The Platform

Nigerian school children in Lagos. (Doug Linstedt)

Grossly inadequate governance underpins Nigeria’s current woes.

Once, Nigeria stood as a haven of relative peace for its citizens—a tranquility now replaced by a cloud of insecurity and malaise. The pressing question is not just how the nation reached this tipping point, but what keeps it from clawing its way back.

Despite the pervasive issues that have sowed unrest for years, even spanning multiple administrations, a reluctance persists among Nigerians to abandon long-held views and champion meaningful change. Does this inertia serve anyone’s interests, or does it merely perpetuate existing dilemmas?

The continued strife warrants a reevaluation of priorities, particularly with regard to individual and communal safety. This is especially urgent for Nigeria’s youth, for whom the promise of a better future is increasingly contingent on their ability to navigate an insecure present.

While Nigeria has made some strides in mitigating the risks that plague its society, these measures are too often mere drops in a leaking bucket. Governance, though occasionally effective in pockets, has failed comprehensively enough to raise serious questions about the nation’s trajectory.

More troubling still is the dissonance between the country’s aspirational values and its lived reality. Rather than grooming tomorrow’s leaders, the younger generation is entangled in a web of antisocial activities—a predicament that puts the prospect of their taking the reins in the next decade into a sobering context.

Yet, sociology teaches us that people ensnared in challenging circumstances are not fated to eternal suffering. A sense of agency persists, urging individuals to confront their obstacles, however divergent the paths or methods might be. It is incumbent upon the nation, therefore, to address the myriad factors that contribute to an environment of insecurity: underfunding of crucial services, systemic educational failure, ineffective leadership, employment scarcity, and societal pressures that lead the youth astray.

A limited national budget, misallocated to serve bureaucratic interests rather than public welfare, underscores the government’s failings. Each year, new budgets emerge that consistently favor the ruling class over the general populace. As a result, civil disobedience proliferates, shaping a grim legacy for the generations to come.

The shortcomings of the Nigerian educational system serve as another crucible of discontent. It is bewildering that a nation with a constitutional mandate for equitable education should so severely undercut its own future. The disparities in educational opportunity further perpetuate a cycle of disadvantage and societal decay.

Grossly inadequate governance is a linchpin of Nigeria’s current woes. The authorities’ actions continue to orbit around self-interest, eclipsing the need for effective, ethical leadership. How can a nation expect to achieve security, prosperity, or even basic stability when its leaders are part of the problem rather than the solution?

In a country as populous as Nigeria, the dearth of employment opportunities compounds the hardship. Young people, emerging from an already strained educational system, face a bleak landscape devoid of institutional support. The consequences are foreseeable: an alienated, disenchanted youth population that could shape the destiny of the nation—for better or worse.

In summary, Nigeria stands at a critical juncture. If its leaders fail to redirect their focus toward fostering national development, they not only miss current opportunities for change but also risk closing the door to future reforms. The call to action is clear: honor your commitments to progress, prosperity, and civic betterment. The future of Nigeria may depend on it.

Editor’s note: Journalist Mohammed Taoheed is providing hands-on instruction to arm the next generation of young Nigerian journalists.

Oluwatoyin Hawal is a Nigerian freelance journalist and advocate of community development based in Ilorin, Kwara State.