NIGERIAN YOUTH: WHAT FUTURE LIES AHEAD?

Jon Nuttal in his book Moral Questions (1993) said “morality is concerned with
right and wrong; good and bad; virtues and vice; and judging what we do and the consequences of what we do.” As a young Nigerian, the tune of events in our societies; the way of life of its people; and the resultant message to the
young population has made my heart bleed.

Over the last few decades, as a people we have been plagued by a new wave of
attitude and lifestyle which have become inimical to our continued existence as a nation, our growth, development, and proper functioning of our society and its institutions. Prior to our independence, we lived in a society where
corruption and embezzlement of public funds, overnight prosperity, youth
restiveness, examination malpractices, wanton killing, cultism and fraud,
indecent dressing, among others were not as rampant, deep-rooted and accepted as the norm in our society. But it is disheartening to observe that these vices are now accepted without comment and this bothers a lot of concerned Nigerians, especially the youth.

In 2011 Transparency International (TI) ranked Nigeria 143 out of 183 countries assessed in terms of corruption. This did not come as a surprise to a lot of Nigerians but it showed how endemic corruption has become in Nigeria. The seeds of corruption are everywhere in our society for all to see. But this is not just about corruption, there is decay in all facets of our society and we have loosed our value system as a people.

We worship wealth irrespective of how you acquire it and who is submerged in the process. In our religious institutions, those that can afford to give
“handsome” offerings or donations are treated like kings. They sit in VIP seats
and are specially recognized. The next moment they are awarded
chieftaincy titles.
As if that is not enough, their pictures take prominent spaces in our national
dailies – loyalists and cronies congratulating them on the award of an honorary
degree. What about the admission process? Or is it a job you are looking for
without connection?

All these have sent a wrong message; been a negative influence; and affected the mindset of the young population. And I dare to ask: what happen to our value system? It is worrying that the value system in Nigeria is currently at its
lowest ebb and that has been the genesis of our societal problems. In the word
of British Jurist and lawyer Judge Devlin: “an established morality is
necessary as good governance to the welfare of the society. Societies
disintegrate from within more frequently than they are broken up by external
pressures.” In sociology, it is observed that norms, values and cultures are
passed from a generation to the next for the continued existence and sustenance of such society.

Presently, the young population have not only loosed our societal values but they also seem to be confused on what values and norms our society place premiums on and what life values should they imbibe and abhor. A large proportion of the youths are alienated and disenchanted from our society and its values. All these stem from the conflicting message from the older generation, our leaders and our social institutions. The danger here is: if the young population minds are already polluted, what hope lies for Nigeria to overcome its torrents of problems in the nearest future?

Even though over the years, the strong influence of the media, effects of increasing globalization has changed and affected the life pattern of people, especially the young ones. But a strong social moral values upheld by its leaders and social institutions will always leave a lasting legacy on the mind of the young people.

I strongly believe that the mass media, religious institution, the family as a
unit, educational institution and our leaders could be of help in re-instituting
good moral values in our society.

Iniobong Iwok is a 300L

Sociology student at UNILORIN. He is a radio presenter and producer.

He is also an events anchor. He can be reached on 08032455573 or
iniiwok@gmail.com

PHCN Privatisation Disco: Are We there Yet?

For once in recent times, I never have to fret whether my laptop is charging or not. I must tell you, it’s been comforting. I simply put my mind to use in other productive ways. Not thinking of when the lights will be restored so I can continue working.

In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a drastic change in the power distribution of the nation. My humble abode in city of Ibadan has been enjoying an average of 16 hours per day with little interruptions which need no worries. The same can be said of my sister’s place in Lagos somewhere in Ipaja and I can’t but beam at the possibility of a vibrant power sector in the nation and how it would drive the economy as some other people would be able to carry out economic activities.

