Bad Leadership


Since the time that most people have been born into this world, they have come to know that they are ruled by bad leaders. Over the years, the situation over the world has either improved or been on a decline. Nigeria as a country has been on the receiving end of a lot of backlash due to the bad leaders we have elected over time. It seems like almost an eternity since a US dollar was equivalent to the Nigerian naira, despite being the biggest economy in Africa, we still have the worse currency value in the continent even though the Ghanaian cedis is a lot bigger than the Nigerian naira. The country can’t do well on the foreign scene if the home front isn’t settled. The prices of things have been on a forever increase, rice in 50kg bags that used to be sold for less than fifteen thousand naira, is now grossing over thirty thousand naira, which over-double the amount in just a few years interval. Other foods and household materials have clocked over-doubled the previous amount from what they were, just a few years ago.

For a country that has a large amount of crude oil and petroleum, we pay exorbitant pump prices. Nigeria is one of the largest producers of crude oil in Africa and even the world at large. A country that produces thousands of barrels of oil per day is still in major debt. Most tenure of government comes in and increases the amount people pay for crude oil products. Fuel is the most used crude oil product and has it's pump price at 160NGN/170NGN per litre. Diesel is not of the fuel pump price as it is over 250NGN per litre. Even the price of common kerosene has skyrocketed matching that of fuel. Cooking gas which used to be around 350NGN per litre has in less than a year moved towards 900NGN per litre. All these exorbitant prices are paid for a country that mines crude oil and exports it too. A major reason why Nigerians are suffering these price increase is that the country doesn’t have a functioning major refinery. Even though multi-billionaire business mogul Aliko Dangote has plans and is building his refinery to be commissioned in 2023, it is a huge slap on Nigeria as a country to not have a functioning refinery adequate to process the oil produced in the country. 

Aside from topping the charts on corruption, Nigeria is comfortably one of the countries with the highest level of poverty rate with millions living on less than a dollar per day. With a country so invested in mining crude oil, it has widely overlooked other sectors in the country. For a country that boasts of the fertile soil found in most parts of the country, we still rank very high among the hungriest countries according to the UN survey. One in every four Nigerian lives on less than a dollar every day, which means that one in four people is suffering from malnourishment, hunger, and poverty. At a time last year, Nigeria has ranked the capital of poverty in the world but was later reverted to India the previous owners. This means that the same country that has the most black billionaires in the world still has the most black people living in abject poverty in the world. Much as people as individuals have their share of the blame but the most blame goes to the government of the day and the past government. There was a video circulating recently when a Professor in a university in the UK used the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate who a bad leader is. The same president who used his first twenty-two months of tenure touring the world, spent less time in Nigeria.

Another area where bad leadership is quite evident is the lack of preparation and readiness to help sport development in the country. Grassroots sports are at an all-time low and get even lower, even funds meant for these sports hardly reach the channels before stealing by various corrupt leaders. A lot of people can argue that there is too much attention to football but even that isn’t top-notch. A country that can’t boast of having at least five world-class stadiums. Sports such as rugby, tennis, and many more have had to feed on scraps from football and basketball. The leagues in Nigeria are appalling below standards, we have to train athletes abroad and find it hard to pay sports players their bonuses. Another major problem in sports in Nigeria is the corruption in picking players to represent the country. A few years back, FIFA placed a ban on a former Nigerian coach for receiving bribes so they would be called up to the Nigerian team. Sports in Nigeria have to be better than where it is today and yesterday. Each sport should be having its head that is made accountable when the activities don’t improve or they are lapses in the business.

Industrial striking is not a new thing as it has been going on for decades. The Academic Staff Union of University [ASUU] has gone on 16 different strikes since 1999 and at the time this article is written, the same Federal Government controlled union has been on strike since February 14th, 2022 till date. The Union claims the FG has to keep to the 2009 arrangement with the Union but the FG has refused to do that and at times threatened to stop paying them at all. ASUU isn’t the only union that has gone on strike, unions like Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC], Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria [FAAN], Senior Staff Association of Nigeria [SSANU], Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institution [NASU], Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors [NARD] and so many other unions include police in some regions have all gone on strike before. The government we have is one that hardly keeps to it's promises or the end of it's bargain. 

Every year African countries especially Nigeria tops the charts on corruption. It isn’t so much of a bad statement to say this country has not had at least five good leaders. It also seems like corruption is on the level of government, this method has made the use of political godfathers to enter political jobs. These politicians move millions in public funds to offshore accounts, not caring that Nigeria has been recently called the capital of poverty in the world. This trend of corrupt officials getting away with their crimes has made other people engaging in illegal activities also feel invincible.

The lack of good infrastructure emphasis is the worsening effect of bad leadership. Roads, hospital buildings and equipment, school buildings and so many other government properties have deteriorated over the years. Even federal roads [roads leading from one state to another, owned by the Federal Government] are the worse as they cause terrible traffic congestion because they are in a horrible state. So many times, commuters have called on the federal government to work on the roads but as usual, this plea falls on deaf ears. Even with the billions allocated for infrastructure, there are very little the things the money is used for. A successive government enters and abandons the previous government’s projects because they aren’t his; thereby there are lots of abandoned projects. 

Nigeria's over-dependence on crude oil has come back to haunt us. On Nigeria’s coat of arms, the black part signifies the fertility of the Nigerian soil, which means that Nigeria could be on Agriculture but has paid less attention to it; people tend to forget that crude oil isn’t a renewable source of energy. Nigeria, one of the largest exporters of cocoa can barely feed the nation, rather than help the farmers; they have ruined acres of land due to oil spillage like Ogoni land in the Niger Delta region. Agriculture can save the Nigerian economy and country but due to the self-centeredness, myopic and horrible leadership, they would rather drain every single oil in the country than shift focus. Steel, Itakpe iron ore is another sector that has been abandoned; Nigerians now import steel rather than produce theirs. 

It is not a new thing that we have terrible leadership and it has been like this for so many years. The Nigerian currency has become weaker and weaker as time goes on and it has become a disadvantage to now earn money in naira. Nigeria is still a great market with one of the largest economies on the continent but if the state of this country has to improve, change has to be made and fast. To end striking among government workers and unions, and improve their salaries and living conditions. Over 85% of Nigerians are not comfortable with the situation in the country. As the next elections come, forget religion, tribe, or ethnicity and choose a government that can help the country move forward. With all hands on deck and better leadership, this country could be a real giant of Africa again.

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