Believe In Nigeria

Posted: June 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Goodluck Jonathan


For a while now I have been talking on the theme of changing our attitude to Nigeria. I remember that on this page I took you down memory lane and x-rayed some of the challenges we have faced in the last fifty years. I remember that I did say to you that if we want a different and better result for the next fifty years we have to do some things differently. In my opinion, the most important is this-as we enter into the next fifty years of our national existence, all of us, both the leaders and the led have to move from being onlookers to being stake holders in the Nigerian project. I have thought hard and long about this and I believe that we can only make this paradigm shift if we all and especially the leaders at all levels begin to assess our social services in Nigeria.

As a leader, if you fly only foreign airlines, assess medical services at foreign hospitals, school your kids at foreign schools and dress up in foreign fabric tailored after foreign designs how then can you truly be a stakeholder in Nigeria?

Let me illustrate further, participation is the key to commitment and we all know that where your heart is there your focus will be. Being that the case, how committed can a leader be to improving the health care sector in Nigeria if he never patronises Nigerian hospitals? How can he be a stake holder if he does not know where the shoe pinches in that sector? The answer is that he cannot. Likewise, how can a leader be committed to fixing Nigeria’s schools if he is not willing to school his own children in Nigeria. Your own children are your greatest assets and I believe that if Nigerian leaders dedicate to school their kids in Nigeria (especially where course of study exist in Nigeria), their attitudes to the Nigerian education sector will change because they want the best for their children and since their children are in the system they will therefore want the best for the system.

Let me give an illustration to show that if it is possible in this one small area it is possible in every other area. Personally, I like to dress up in clothes that depict our cultures. This habit has forced me to be interested in what happens in the textile industry. Now because I am interested in the textile industry, I opened up myself to the workers unions in that industry as well as the officials in the ministry of Industry and the ministry of Commerce and was told in graphic details of the problems of that industry which can be narrowed down to dearth of capital. As a result of this knowledge, the government came up with a plan to provide capital for the resuscitation of the textile industry (mostly situated in Kaduna) and today much of the 150 billion Naira that government budgeted for that purpose has reached the end users and the industry is bouncing back. But it all began because I was a stake holder in that industry by reason of my love for
every thing Nigerian.

Moreover, I have a heightened interest in Nigeria’s education sector for the simple reason that I school and have always schooled my kids in Nigeria. How for instance can you trust me or any leader for that matter to revive the Nigerian educational sector when I or any other leader will not school his or her own child in Nigeria! Do you now see my point?

So my dear facebook friends and fellow Nigerians, after thinking long and hard on this issue, I have made a commitment that if you the good people of Nigeria will work with me, I make a pledge to lead by example and continue and even reinvigorate my personal practise of not only assessing my social services in Nigeria, but encouraging by example other leaders to follow suit.

And yes, there may be exceptional cases where it will be necessary for us as leaders and followers to assess some services abroad more so as the world is now a global village (e.g. where there is an urgent medical need that cannot at the time being be met locally, but in such cases we must recognize that gap in knowledge and make provision for closing it as soon as possible) but this should be the exception and not the rule. If leaders want Nigerians to believe in Nigeria, they have to first believe in Nigeria and their belief will run down the pyramid to the led.

At this juncture, let me use this opportunity to pay tribute to Nigerians who have in their private enterprises contributed to Nigeria’s economic growth by providing us a viable alternative to foreign goods and proving that brand Nigeria is not only viable but is to be preferred. Let me mention Otunba Mike Adenuga and the Glo brand, let me also mention Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the Dangote Brand as well as the Arumemi-Ikhide’s and the Arik Air brand which has done Nigeria proud of recent. In the agricultural sector, I salute former president Olusegun Obasanjo and his Obasanjo Farms as well as Admiral Murtala Nyako and his Admiral Farms. In the education sector I salute Bishop David Oyedepo of Covenant University, Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the American University of Nigeria and Very Rev. Fr. E.M.P. Edeh of Madonna University. I also salute Leo Stan Ekeh – Founder and CEO of Zinox Technologies who has put Nigeria’s name on the map in the area of IT services.

In Architecture, I salute Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme of Ekwueme and Associates, who is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and who founded the first indigenous architectural firm in Nigeria and Vice President Namadi Sambo, himself an architect of great renown. These are just a few of the many Nigerians who have shown that what the West can do a Nigerian can do and in many cases do better. Dear friends and fellow Nigerians, do join me and celebrate brand Nigeria as we make it a habit to believe in Nigeria now and tomorrow. God bless Nigeria.

Jonathan wrote this in 0ctober 10, 2010


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s