Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

COLUMN: Q.E.D – Quod Erad Demostradum; November/December, 2014

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       COLUMN:        Q.E.D              

 Quod                                                         

Erad

Demostradum                                       By BABATUNDE FANIYAN

                                                            0805 031 1138 (SMS ONLY PLEASE)

 

 

NIGERIANS IN AN ANIMAL DEVELOPMENT INDEX

 

 

‘A mark in every face I meet, marks of weakness, marks of woe’

  • William Blake

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            FIRST “PERSONALITY” OF NIGERIA

  • NIGERIA ranks 148th among 173 countries assessed on the Human Development Index (HDI) – UNDP Report 2002
  • Nigeria is the 28th poorest country in the world – UN Report 2000
  • Nigeria is the 37th country in the World with the highest level of Human Suffering Index (HIS) – WASHINGTON-BASED POPULATION CRISIS COMMISION (PCC)

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SECOND “PERSONALITY” OF NIGERIA

BEFORE you begin to feel sorry for motherland and shed more tears  for Nigerians let us quickly bring in the citations which form the SECOND HALF of the personality of Nigeria – our Nigeria.

  • Nigeria is the sixth largest oil exporter in the world (How much do we earn from oil alone each single day?!).
  • Nigeria has the second largest deposit of Bitumen in the world (second only to Canada)
  • Nigeria could be the third largest exporter of gas in the world (reserves greater than that of oil)

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How I wish the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) or another international Non-governmental Agency would compute the Human Development Index (HDI) of the dogs and cats leaving in Norway, the USA, Germany or France. HDI?  Well, here they could call it Animal Development Index (ADI) or Dog Development Index (DDI). The nomenclature would not matter. What is important would be the figures to see if, on the average, dogs in these countries are not BETTER OFF than the average Nigerian! I tremble to think of what the result of these findings would be!

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THIRD PERSONALITY OF NIGERIA

So what is wrong with this Nigeria?

Before you begin to reel out a long list of problems plaguing the nation and the people, consider ANOTHER PERSONALITY OF NIGERIA which would also seek to fit into the total picture:

  • Northern leaders (Yes, Nigerians!) donate N64Billion into the Buhari Campaign Effort to fight Obasanjo at the elections – in 2003. (Newspaper Reports)
  • Some other Nigerians from across the country have also donated N2.5Billion into the campaign machinery of incumbent president Olusegun Obasanjo to facilitate his re-election bid.(Newspaper Reports)

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Does this latest retouch help us in answering the question WHAT is WRONG WITH NIGERIA? Or does the THIRD PERSONALITY confuse the picture even further, throwing us deeper into the dark?. . .

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   COLUMN:        Q.E.D              

Quod                                                         

Erad

Demostradum                                       By BABATUNDE FANIYAN

                                                            0805 031 1138 (SMS ONLY PLEASE)

 

 

NIGERIANS IN AN ANIMAL DEVELOPMENT INDEX

 

 

FIRST “PERSONALITY” OF NIGERIA

  • NIGERIA ranks 148th among 173 countries assessed on the Human Development Index (HDI) – UNDP Report 2002

 

  • Nigeria is the 28th poorest country in the world – UN Report 2000

 

  • Nigeria is the 37th country in the World with the highest level of Human Suffering Index (HIS) – WASHINGTON-BASED POPULATION CRISIS COMMISION (PCC)

 

  • About 70% of the Nigerian population live below the Poverty line i.e Families living on Less than Two dollars (About N268) a day

 

– NIGERIA’S MINISTER OF FINANCE AT THE PRESENTATION OF

THE 2000 UN REPORT

 

Nigeria’s per capita income which was US$1000 in 1990 fell to US$260 in 1995 and was estimated to be US$10 in 2000

UN Report 2000

 

Above are citations which form ONE-HALF of the personality of Nigeria – our Nigeria. The above figures are as valid today (or worse) as they were when they were first quoted.

 

A FEW YEARS AGO, the story was told in the Newspapers of a Nigerian citizen who was trying to assist his son with his academic studies at home. When the father tried to rebuke his son for not responding intelligently to his instructions, the son, with tears in his eyes told the father “Daddy, I have NOT eaten any food since morning

The father stared fixedly at the boy for several moments, quietly moved into his private room and committed suicide. The man, who had been retrenched for a long time from his place of work felt inadequate as a father and was overwhelmed by the melancholic reality of not being able to provide food for his household. Many wept on reading the above story at the time.

