Today at the State House, President Muhammadu Buhari hosted the outgoing High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency, Peingeondjabi Shipoh.
“We will do our best to make our country live-able again,” Buhari told the High Commissioner while lamenting the “sheer desperation” that makes Nigerian youths dare both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, all in the bid to take up menial jobs in Europe.
Buhari said such dangerous trips at the risk to lives and limbs are “hurting the pride of the country.”
We have heard the president; now should we tell him?
- President Buhari has spent 41 out of the 48 months that the law permits him to serve as president. In other words, he has just seven months to make Nigeria live-able again, unless he is reelected next year. That is definitely a possibility but not assured at this point.
- In the time he has been president, the economic indicators which are the main drivers of the exodus from Nigeria have actually worsened – unemployment, growth and even inflation are worse today than they were in May 2015 when the president assumed office. In fact he faces a tall order to just take it back to where it was (which was not even “live-able” at the time).
- Nigeria now has the troubling distinction of being the World’s Poverty Capital, with more people in extreme poverty (86.9 million) than anywhere else in the world, according to the World Poverty Clock. Even India with a population that is seven times that of Nigeria has about 15 million less poor people than Nigeria.
- Finally, just last week, Nigeria was ranked 152 out of 157 countries in the World Bank’s Human Capital Index. That index measures countries based on crucial human capital indicators like education and health and the impact they are having on productivity. The World Bank said the ranking measured how well countries “look after their people”. So basically Nigeria is among the bottom seven nations in the world in terms of how well it looks after its people.
So, there you have it, Mr. President – Make Nigeria Live-able again!