders who SO MUCH is expected from is another matter.

    Like toin said our problems are really deep rooted. The mindset of the average nigerian needs to change.
    I don't speak like am perfect,being a Nigerian in Nigeria..but I've come to my own to consciously do right.

    Most times I wonder what it would take to have a system where leaders are accountable and where laws are kept.

    Forgive ma babble.
    Hugs.

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  6. Welcome back Naija Mum, this article is then bitter truth. There is a peoblem. We Nigerians can continue to live in denial but the trueth is there is a BIG prolem.
    God bless you, have a funfilled new week.

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  7. Just thinking about our problems as a nation overwhelms one to the point that you cannot even begin to think, much less, act on the solutions. As long as the same names i've been hearing since i was a kid remain at the helm of affairs:
    1. The nation's coffers will continue to be treated as private property
    2. As private property, monies meant for education will continue to be squander...
    3. Monies meant for job creation suffers same fate as education funds. Hence, our sons and daughters will be desperate for just about any job and the old men employers will take advantage...
    4. Since there really is no job, whats the incentive to go to school? Kidnapping makes guys millionaires overnight and prostitution turns our decent girls to Gbo Gbo Bigz Girls...

    I can go on and on but it doesnt change anything. We have a gigantic problem as a country. We know the solution...Accountibility. Somehow, we lack the will, strength to demand it. Denial is a lot easier. We choose to tow that line.

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  8. Couldn't believe I saw an update from you. Good to know you are good.

    *smiling* Nigeria always gets you out of your hiatus. I agree with you on this, "It sure would be great if we acknowledged that 'Home' is not perfect and we are part of the imperfections".
    I hate it when we go into 'patriotic mode' over criticisms. If it is unfair or a blatant lie then i can understand. If all those who are shouting 'lie' can beat their hands on their chest to boast..that they have never indulged in the least of these sins - bribed a policeman/helped someone pay for an exam/been awarded a job/contract for no other reason than 'i know the boss', then we can discuss. We are the problem. The government is us.


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  9. heyyyy welcome back maa'm... No matter how much we want to turn a blind eye to some of the things which happen in our midst its very glaring that it is going nowhere... the solution to all these wahala lie within us, but then again we contribute to them. for example, There is no difference between the twenty naira bribe to the twenty million naira bribe from one gov. to another.(Bribe na Bribe).
    it gets me wondering because is this the kind of place i would want to raise my kids?.... i wonder???????

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  10. I am blinded by the love for my father's land. But for how long can i pretend not to see the flaws; so numerous to overlook. Everyday i hope for a better tomorrow, praying it would not elude us and the next generation. But who would fix the mess? You and i? But am i brave enough for that? No!I am not, this was why i wrote this post: http://mytorts.blogspot.com/2013/08/revolution.html

    I like your blog. Becoming your fan.

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  11. This one the splendid post I have read. Especially this: "- There is a problem when the LOVE FOR MONEY has made kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual murders and extortion the norm............"

    In fact God will bless you. More grease to your elbow.

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  13. There is a problem: when all Fed and State Universities have been on strike for more than two months now and its just normal to the leaders and everybody.

    There is a problem: when hostel facilities in all public Universities are messier than pigsties.

    There is a problem: when an average Nigerian graduate (deny it if you want, it sure is the case) can't write a coherent article.

    There is a problem: when the country's phone companies are milking us, the resident citizens, dry and NCC is not doing anything to regulate.

    There is a problem: because we all know there are problems and the problems are smiling back at us.


    I read the said article on Sisi's blog and it's really no news really. WE ALL KNOW THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN PROBLEMS. So what??? :-(

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  14. I think anyone who thinks all is well with Nigeria must be in cloud cuckoo land. The problem I'm afraid is us Nigerians. If you observe comments made by Nigerians on social media regarding governance in defence of politicians....you will realise sadly, that we still have a very very long way to go.
    PS I love your blog and I've always wanted to leave a comment....*success finally*

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  15. There is definitely a problem, the country is sick, very sick and instead of the leaders to give it the proper care it needs and medication, they are throwing paracetamol at it. It is so sad, because a country with so much natural resources potential, so many intelligent people is still no where it should / can be.. all because of greed and people turning their back to what is right.

    Our processes are ridiculously flawed!

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  16. Hope you are well hun and the fam too. x
    Saying hello. xxx

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  17. Its been so long. Trust you are good.

    Happy new year! I wish you the best of 2014

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  18. We sure do have a heck of a lot of problems. As a people we need to stop burying our heads in the sand. Smh.

    On a cheerier note, happy new year NIL! I've missed ya! I hope you and your family are doing well. Here's to a great 2014! xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxox

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  19. Nothing breaks my heart like Nigeria... It's really easy to see our problem areas and the solutions in most cases are more than obvious. But most of our people have chosen to give up and just live in the mess hoping that some day their opportunity to "steal" will come. It's really really heart breaking that we are one of the richest countries in the world yet we have so many poor people. I do yearly analysis of the national budget, I also took it upon myself last year to analyze the amount of money Nigerians contribute to the education systems in Ghana, UK, US and Canada and it's alarming that no one is looking into these issues..... if our country is to have a future, we need to reexamine the things we accept as part of living in Nigeria or being Nigerian.

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  20. Hi NIL! Are you ok? Happy new year.

    Xx

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  21. Hi NIL! We miss you. I hope you and your family are doing well. God bless

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I always look forward to reading comments from visitors - so please leave yours. Many thanks for dropping by....xoxoxox