The Nigerian dream, does that even exist? Or if it does, what does it even mean? When people talk about the American dream, the Canadian dream or any other dream, it’s usually what citizens of the country expect to achieve in their country through the dint of hardwork driven by practical vision in an enabling environment of merit and fairness provided by the leadership of their country. In essence, irrespective of who is the leader of the country there are established norms and practices which propel citizens to attain and achieve excellence without let or hindrance. Talents are encouraged and allowed to flourish without minding the social and economic background of the concerned individual. Negative vibes like nepotism, tribalism and religious fanaticism take a back stage. Hence, terms like the American dream, or the newly found Canadian dream allows a foreigner who wishes to move there for a better life to do so without discrimination. And this is understandable, because these countries have a plan, not just a plan, a serious plan to ensure the development of the human and material resources within their nation space.
In the university we are usually asked to write our aims and objectives for the next five years but ironically, our nation Nigeria does not even have a plan to accommodate our dreams and vision. Even when they claim to do such national development plans are mere paper proposals. But countries like the United States of America, Canada, Japan etc do not just have a plan they are sticking to their implementations strictly. Despite the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, the Nasdaq website still states that the United states of America and Canada have one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
In Nigeria, you do not even need a pandemic to degrade the development of the country, all that is needed is the continuous election of illiterates, corrupt leaders and recycling of political waste materials who have been milking the country since independence in 1960. It is interesting to note that the head of state of Nigeria during the time of my father’s university days is the president of Nigeria during my own University days. It would also interest you to know that the educational requirement for becoming the president of Nigeria is a common WAEC (West African Examinations Council) certificate, or its equivalent. That means that a president can have the same level of knowledge with a recent Secondary school pass out. Now, tell me whether such a country can be taken seriously by foreigners or even its own people?
Nigeria may be the most populous country in Africa but it is certainly not a Giant. We are one of the poorest countries in the world and according to a report by the World Bank, in 2018, half of the nation is living below the poverty line and unemployment peaked at 23.1 %. All these just mean that an average Nigerian cannot spend more than two dollars per day. This is as disgraceful and as shambolic as some of our leaders are. For Nigeria, the richer the leaders, the poorer the people. Nigeria is also one of the countries which still lacks stable electricity supply. In Nigeria, there is a popular slang called “Up Nepa”, which people use when power is provided by the electricity companies. Our grandfathers used it, our fathers used it and now my generation and teenagers in Nigeria are still saying it. This epitomizes a “stunted Nation”. And on the issue of corruption, all I can say is that Nigeria is the only place where some leaders steal already stolen funds, the facts are there for anyone to research on.
Now, let’s answer the main question, what is the Nigerian Dream? With the level of decay and hopelessness in our country, the Nigerian Dream is to leave Nigeria!
Esosa Osa is a mass communication student