Nigeria……..Oh Nigeria!! The 8th most populous country in the world with an enviable supply of natural resources yet she remains a substantial member of the less developed countries (LDCs) category. Unemployment rates keep taking an upward turn, standard of living is one of the poorest world in the world, income per capita is considerably low when compared with other countries; countries like Malaysia that we were playing with as at independence period have left us and have progressed to join the advanced countries. If we take a comprehensive comparison of available statistics, it will be clearly evident that Nigeria’s GDP is not so far away from where it was at independence. In fact, there was a considerate fall in GDP per capita until recently in 2008 when per capita income took an upward turn. Our technological base is definitely not one to be envied among other countries and one very obvious and painful aspect is the long list of uncompleted and unachieved plans that Great Nigeria has in her wake.
One reason that accounts for Nigeria’s stunted growth is the fact that she does not place the necessary emphasis as regards the development of technology. Studies have shown that technology is one of the factors that shift a country’s long run average supply (AS) curve outward permanently. The long run AS curve is the aggregate production curve in any economy and technology refers to an improvement in the technique of production, therefore, it follows to say that an improvement in the technique of production will mean increased efficiency in production, more products will be produced in less time and at lower costs, meaning increased income, and increased income resulting from productive activities will create spiral effects and help stimulate the economy. This permanent shift will definitely imply a sort of positive permanency as regards Nigeria’s economic growth. Very connected to technology is another very important factor that contributes to permanent economic growth that is; the quantity and quality of a nation’s labour force. We have the quantity but we need to enhance the quality of the available quantity. Quality here implies productivity, efficiency, an increase in the capabilities of the mind. For Nigeria to excel, she has to discipline herself and engage aggressively in investment as it regards human capital. Countries like China have taken advantage of their surplus population and are engaging in numerous productive ventures, other nations even flock to their terrain to take advantage of the quantity and quality of their labour force (Chinese workers were able to build a 15-story hotel in just six days!). Nigeria should not be left out of the league of countries that are making waves with their surplus labour force: improve human capital (she could employ Schultz’s five methods for improving human capital (as per economics student)) and improved human capital will also allow the benefits of improved technology to manifest in full measure.
I would also like to point an accusing finger at the leadership of this country for the condition in which Nigeria finds herself today. I know that so many people have noticed that in most African countries it so happens that the leaders are very fraudulent, it also follows that virtually all African countries are LDCs (I do not know of any that is not!). During elections these supposed reformers come forward with captivating manifestos, however when they occupy office all of these promises are forgotten in the euphoria of the benefits of such an office and any of them (if any) who may still have good intentions upon occupying office are overwhelmed as they realize that they are not equipped, not prepared for such a position, and that they lack feasible and logical means of carrying out their intentions or plans. Nigerian leaders particularly, are very corrupt, once they ascend office the major themes ringing behind their minds is to, “get all they can while they can”. I personally feel that the effects of military rule still have mild effects on the mentality of the average Nigerian leader. They all want to enter office, and then amass all the fortune they can in any way they can; it is every man for himself because you never know when they military boys might strike. With all respect, Nigerian leaders are also very uneducated (education is not measured by how many certificates you carry!) we the electorate are NIGERIA, we should be able to determine who comes in and who does not. Our leaders should be able to pass a test of initiative before they be allowed to even take part in the contests, our leaders should not be decided by a select few who necessarily may not have the adequate initiative to propel this nation forward, let those who are adequately equipped in the heart and in the mind be given room to undertake the job, we should also note that a very high percentage of uneducated individuals have the wrong notion that money is everything. However, we should take note of this quote by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, “In honest hands, literacy is the surest and most effective means to true education. In dishonest hands, it may be a most dangerous, in fact a suicidal acquisition”. A dishonest man equipped with education is bound to be like wild fire consuming everything in its wake.