The basic layout of our administration framework as it is today has, in its entirety, deviated from the layout played out by the establishing fathers of the much celebrated structural system in Nigeria in the 50s and 60s. 

What we have nowadays is a framework whereby politicians go to collect the welfare package of Nigerian people from Abuja and then go back, steal the welfare money, appropriate it to themselves and the people continue to suffer. Until we turn back to the original concept of a regional system of government as practiced back then, I don't envisage a liberated Nigeria.

A few weeks ago as Nigeria clicked 60, there was a convergence of eminent elders of this country to discuss. This is because it has been perceived that Nigeria has not been more divided as it is today, merit is triumphing over mediocrity and justice and equity has been tossed to the wind. Nobody gets anything by merit in this nation any longer. In fact, if you are labouring and trying to develop yourself, you are not important. People sing your praises by the reason of your ability to go into government and steal a lot of money, then you because a chief, a king, and even get a cacophony of praise singers.

The youth seeing all that happens in government feel that there is no need to struggle and work hard to achieve everything by merit so, see the best way as going into government and steal the same money. By this, I feel Nigeria is not ready to get it right with this age long acculturation of corruption tendencies.

Today, I see all that happens in the so called Government Ministries and Agencies; I am not working in any of the ministries but I know that the set up does not allow you to develop yourself and be creative. Sadly, this same government jobs are what an average Nigerian youth crave for in the name of job security. In my own opinion what the government job does is that it gives you job security but take away your dreams. It disallows you from using your ideas to improve the Society. This is solely because the arrangement in the government agencies and ministries conscript people to work only under directorship not allowing its workers to explore their ideas jettisoning the fact that, in every human being is embedded potential and so if you are speaking for someone you are stopping them from maximising their potentials and you are ultimately denying the country the opportunity of getting the value in that person. Therefore we see Nigerians abroad making waves because there, you may exploit your potentials.

For the Nigeria Society we are today, the form of government and the politics we play does not allow the citizens, especially the youth to develop. How then can Nigeria be a great nation?

As youth of this nation our aspiration when we were growing up is that, we would meet a great country when we were in school, we thought Nigeria was well prepared for our future but it is now apparent that, the people who told us we were the leaders of tomorrow ruled our past, currently ruling our present and are also prepared to rule our future if nothing is done.

Between 50s and early 80s as narrated by some of our elders, we were told how companies, government agencies and ministries, the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air force came to interview students in school even in 200 level to know where they would like to work, that was the Nigeria then.

Today, the story has changed. We now have millions of graduates year in - year out having no job to do. This menace is because the Nigeria economy is not tailored towards allowing people to use their skills to develop the nation. How many can government employ? 

It is not a gainsaying that we have many well meaning Nigerians that can be referred to as the "No Limit People". The "No Limit People" are people with whom the sky is not the limit but a starting point. When government allows this people to exploit their potentials, they will break boundaries in advancing the Nigerian economy. All that government need to do is set the enabling environment for this people to thrive.

I have been asking a question for years now and this is it: " Show me any company or enterprise owned by Nigeria government that has uninterruptedly succeeded for fifty consecutive years?" For me, I have not found one. What this suggests is that Nigeria's government has successively mismanaged not only the resources but also the people.

To mention but a few where was NITEL when MTN, GLO, Airtel and a host of other telecommunication companies came? Where is Nigeria Airways? What is the state of NIPOST? Where is Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Company in Kogi State? Where is Kaduna Textile Company? How about Enugu Coal? Where is NEPA/PHCN and what is its state? The list cannot be exhausted here but the bottom line is that if this, is either the aforementioned enterprises are too big for the federal government to manage or Nigeria is too big to manage the resources and the enterprises. If the enterprises are too big to be managed by government, why not give it to people? and if Nigeria is too big to manage the enterprises and resources, why to restructure the unitary government? I know many would say oh! You did not mention "Crude Oil" wait! I am still coming to that.

I know a lot of international industries and enterprises that are being celebrated today because of existence for over 100 years, typical examples of such organizations that have their presence in Nigeria are Guinness and Coca-Cola among others and they have testaments of how they have moved from one generation to another. They are not government owned, they belong to individuals. So, I ask again what has government of Nigeria managed successfully than how to share power and audio unity. Therefore, if we have inferences drawn from how individuals have managed resources judiciously than the government, why then can't Nigeria's government give what they cannot people?

I see banking sector thrive in Nigeria because it belongs not to the government, I see telecommunication industry thriving because it is not owned by the government. Oh! I see private educational system thrive because it does not belong to the government. But I can see vividly PHCN not doing well because government still has a hand in it and I also see how government owned educational institutions are decaying in all its forms.