While I was still basking in the euphoria of the moment, my little niece picked up the rechargeable lamp and attempted to charge it. I asked her to drop it and she resorted to begging. “Uncle Femi please let’s charge it, you know there’s light now.” but I refused. This made me see the damage that has been done to our minds as youths. Even as there had been electricity for the past 48 hrs and the lamps were charged overnight, she still begged to charge them more. Besides the fact that further charging would damage the cells of the lamps, She saw the available electricity as an opportunity. She had done all she could with the light, ironed her clothes, watch movies, pumped water etc. yet she wanted to do more.

However it was not always like this. I was raised in a time when we had at least 18-20 hours of electricity. we never bothered or scrambled to make use of it. Even if the lights go off, it never bothered us cos we knew it won’t be long before they restored it. Gradually it started becoming bad. I remember the first time we were told the light would be rationed between two streets. It was a strange experience. Little did we know it was a prophecy of things to come. But now this is where we have found ourselves. Even as I write, I know there are still some areas been deprived of electricity. If Nigerians could have their way, they’d attempt to diffuse electricity from areas with sufficient supply to deficient areas.

PHCN recently announced generating about 4,237MW of electricity and we applaud them. The power sector has been riddled with varying scandals and attempts to restore the ailing elephant but to no avail. Just this January, the tariffs were jacked up. As for me, I have no problems whatsoever with the tariff increase as long as I can see what I’m paying for. With the privatization exercise going on in the sector should we hope for better days or it’s just another Disco?

How has electricity supply been in your area?

Occupy Nigeria Is Just The Beginning!

It is not the first blow that kills a snake, the cumulative impacts of subsequent blows weakens it. The emancipation of the Negroes in the United States was a process. Barack Obama’s journey to the white house started with Martin Luther King’s idea of a color blind society. There had been a couple of attempts to end racial segregation before Rosa Parks’ defiance sparked a boycott which ended segregation in Montgomery.

While this may not be the last blow that kills the snake of corruption in our society, we are sure it has a weakening effect. Even though it seems we’ve been betrayed, psychologically squashed and sold out, we shall still continue to #OccupyNigeria. The only power a slave master has over the slave is ignorance. That’s why he never educates him, because the more you know, the better you behave.

Comrades, the strike may be over and our rights to protests may be threatened yet we know more about the budget than we used to. We are more aware of current issues. We know we can question the budget. Our chants, rants, arguments, blogs and peaceful protests have initiated a process. We now know it’s not just Twitter, Facebook or Blogger.

Even if the EFCC reports are doctored, we have succeeded in starting a process. Let me assure you, that we are victors. They fear us. That is why they changed the rules of the game by involving military presence. Life may not be as it used to be, but now we have a glimpse into their minds. Prices may not return to what they were, shoes may pinch, but our minds are awakened.

The gateman knows about the budget. “Iya moria” knows about the kitchen allowance. Secondary school students are asking questions about the budget. We are no longer ignorant. Gradually, the grip of the slave master is getting weaker by the day.  Let us all be aware that, it’s not a “battle of guns” but a “war of wits.” Not a revolution with violence but a “battle of the mind.”

Demola did not die for nothing, muyideen did not die in vain, hundreds, injured physically and mentally shall not be in vain. So therefore in their memorial, let us keep the hope alive as we #OccupNigeria in our jobs, educating our colleagues. Let us keep the hope alive as we #occupynigeria in our churches & mosques, enlightening the congregation. Let us keep the hope alive as we #occupynigeria in our schools, streets and communities. Teaching them the actual issues, which are beyond fuel subsidy. It’s about accountability. It’s about cutting government waste.

They may stop the strikes or discourage the protests; they can never stop us from talking. This is not a time to lay blames and point accusing fingers, but a time to recoup our strength, losses and learn from our mistakes. It’s a time to prepare for the next opportunity or create one. It’s not until 2015, the time is now.

First Published on Facebook. 17/01/2012

#DANACRASH- Dana Air Releases Press Statement.

