Child molestation. Gang wars. Trillion dollar level corruption. A broken education system. Pat Utomi might be right.
Professor of political economy and former presidential candidate Pat Utomi has described Nigeria as the most miserable place to live on planet earth right now. Utomi said this when he appeared on Channels TV this morning.
He said Nigeria’s unpreparedness for very important events such as the 2019 election further thrusts the nation into a state of confusion and disarray.
”Nigeria is the most miserable place to live on planet earth right now. Nigeria is at the bottom of almost everything. We are not surviving. Millions of people are hungry and dying out there. Everywhere in Nigeria is a warzone. If we don’t fix this, we would be dealing with an existensial crisis” he said. (Source)
Here are 5 reasons why the Professor may be right.
Child Molestation Is Rampant
If these headlines dont make you question what is going on in Nigeria, I dont know what will….
- 13-Year-Old Girl Who Was Raped By Lecturer And His Son Has Died
- Nigerian paedophile advises men on how to molest 8-year-old girls and suggests drugs to subdue women before rape
- Pastor arrested in Delta State for sexually molesting 11 and 13-year-old daughters of co-pastor
- Nigerian writer shocked after kids at an event raised their hands when asked if they have been molested and their parents don’t know
- ‘I was molested by our house-help at the age of 10’ – Made In Gidi housemate, Shile says
- NSCDC arrests retired police inspector and 18 others over child molestation allegations
- 65-year-old father of three arrested for sexually molesting a 15-year-old boy in Niger state
Greed, Corruption, and Economic Mismanagement
Nigeria is a rich country, both in natural resources and in people. Much of the wealth of the nation is tied to its oil.
Since the 1950s, when large oil fields were discovered in the Niger Delta, oil production has driven Nigeria’s economic development. Today, Nigeria’s oil sector accounts for 10% of the country’s gross domestic product, with petroleum representing 83% of total export revenue—more than $38 billion in 2017.
But the vast majority of people never see that wealth. When it comes to oil, crooked companies, corrupt government officials, and smugglers take the lions share of profits.
Giant oil companies, offshore accounts, ex-MI6 agents, champagne lunches, a former Nigerian president and allegations of hundreds of millions of dollars paid as bribes – the corruption case against Shell and Italy’s Eni filed by prosecutors in Milan over a shady $1.3bn deal for a vast African oil field could have been lifted from the pages of an espionage thriller.
As I write this article, the largest oil bribery trial in history is currently underway – with Nigeria’s Former oil minister Dan Etete at its center. It is said that the amount distributed as bribes is more than the entire Nigerian healthcare budget for 2018, in a country where 87 million people live in extreme poverty – more than any other country on earth.
Standing between these crooked companies and corrupt government are the smugglers. These bandits take advantage of Nigeria’s poor infrastructure to siphon crude oil from decades-old, rusted pipes into drums.
These drums are then transported on boats to illicit refineries, from where oil is sold on the black market.
The most incriminating claim, following an investigation by anti-corruption charities, is that despite the company’s earlier denials, Shell’s senior employees knowingly participated in a vast bribery scheme.
Even while the Government spends N3.5 million a month feeding the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria without blinking an eye, President Muhammadu Buhari is making much ado about increasing the nation’s minimum wage of ₦18,000 – about $50 in U.S. Dollars. Sha
Nigeria’s School System Is A Joke
According to the BBC , Nigeria’s government recently acknowledged that the country has the highest number of children out of school in the world.
In 2016, the UN Human Development Index ranked Nigeria, a nation with almost 200 million inhabitants, 152nd in educational achievements out of 188 countries. There are 10.5 million children not being educated. Sixty per cent of those children are in northern Nigeria. About 60 per cent of out-of-school children are girls.
Things aren’t much brighter for the students that make it to school because Nigeria’s education system is failing to arm its children with the skills they need to work in the banking, manufacturing and petroleum industries that drive the economy.
Teachers have reported a shortages of books, chalk and desks for classrooms that often exceed 30 students. Often, teachers aren’t paid for several months.
The school system – like almost every other system in Nigeria – has been gutted by corruption, a lack of investment and the flight of qualified instructors abroad and to private sector jobs.
The precious government cash that is available for the state education system is often siphoned off by corruption, according to Olayinka David-West at the Lagos Business School.
As a result, Monilola Oseni, a 54-year-old teacher of catering and crafts at the Islamic Day Secondary School in Ibadan, said she often has to bring meat and vegetables for her cooking classes.