In this precarious situation where Nigeria government seems overburdened and incapacitated despite not achieving much in building a society that allows citizens to excel, what the government needs to do now is concession to the people. This is because it is not appropriate for government to take the little fund they have and sink it in construction of highways, airports, seaports, electricity among others. This should not be the business of the government with positive inferences from the developed world, these are areas of services that are servicing people so, let the people provide the services.

I believe there are organizations ready to put in their fund, develop these sectors and get it back through small taxation and tolling. There are organizations that will develop a 10 lane highway from Abuja to Lagos that will take vehicle only 6 to 8 hours from Abuja to Lagos, the government just need to concession it to them, they will construct to international standards, put street lights, security, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other essentially important services with frequent maintenance that even in the night people can travel.

This is what Nigeria government need to be doing, not to take the little money or even going to borrow to develop railway, they should get people to develop their railway, their airport and make their money. A Nigerian Mr. Adebayo Ogunlesi has one of the biggest airport in United Kingdom, he has developed 3 airports now and he manages them. This can also be replicated in Nigeria.

Talking about power, why must we suffer power supply? It is simple, because some people because of their selfish interest want to maintain the old order where they give out contracts and make money so things must remain the way it is. The same thing with our oil and gas sector, I don't even want to go into that because, that is the hallow chamber of corruption which is why the president; President Muhammadu Buhari himself is the Minister of Petroleum. While Saudi Arabia ARAMCO is making a profit, our NNPC cannot even build a refinery and maintain it, What a shame.

Why must we remain and waiting for gas or hydro power to get electricity? If it is drying season, they tell us water level has gone down that's why the power is erratic. When there is rain, they say water level is bursting power architecture. Why? When we have abundant sunshine wasting away and wind that could have moved power turbines taking away peoples roofs.

In America and China today, power generation transcend hydro power as we have in Nigeria. In China, for example, 20% of their electricity is generated from coal, they have developed their coal industry that they now have clean energy from it. Meanwhile, Nigeria has abundant coal in Kogi State and Enugu state that can give the nation 30% of electricity demand.  We have abundant sunshine in States like Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kano, Borno states among others that can give the nation 20% of the electricity requirement but government refuse to harness this resource.

While those in South ought to be allowed to use the gas to generate their electricity, allow those that have hydro power in the middle belt to generate their own electricity need. When we have a mix of all these through proper restructuring and autonomy in each zone, we will have a regular power supply. We should not be waiting for only one source of power supply, if one power supply company fails we should be able to switch to another just like the telecommunication networks. 

This is how to develop economy and infrastructure, but our government refuses to do this, the reason being that we are now operating a unitary system of government where the federal government handles everything and some people are there profiting from the old order. Money is budgeted, allocated which then finally end in private pockets and Nigeria is one step forward, four steps backward with no significant progress and we will remain like this until we recognize the fact that, government have to allow individuals and component body that made up Nigeria and allow them to develop at their own pace.

America is great today because people may determine their regional destinies and develop at their own pace. The economy of California which is just a state in U.S.A alone is the 6th largest economy in the world. If Lagos, Nigeria for example is given autonomy,  it can become one big economy in the world. If South-South is given autonomy, with their oil, they will develop Modula refineries that will entrench their economy. 

These are the issues, but those who are benefiting from the crude old order are consistently sabotaging the agitations for restructuring of Nigeria. Nigeria contains people who constantly live in self denial and deviation from the truth and realities that can better the nation.

Until we take "take the Bull by the Horn" and restructure this country for autonomy and self determination by giving the economic power back to the people, we will continue to move in circles of unpredictability, downward plunge of economy and lack of human capital development among others. 

We cannot continue to do the same thing in the same old manner and expect a 21st century positive change, the principle governing the world does not operate that way. Let us try again, but using restructuring as the path.

I believe so strongly that, with the recent onslaughts by eminent youth of this nation and well meaning elder Statesmen, restructuring in Nigeria is achievable, concession of infrastructure to the people is achievable, people being at the center stage of any government decision is undeniable and power and self determination cannot be stopped.

If by belief and practice of Nigeria government, "Democracy is the Government of the People by the People and for the People", then give Nigeria back to the people and let them determine their destinies. Make the people, the resources and restructuring the path for development of Nigeria now!

Written by:


Vice Chairman, Congress of Nigeria Youth (CONYO), North Central Zone.

[email protected]|07062706119

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