The CEO Dana Air Mr. Jacky Hathiramani has released a press statement on the ill fated Dana  Flight 9J 992 OF Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Dana Air family is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the passengers and crew of Flight 9J-992 of Sunday, June 3, 2012. The aircraft, with Registration Number 5N-RAM, departed Abuja for Lagos with 146 passengers onboard. 1 Dana Air Flight Engineer, 2 Pilots and 4 Cabin Crew were also aboard the flight.
We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased, and we are doing everything we can to assist them in this extremely difficult time. A 24hr Call Centre service has been initiated and we have also set up an information center at MMA2 to look after their needs and keep them as quickly informed as possible.

An investigation into the cause of the accident got under way immediately, under the guidance of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), who are being assisted by investigators from the U.S. National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB). Dana Air is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.

In accordance with international protocol governing aviation accident investigations, all information about the investigation will come from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Dana Air will however provide information relating to the flight itself and updates on steps being taken.

Once again, we at Dana Air extend our profoundest condolences.

Jacky Hathiramani

Chief Executive Officer

Here’s the link to the Statement.

Why Dropping Out of School May Not Guarantee Your Success.

Consider these facts

More than 50% of all CEO’s of fortune 500 companies had a C or C average in college.

65% of all US senators came from the bottom half of their class.

75% of US presidents were in the lower half club in school.

More than 80% of American entrepreneurs never finished college.

Wole Soyinka professor and Nobel laureate graduated with a 3rd class in university of Ibadan.

Dangote the richest man in Africa never went to college.

Cosmos Maduka  elementary school drop out and billionaire founder of the Coscharis Group.

 

Each time people talk about success and its antecedents, I hear a lot of statistics like above. People quote different sources to buttress the fact that success is not often determined by academic intelligence. In fact some go as far as stating that if you do not perform well in school is a pointer that you may/do not need academics to succeed. So we have a lot of academic potentials wasting away under the guise of “it doesn’t matter what I graduate with as long as I know what I want to do with my life”. While the argument may hold some water, oftentimes I am wont to believe that those who push such ideas do so in order to cover their academic incompetence. However, one needs to examine the premise on which such assumptions stand.

With the likes of bill gates, late Steve jobs, and more recently Mark Zuckerberg, topping the list of successful, wealthy dropouts, their stories seems to eclipse the list of successful, wealthy graduates. One also needs to analyze why the latter are sometimes less recognized and celebrated.

I believe, for every successful dropout, there should be at least 10/20 successful graduates if not more. The message that “if Bill Gates (or anyone else) can do it, you can too” need to be examined. Agreed that they are dropouts, was that the only factor that determined their success? The concept of such messages I believe is FOCUS ( spelt out Following One Course Until Success), without which no one can succeed in any endeavor with or without academics. These great men of our time were not only focused on their lives vocation, they had a definite purpose. For them it wasn’t for the money or fame (at least not in the beginning.) They only set out to achieve their heart desires. Something they had immense passion for. How many of those who tout such beliefs ever really make it like those they model? I can bet it with you that Bill Gates and others like him are not the only one who stopped schooling to pursue their perceived life purposes. How many of them do we know?

World over we have several successful men and women who went through school. Ben Carson is one. A neurosurgeon without match. Robert Rowling, the owner of the holding company controlling the Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym chains. Jerry Yang,  co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo! Inc, to mention a few.  These people have made enormous impacts on our lives. However, they were not only successful because they went to school. Rather, other factors contributed towards their achievements. They were also resilient, focused and passionate about their life purposes. It is also obvious that even intelligence has a threshold, because there are far more intelligent graduates who aren’t successful either. So if intelligence gets you running up to certain speed and set you loose. Something else takes you up from there, what exactly is that thing? Divinity, Creativity?

Until we define certain concepts like success, understand our identity, and of course screen the people we lend our “ear time” to or read from, it won’t be long before we start having our best brains dropping out of schools.

So the question is; what really is needed to succeed in life? Common sense, practical intelligence, financial intelligence, creativity, attitudes or opportunities? Kindly use the comment box below to air your views. Thanks.