Imagine the human body. It can be strong, and physically healthy, but if the mind is not stable, the many positive physical attributes will be wasted. It is the same with a nation, in my opinion. Nigeria has everything it needs to be great - population, resources, location etc. What it lacks is the right mind frame or psyche from which to achieve the desired effect - a Nigeria we all can be proud of. Nigerians have to not just believe that change is on the horizon. Nigerians have to believe that they can effect that change. They have to believe that the people control their nation, not the Big Boys, the political godfathers or the many other unseen characters that pull the national strings. Currently, like Beauty so eloquently put it in The Nigerian Psyche discussion, Nigerians have outsourced their problems to God and it seems we are waiting for a savior, not ourselves, to put us on the right path. However, it is only when we achieve a state of national mental confidence that Nigeria can truly be great.
Consider that the majority of Nigerians are young people, particularly as the life expectancy rate is a pitiful 47 years. In fact, according to a Wiki list, Nigeria is 174 out of 191 countries ranked according to the life expectancy rates as listed in the 2007 CIA World Factbook, falling behind Haiti and Somalia. At a 2007 speech in Greenbelt, MD, the Governor of Nigeria's Central bank, Chukwuma Soludo, shared an interesting and terrifying statistic. According to Soludo, 50% of the people in Nigeria are under the age of 18. Now, I can't confirm Soludo's assertion, but the following image shows how few older Nigerians there are in comparison to younger one.
Nigeria's financial sector has been a bright light in not just Nigeria, but on the continent. Its success has brought investment from abroad and Nigerians themselves are investing their time and money in the financial market. Many Nigerians are returning from abroad as they see Nigeria as a land of opportunity and want to get in early to eventually make large returns. However, despite these and other success stories, Nigerians must confront the reality that the Nigerian psyche is, unfortunately, lacking a collective sense of confidence. Until Nigerians begin a thorough and inclusive discourse on the state of the nation's psyche, no manner of change or development will truly improve Nigeria. They will be merely garnishing with little to no substance. PPP is the most influential factor affecting the very existence of every single Nigerian be they inside or outside Nigeria's borders. It must not determine Nigeria's future.
I hope to offer suggestions on how to limit the effects of PPP on the Nigerian psyche in tomorrow's post. But, I will be relying mainly on the suggestions of others. Thus, do you have any suggestions on specific ways to improve the collective psyche? Are there classes that should be taught? New commercials and jingles that should be introduced on the airwaves? What can the average Nigerian do? What can the government do? Please share your thoughts as I consider every opinion, long or short, to be important. Thanks in advance.
- The Nigerian Psyche
- Persistent Psychological Paralysis
- Being Duped By A Family Member
- Are The Poor To Blame For Their Poverty