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Poor population in a rich nation

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:12 pm
by Richard Akindele
Few nations have the have the potential for greatness that Nigeria has. Nigeria is blessed with a youthful, vibrant workforce. Something that great countries like Japan, Sweden, China, etc can only wish for. Life expectancy in a lot of these advanced nations is high but the number of young adults of working age is plummeting. This is either due to strict birth control policies, or because of a low of birth rate in the population. Nigeria does not face any such challenges.

Many nations today are facing an enduring decline in the working population. It's such a severe problem that Sweden is opening its doors to young foreigners to migrate to Sweden. These young immigrants have many productive years, for which they are taxed to pay the retired population.

Nigeria does not have such ageing population problems. However, it also does not utilize the massive resource of manpower it has. University grads roam the streets daily in undignified ways. Many turn to crime to put food on the table.

What is the root cause of this? The short answer is - government.

In terms of government corruption, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, are among the least corrupt. Nigeria is ranked 139 out of the world's 174 countries by the Washington Post.

What is this propensity people in power have toward corruption? Is it a lack of empathy for the poor? A lack of faith in God? Perhaps a lack of push back from the public? Whatever it is, these corrupt players seem to have an easy time of looting year after year, decade after decade with impunity.

One thing is sure, we cannot rely on those in power to fix the problem. So, the solution must be external to the government apparatus.

There is no shortage of people today who aspire to work for government. Sadly, this new generation has little inclination toward reversing the trend of corruption. Rather, they too dip their hands in the national coffers and help themselves to the nation's treasure. Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that fearless types like Sanusi Lamido still exist in the country. The relentless attack on him by Jonathan's administration, is testament to how endemic corruption is in our nation. In Sanusi's own words, vested interest would come after you, if you start to probe into the corrupt activities plaguing Nigeria.

My believe is that new media will play a significant role in combating fraud, bribery, nepotism, cronyism at the top. It won't be a battle to be won overnight. But we just need to chip away at it. As corruption continues to diminish, the empowerment of the ordinary citizens would one day reach critical mass.

What part can you play in this? Well, the biggest role you can play is never to join the ranks of the corrupt. Rather, stay virtuous and continue to preach for honesty to prevail at the top.