October 24, 2019, was world development day. A day leaders, government and people assess their level of national development. In fact, it is a genuine scorecard of performance.
So I decided to do a letter to Nigerians, the President, Governors and all stakeholders in our national development.
First, I tried to score Nigeria’s development.
I couldn’t score Nigeria 2% even after adding 50% across board. In fact, the 2% was a miracle. I know you are wondering why Nigeria scored so badly under my tutelage. I will tell you.
Development index is a combination of several factors. I am going to mention some very fundamental indices here that the leaders will not often consider. Maybe you too can score Nigeria thereafter ad let us know how we have fared as a nation.
Development is about human welfare, social well being. What is the quality of life of an average Nigerian? The government should design policy and deliberately ensure that the needs of the people are met.
Provisions for the most vulnerable inhabitants are other fundamentals for development. In Nigeria, even when provisions are made for the distressed, corruption and diversion is the order of the day. The items rarely get to the target beneficiaries.
We haven’t done badly in Mortality and Fertility rate. Some hospitals used to be dead zones; delivery in a government hospital was formerly a death sentence. There have been some improvements though. What I don’t understand, however, is why the budget for national assembly triples budget for the ministry of health. God have mercy!
Poverty level, per capita income of Nigerians na die! O boy, men dey suffer ooooo. About 86% of an average Nigerians wake up hopeless on a daily basis, not sure of the days’ meal. This is worse for children. There is absolute poverty in Nigeria and it worries me the government has proposed only N48bilion for education.
The least allocated ministry. Na wah ooooo. Well I can understand, the government is focusing on infrastructure development.
Talking about infrastructure development, NN262b, N127b and N123b have been budgeted for works, power and transportation respectively. This is very good and commendable.
Let me quickly remind Mr President again that this is a temptation for the top three ooo. We don’t want diversion and stealing. The ministers must declare the projects and government must be since till the end. Without transparency, over 70% of these allocations will end up in private bank accounts as it has been from the beginning.
Back to development indicators, Sutcliffe insists development is about industrialization. Then I asked how many states in Nigeria can be classified as industrialized. Well, let’s manage Lagos State considering the volume of her IGR and impact in Nigeria and the economy.
Virtually, all the states in Nigeria rely more on federal allocation to pay salaries and other recurrent expenditures. Production, factories and industries are scarce in more than 25 of the 36 states of Nigeria.
Another area we should consider is the human development index. Nigeria only values ethnicity, religion, connection, political affiliation, referrals. There is no value for education. Illiteracy, children are out of schools, in fact the schools are almost likened to a farm.
Lastly, how about access to safe water? I really don’t know what ministry of water resources is doing oooo. Yet N82billion was allocated to it in the 2020 budget. Crime levels are increasing. Social amenities ‘na story for Naija’. ‘Chai wetin we do self’. Things long fell apart!
Well, I am confident though Nigeria is getting better; I am not just comfortable with our growth levels. We are running at a snail speed. We cannot arrive while the competition is still on with this speed.
Your Hope spotter,