Our Golden Pillars



The Ugly Picture

Have you seen that video documentary that showed a green passport lying just beside a skeleton covered in tattered rags in the Sahara Desert?  If you missed that, you must have seen the number of girls and women on NTA deported time and again from Italy, Spain and Libya for street prostitution? Perhaps, you missed that too! But you couldn’t have possibly missed that Internet scammer beside you at a public Café down the street! Or the news on BBC about the thousands of black foreigners, mostly Nigerians, in British prisons abroad…the millions of youths in the street without a job…poor children hawking on our streets and highways when they should be in school…the youth restiveness in the Niger Delta…the sectarian violence in the North…the wide-spreading hopelessness, desperation and resignation… 

The Nigerian youth, and often true, has been repeatedly labeled a “time-bomb” in our society. We are fast becoming the glaring symptom of the dangerous disease acquired by generations that largely exposed themselves to unhealthy lifestyles. We are fast becoming the worrisome mirror of what the future of Nigeria must look like if we continue in our current direction. We are fast becoming a metaphor for blind materialism, a future lacking in vision, a generation that may be worse than ‘wasted’! So how can the same ticking time-bomb in an “oil-doomed nation” become the golden mind that Nigeria greatly needs to become one of the most industralised economies of the world in 2020?

We have realised that in every individual is a great potential waiting to be discovered, challenged, developed and exploited as a treasured asset, both to himself and the world he lives in. And equally, in every country is a great potential waiting to be discovered, developed and exploited as an asset both to the nation and the individual. But as a developing country, we have so far largely failed to pull together the individual potential with our national potential – a symbiotic relationship between the potential human resources and the natural resources – the golden mind and the golden land. It is the wide gap between these two golden assets that has become the place called the present Nigeria.

And our leaders continue to dangerously place too much attention to the land at the expense of the mind. They prefer to rather bank on the asset that has a higher liquidity ratio than face the risk of pumping funds into sectors that develop the minds. To their mind, the human mind as a golden asset, apart from having slower returns on investment, requires greater funds, no matter the larger potential in the long-run. In this way, the end measured in billions of dollars (from oil exportation), justifies the means (the opportunity cost of running a mono-economy without building any human resource base by a UNESCO standard budget of 25% for education, for instance). The consequences, for over decades, have been disastrous to the Nigerian future, particularly for us the youths who have been described as “the leaders of tomorrow”. The consequences are what we see daily on CNN and BBC about Nigeria and its frauds, its scammers, its corruption, its drug-trafficking, its prostitutes, its electoral violence, its collapsing education, altogether pointing at the USA-predicted failed state before 2020.

  1. 21/02/2010 at 21:06

    In the same sense that J.F. Kennedy puts it, we need to think not about what Nigeria can do for us but what we can do for Nigeria. In other words, your organisation, Golden Minds, has been largely individualised. This is because without the living dreams of Nigerians like you and us, Nigeria is practically dead!

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