THE STATE OF THE NATION by Bishop Dr. J. Akin Atere

Nigeria is a nation extremely blessed by God even more blessed than Israel, God’s chosen nation. God has blessed us with many natural resources, many of which are yet to be tapped. We are also blessed with human resources. Nigerians are highly gifted and hard working, and have excelled in many fields of human  endeavour not only in Nigeria but  also outside the shores of  Nigeria. In science, medicine, technology, arts, business, entrepreneurship etc. Nigeria is a nation to be reckoned with internationally. Most of those who have left Nigeria in search of greener pasture are doing well in their career in many parts of the world.

However, Nigeria in spite of these human and natural resources is suffering in the midst of plenty. Many Nigerians continue to live at the lowest poverty level. Like many nations of the world we are going through global economic crisis and the value of Nigerian currency continues to fall while some of the consolidated banks are not doing well. The value of shares in companies crashed and over 40 million Nigerian youth are jobless. As at 16th February, 2009, Nigeria has 27 Federal Universities, 34 State Universities and 34 Private Universities all turning out graduates into the labour market every year. Many factories which closed down some years back are yet to reopen.

Public parastatals are not properly managed. The power sector is still sick in spite of the change from NEPA to PHCN although the Federal Government continues to pump money into the sector with little or nothing to show for the money. The roads are still bad and have become death traps.  Our leaders in Nigeria have wasted our God given opportunities.

  1. The green ethical and housing revolutions have been used to devastate our economy and to make few people rich.
  2. The unprecedented windfall of income from the sales of crude oil during the  Gulf and Iraq wars was wasted  by our leaders whereas other nations used such  windfall  to rebuild their economy and to provide solid infrastructure for rapid socio-economic development; there was nothing to show for that in Nigeria

The good initiatives of government like Directorate of Social Mobilization and Rural infrastructure, People’s Bank, Community Banks, Bank Sanitization programme, Vision 2010 and even S. A. P. lofty as they were, collapsed because the Nation has failed to structurally adjust our value system, our ethical behaviour and our work ethics. Other programmes like NEEDS, EFCC, ICPC and FRSC have failed to deliver the expected results.

We call for spiritual renewal for all Nigerians (leaders and followers) so that we may build a better Nigeria. The current campaign to rebrand Nigeria will be a wasted effort without attitudinal and behaivoural changes in Nigerians. For now we cannot deny that all stratas of our society from the topmost to the lowest display traits of anti social behaviours and engage in activities which cannot but give the country a poor image abroad. We commend the President for his seven-point agenda but the presidency must now move from rhetoric to actualizing the agenda. Federal Government must be more serious in fighting corruption and the President should stop fraternizing with the established looters of the national treasury. Let us join hands to re-mould the Nigerian character, reinvent the honest and truthful Nigerian, the  Nigerian who  is disciplined, time conscious, hard working, ethically sound, patriotically motivated, principled, proud to be a Nigerian, a new Nigerian who will abhor corruption, selfishness, hypocrisy, sycophancy, blackmail of his neighbour and let this begin with us as Christians. “yes we can” and let us imbibe with passion the sense of obligation through cooperation and collaborations to engender Nigerian endless quest for self actualization (Apology to president Obama of America).