 

But what goes on in Nigerian homes and on the streets EVERY DAY would draw ever more tears from any observer who has the love of, and concern for mankind in his heart. Check the faces of the people you pass by on any street in any urban or rural community in Nigeria – Ikeja-Lagos, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Kano… What do you read on their faces?

 

On seven out of ten Nigerian faces, you will see suffering, Hunger, Ill-health and battle-weariness (in the war for survival). On their faces, you will read Despair and Frustration.

You will see women – babies strapped on their backs, loads on their heads and dragging along at a furious pace, one or more toddlers aged between four and seven years. You would wonder the distance the child would be forced to cover on foot before he gets home. And when you looked at the face of the child! You would wonder what he has eaten all day…

 

ON the streets, you will see Nigerians – mature, economically active adults fight and drawing blood over a dispute involving Five Naira. You will witness unwarranted tension and undeserved aggression because tempers are short, moods are stormy (A hungry man is an angry man), tolerance is low; sense of decency is rustic; respectability is in a coma…

 

On the Human development Index, HDI – parameters which were considered included Health, Poverty, Demography, Human development, Commitment to education, Technology creation and diffusion, Inequality in income or consumption…

 

ON all these areas Nigeria scored abysmally low and ended up being on the 148th position (out of 173 countries) on the list of human development – worse off, even than such countries as Cote d’voire, Malaysia, Brazil, Ghana.

Some years ago, we heard of the notorious exploits of Clifford – the cell phone-wielding character who ran a flourishing ‘Spare Parts’ Shop along a popular expressway. (Not car Spare parts – but HUMAN parts!).

 

On our streets virtually on a daily basis, ritual killers and their agents snatch away whole human beings whom they kill and allegedly use or sell-off their vital organs for money making rituals. On top of that, kidnapping high economic net-worth personalities is now booming business.

This is the level to which social-economic degradation has taken Nigeria and Nigerians. The Electronics giant, Sony Corporation couldn’t resist making an advert based on the National rot in September, 2009. (The corporation had however made public apology to the nation)

 

How I wish the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) or another international Non-governmental Agency would compute the Human Development Index (HDI) of the dogs and cats leaving in Norway, the USA, Germany or France. HDI?  Well, here they could call it Animal Development Index (ADI) or Dog Development Index (DDI). The nomenclature would not matter. What is important would be the figures to see if, on the average, dogs in these countries are not BETTER OFF than the average Nigerian! I tremble to think of what the result of these findings would be!

 

If 70 percent of Nigerians live below the Poverty Line i.e. living with their families on LESS THAN TWO DOLARS PER DAY (Two dollars equal to about N370)

Now it would be interesting (or shocking?) to know what is the percentage of dogs that live on less than Two dollars per day?

 

We hear about the lifestyles of many of these dogs in those civilized countries. They have their regular three square meals a day. Not only are the meals nutritiously well-balanced, they have their daily intake of vitamin supplements and essential minerals too (High Development and Welfare)

 

These dogs and cats have regular comprehensive medical check-ups (Health care) complete with dates with dentists, ENT (Ear Nose and throat) and Nutrition experts.

Consumer Reports (as documented in an article on page 80 in the Reader’s Digest of December 2003)

And these well trained dogs are well-paid too! (Good education). Better paid than majority of our full fledged also well-trained managers in Nigerian establishments. What is the per capital Income of the Working Dog population in Germany or Switzerland or Norway compared with the US$10 figure for the Nigerian human population?

Yes, steps to be taken to improve the quality of life of Nigerians should no doubt INCLUDE the establishment of a sound communication system (All hail the GSM!) But such steps should NOT BEGIN and end with it.

GSM is NOT a basic requirement for human life. FOOD is.

 

How further down the poverty pit would Nigerians fall? Here, one recalls an American folk song which runs thus:

 

How many roads must a man walk down

            Before we call him a man

            How many years must some people exist

            Before they are allowed to be free

            How many deaths will it take before we know

            That too many people have died.