“The students have no conducive environment to study — some are sitting on the floor,” she said. “Some teachers have no interest because they don’t have things to encourage them to teach effectively.”
“While more schools graduate a decent number of individuals annually, there is a gap in the requisite skills they acquire,” said Foluso Phillips, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Phillips Consulting. “It is extremely frustrating to find qualified candidates.”
Families who can afford the cost are increasingly abandoning the state school system, shifting their children to private schools or sending them abroad. At least 257,000 currently study in six top recipient nations: the U.K., Ghana, the U.S., Malaysia, Canada and neighboring Benin, according to data compiled by the Institute of Statistics at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
This creates a brain drain for Nigeria – the best brains learn and go on to live in the nations that they expatriate to.
Nigeria should be worried, because as the African proverb goes “The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth”<
Area Boys, Fulani Wars, And Police Gangs
Public security is an important aspect of every state, and Nigeria has failed in this respect. Thanks to area boys, territory wars, and terrorists, in some places, people feel that they cannot walk around their own neighborhoods freely anymore.
Driving on the roads are no better. Area boys and robbers wearing police uniforms have set up checkpoints around the country to stop, rape, rob, or kidnap those who may be worth a high ransom.
Take, for instance, the case of Mr. Christopher Nwachukwu, an official of the Ministry of Health in Abia State. He narrated to Saturday Sun the worrying tale of how he was kidnapped by seven men in police uniform who he assumed to be on official duty of stop-and-search, at a checkpoint at Arongwa junction, near Aba. But at the end of the day, he spent eleven days in kidnappers’ den before he could regain his freedom.
In the north of the country, the deadliest threat is not the Boko Haram extremist movement, but escalating battles between farming and herding communities over scarce land and water.
Bloodshed has increased since January (2018), as armed groups have attacked and burned villages; more than 1,300 were killed and 300,000 uprooted in the first half of 2018.
We wont even talk about the biggest gang in Nigeria, the NP (Nigeria Police).
Pollution and Rotted Out Infrastructure
The Economist Intelligence Unit and World Bank called Lagos the third worst city for humans to live in the world. Out of an overall score of 100, Lagos was rated 38.5 points.
This is not just a paper statistic – some parts of Nigeria are so polluted that they should be condemned.
Fires burn constantly in and around Onitsha, a growing city nestled on the banks of the Niger River in southern Nigeria. Each fire is surrounded by its own hellscape of rotting food, trash piled high, old computer parts, and scraps of dead animals.
These fires are often fueled with old tires sliced into ribbons that send out noxious plumes of smoke laden with dangerously high levels of cancer causing pollution.
The areas around the oil refineries pump out black soot that coats surrounding buildings, plants, and even people.
“It’s covering my skin,” said Sandra Ezekwesili, 29, a radio presenter who co-founded #StopTheSoot, a grassroots campaign advocating for clean air in Rivers State. “It’s covering the soles of my feet. It’s getting into my food. It’s just more than a little scary.” (Source)
If the pollution doesnt kill you, the rotted out infrastructure might.
Start with the traffic.
Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria, is fast becoming one of the largest cities in the world with 21 million people living in the city limits.
The sheer size of Lagos makes traffic unavoidable, but population density isn’t the only reason the city has the worst traffic in the world.
Nigeria’s military elite have had strong ties to a small Northern elite who control the trucking industry. Together they have used their influence to shoot down any attempts to improve the country’s dilapidated rail system, leaving the country’s underdeveloped roads full of heavy vehicles.
Even when traffic is mild, the conditions of the roads in Nigeria rank among the worst in the world. Whether one is talking about Enugu-Onitsha Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Lokoja-Kabba Road, Lagos-Benin-Ore Highway, or roads and bridges in Lagos, the story is basically the same.
Statistics estimate that only 20 percent of the roads in the country can be driven and used safely.
Prove Pat Utomi Wrong, Nigeria
Nigeria is full of some of the most beautiful, intelligent, hard-working people on the planet. Unfortunately, we are being held back by corrupt politicians and businessmen, incompetence at the highest levels, and immorality.
However, I didnt write this article as an indictment, but as a call to action. Nigeria – Igboland specifically – is the soil of my ancestry, and I want better for my people.
So if you are Nigerian want to hear your stories, your perspective, and how you think Nigeria can redeem itself! Leave a comment below and share this with your Nigerian Facebook, Whatsapp, and Telegram groups!