Challenges of Nation-Building and Prospects as Nigeria Marks 60th Independence Anniversary
The political and geographical entity called Nigeria among comity of nation’s came into existence in 1914.
A British colonial master, Sir Frederick Luggard, amalgamated together different people with a different cultural, religious and political background under a single administrative system.
Before amalgamation, the political entity known today as Nigeria was administered in separate smaller units which are northern and southern protectorates as well as the colony of Lagos.
Despite the freshness of political practice in Nigeria, a plethora of political differences, ethnic distrust and religious intolerance bedeviled the nation.
One of the setbacks the country experienced was the long period of military rule that destroyed the nation’s federalism and substituted it with a unitary and centralised form of government.
It is therefore puzzling that at 60, Nigeria is yet to fully assert its position among the list of developed countries of the world despite its huge mineral and human resources.
The Independence Day of a country signifies a glorious expression of freedom.
The day is for pomp and celebration from official quarters which is usually characterised by public holidays, colourful display by paramilitary forces and the armed forces.
While unveiling the activities to mark this year’s event, President Muhammadu Buhari said the country’s sixtieth independence anniversary celebration will be observed for a whole year, ending September 30th, next year.
President Buhari explained that the anniversary celebration would be low-key, attributing the development to the scourge of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the president, the theme of this year’s anniversary celebration; “Together Shall We Be” was chosen to forge a more united and cohesive Nigeria.
Independence Day calls for reflection on the challenges facing the country and future prospects.
Despite these challenges, this year’s Independence Day should make Nigerians remember that countries of the world passed through similar problems in order to become stronger and more prosperous.
As the nation marks its diamond independence anniversary, the government must focus on key areas to make the economy buoyant for Nigeria to attract foreign investors and private sector to thrive.
A holistic public service reform, incorruptible criminal justice system and effective anti-corruption agencies will be a step in the right direction.
Furthermore, there is need for government to improve on its achievements and work towards improving the other sectors of the economy for national development.
Political office holders should take a cue from countries like Singapore, South Korea and India that have utilized their resources to develop their country rather than amassing wealth at the detriment of the citizens.
It is expected that these reforms will transform the economy and bring prosperity to the people.