 

 

SECOND “PERSONALITY” OF NIGERIA

BEFORE you begin to feel sorry for motherland and shed more tears  for Nigerians let us quickly bring in the citations which form the SECOND HALF of the personality of Nigeria – our Nigeria.

 

  • Nigeria is the sixth largest oil exporter in the world (How much do we earn from oil alone each single day?!).

 

  • Nigeria has the second largest deposit of Bitumen in the world (second only to Canada)

 

  • Nigeria could be the third largest exporter of gas in the world (reserves greater than that of oil)

 

  • Nigeria could be the largest producer of palm produce in the world (That honour today belongs to Malaysia which picked her first palm oil seeds from Nigeria in the 1960s).

 

  • Nigeria could be the World’s Number one producer of cocoa (That position belongs to Brazil today)

 

  • Nigeria has one of the World’s largest expanse of cultivable land area coupled with conducive, Agriculture-friendly climate all year round

 

  • Nigeria has one of the most physically and intellectually enterprising assemblage of peoples the world over (Nigerian scientists continue to make waves on the world scene, while at home, entrepreneurs are working hard, toiling day and night…)

 

Now, how is it possible for the TWO ‘PERSONALITIES’ itemized above to be brought together to form one complete picture of Nigeria that makes any sense? The truth is that the two together do NOT make any sense.

 

Nigeria does NOT make any sense.

 

Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida when he was on his throne was once said to have been so perplexed and had declared that he could not fathom how Nigeria works. The truth he did not appreciate then was that Nigeria was in fact NOT “working”. But like a rotating electric fan, which had been switched off but with its blades initially still rotating…

Nigeria under Babangida, had been switched off – “dead”. The semblance of life was just vanity: Motion without progress; growth without development; Noise without logic, Activity without Achievement.

 

THIRD PERSONALITY OF NIGERIA

So what is wrong with this Nigeria?

Before you begin to reel out a long list of problems plaguing the nation and the people, consider ANOTHER PERSONALITY OF NIGERIA which would also seek to fit into the total picture:

 

  • Northern leaders (Yes, Nigerians!) donate N64Billion into the Buhari Campaign Effort to fight Obasanjo at the elections – in 2003. (Newspaper Reports)

 

  • Some other Nigerians from across the country have also donated N2.5Billion into the campaign machinery of incumbent president Olusegun Obasanjo to facilitate his re-election bid.(Newspaper Reports)

 

 

Does this latest retouch help us in answering the question WHAT is WRONG WITH NIGERIA? Or does the THIRD PERSONALITY confuse the picture even further, throwing us deeper into the dark?

 

How could Nigerians be so poor in the midst of so much wealth?

Why should food items continue to swing beyond the reach of Nigerians when we have the Agricultural land mass to produce enough food to feel ourselves and also for export?

Why is enough budgetary allocation NOT pumped into Agriculture over the years knowing that there is no surer base for our development?

Why are the basic steps taken by civilized, developed countries and even some developing nations like, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore etc to better their countries well known to Nigerian leaders, but shunned by them?

Why has government not tackled the Agricultural problem with the same zeal it tackled the telecommunications issue (GSM).

Is it not true that the greatest shame a people could face is the inability to feed itself amongst the comity of nations?

 

What are all the yearly budgetary allocations spent on vis-à-vis the present deplorable level of virtually all the vital sectors-power, Food production, health, education, Roads, transport, Housing…?

 

There is just one word which, like a genie, materializes from the air, comes sharply into focus, stares us in the face and permeates the entire personality of our Nigeria. The one word is CORRUPTION!

So endemic is the level of this corruption that one is tempted to impute a satanic dimension to the action and inactions of Nigerian leaders.

 

Why should Nigeria-our Nigeria, with the credentials it flaunts NOT be able to feed itself-and the governments continue to go about their “BUSINESS AS USUAL”

 

But let us end this piece with Tennyson’s words from Ulyses:

 

Tho’ much is taken, much abides

That which we are, we still are

Tis not too late to seek a newer world

We must strive

We must seek

We must find

We must not yield.

 

Postscript:

* The Research figures and data illustrated and used in this article were as at the period 2010/2011.

ENDS

*** REACTIONS FROM OUR READERS ARE WELCOME.

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