It’s Just Not Good Enough By Karo Orovboni

Nigeria has plunged into decadence where everything and anything goes. We are a people who would adjust to anything. If Nigerians were to come as animals, we would certainly be chameleons. We really can blend in. That isn’t really a bad thing, but we get so used to deficient things so much so that we don’t even know what good life is anymore. Some don’t even know that water can run directly into their homes.

The political elites know this well and take full advantage of it. When they subject you to hardship, they know that in no time, you would adjust to it and life will continue. They run advertorials on the pages of the newspapers and online media to show off their non-existent performances. This is only possible in a country where mediocrity is embraced with open arms. I look at the self-acclaimed achievements of our political officers and ask myself, ‘is this their definition of achievement?’ Please indulge me if I sound over board, but I’m sorry, it’s just not good enough.

If our political officers’ performances were to be compared with the basic duties of government, only a miniscule percentage, if any at all would be able to match up to standard. We are still battling with the basics of governance and calling that achievement in the 21st century? When a sitting president runs a parade show to flag off the reconstruction of a federal road, you know you are in big problems. You have built a few roads that your government have neglected for years and managed to commission water projects and you think you have done well, but these are basic amenities government should provide. I’m sorry to say, but what we celebrate is mediocrity.

The telecommunications companies operating in Nigeria should have overcome their teething problems by now, the quality of service they provide to Nigerians is totally unacceptable anywhere else. Most of these companies also operate in other countries; they know that such quality of service cannot be ventured in other parts of the world. But they have come to abide with the mediocrity laws of Nigeria and provide services that are commensurate with the level of thinking of the citizens.

Health service is almost non-existent; we have emergency services that you would not want to call in an emergency. Citizens have to provide their own water, power, security, and sometimes, even roads. Where are your culture and tourism offices? Where do they recommend people go? This is solely embarrassing! Almost all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA) are plagued with unnecessary bureaucracies that only encourage bribery and corruption.

I arrived at our prestigious Murtala Mohammed International airport Lagos a few weeks ago; I had to wait for about two hours for my luggage. Whilst waiting, I started complaining about the length of time it was taking the bags to come out, one woman answered and said, ‘this is Nigeria’. You must have heard that statement at some point or the other, but we must not continue this way. Our mindsets need to change from this mediocre system. We must raise the ante.

You go home after a long day at work, instead of enjoying some peace and tranquility, you are being entertained by the unpleasant noise and air pollution produced by your generator and those of your neighbours because successive governments over the years have not been able to provide stable power.

What sort of meaningful development do you expect anyway, when you present a budget where 73% is dedicated to recurrent expenditure while only 23% is budgeted on capital expenditure, this is simply not good enough.

To our political officers, please let us know when you are able to provide free education for all children from primary to at least secondary schools. Inform us when you have a low-interest student loan system in place where university students can easily access loans to help them ease off their tuition and living expenses. Please let us know when your universities are well equipped enough to make revolutionary researches.

Please let us know when your childbirth mortality rate is in the single digits; let us know when you have revived your non-existent health service that is in its own coma. Tell us when you have an emergency service that one can call in an emergency and expect response in a timely manner.

Please let us know when you have a transport system where both the rich and the poor can conveniently use. Let us know when you have a welfare system that meets the needs of the people, especially the unemployed and less privileged. Please let us know when you have functioning culture and tourism ministries across the states with offices, enriched with readily available information. Let us know when wealth creation is diversified and you no longer rely heavily on income from petroleum resources.

Let us know when you find lasting solution to the power problem, let us know when citizens are comfortable enough to turn on the switch and expect the light bulbs to come on. Let us know when you are able to curb corruption, which has been the bane of development, and punish looters of the public purse, especially those within the corridors of power.

Please let us know when you have a totally reformed electoral system that guarantees rig-proof free, fair, and credible elections. A process where every vote is counted and antics like disenfranchisement of electorates and sorts are exclusively non-existent.

Let us know when you have policies that will strengthen the economy, support growth and competition in the business space, and create jobs that will reduce the currently alarming rate of youth unemployment. Please let us know when there is total transparency and accountability in the functions and operations of the government, to rebuild the trust between the government and the citizens that seem to have faded off with the wind. Let us know when there is major improvement in the security of live and property, where citizens feel comfortable to move around.

Until then, please don’t disturb us with your meager performance; it’s just not good enough.

Karo Orovboni

Follow Karo on twitter: @k_orovboni

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