Does it amuse you that some of the countries with the most admired infrastructures and economic policies are run not by aliens but by Human beings? Granted some have gone through wars, daring revolutions to be where they are today.
Somehow, everyone is in search of greener pastures; a better place, and most of the time what that means, in reality, is a ready-made place. Something they do not necessarily have to work for but ready with certain amenities required.
Our communities can do better, Nigeria as a whole can do better. It is a familiar saying, perhaps to some, already overflogged. Let’s examine some hindrances to Community development and perhaps, remedies that can be put in place to transform our Country.
1. Neglect of Responsibility in the Community
A Yoruba adage says “if a landlord is not dead, his front yard can not be full of weeds.” If he were alive, he’d see it as a personal obligation to cater to his environment either by himself or by assigning someone to the responsibility.
The development we seek is the joint responsibility of all dwellers within that community. But as it is, the reality has become that of the village goat that never gets fed because everyone assumes that the other person must have fed it. Our communities have seen decadence and almost no development at all because every other person is waiting for his neighbour to do the needful.
The Corruption Perception Index published in January 2020 by Transparency International had Nigeria scoring 26. On the scale of 100-0, where 100 is least corrupt and 0 is most corrupt. According to Transparency International, Corruption is the misuse of public power for private benefit.
On the list of issues that bedevil this great Nation, Nigeria, corruption ranks highest. At the root of every problem, it is not so hard to see that the fuel giving the problems power to scale is corruption. With misappropriation of funds, embezzlement of the allocations and a craze to partake of the national cake, it seems the majority of those who go into power simply do so just to nourish their own selfish ambitions. Sadly, justice is slow and sometimes perverted that the law has little or no impact on the villains.
3. Lack of Focus of the Government
What is the Nigerian Dream?
What Vision do we as a nation run by?
Every campaign and election period, politicians come up with new slogans, agenda, and projects oftentimes not in sync with existing ones. Especially when they are not from the same political parties. This leads to the abandonment of multi-million naira projects and a vicious cycle continues. With evidence of abandoned projects from place to place. Pointing once more at a lack of collective vision as a nation.
It is unfortunate that only in rare instances would you see a government that has the interest and desires of the people at heart. This is evident in the level of mediocre, unnecessary ‘projects’ that are often time commissioned with so much fanfare in our communities. It is perhaps seen as an avenue to siphon funds but what is even worse is that they are not brought to book.
The bedrock of any nation’s development is Education. When the mind is educated, it is able to proffer solutions to the problems and challenges that lay around. But it is an unfortunate situation if the Education system in place does not match the challenges of the era or if there isn’t adequate infrastructure put in place to ensure quality education.
5. Youth Unemployment
There is an unemployment problem in Nigeria with a quarter of the population being unemployed and 20% being underemployed. With such alarming figures, it is no wonder there is a high occurrence of crimes and criminality like kidnappings, militancy, armed robbery, mass murders, insurgency, and drug abuse.
Organizations have complained about the unemployability of graduates thereby resulting in unemployment. Unemployability which stems from a variety of reasons such as an archaic education system that daily cries to be revamped, lack of interest in the course offered by the tertiary institution, lack of modern-day Skills required in the marketplace or corporate environment. Young People must be ready to go the extra mile to gain the necessary leverage.
Remedies and Solution to Community Development
Amidst all the mentioned and known hindrances to community development, it is evident that the state of the nation is not hopeless. Especially if all citizens and sectors realize that they can make contributions to the building or transformation of a better community.
Usually, it is hammered that the government has a very huge role to play and that is true however, oftentimes citizens forfeit their own responsibilities whilst expecting that the government would do all. As we examine remedies, let us focus on the roles citizens can implement and group them into Individuals and Companies.
Organizations and Companies in the Private Sector
- Companies can embark on the creation of new business opportunities and job roles. A practical example is to look into the sustainable development goals and point of intersection with the company’s mission then make business cases.
- Companies should adopt Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) based on the challenges faced in their host communities e.g. Sponsorship of out-of-school children through Scholarships or subsidies, Promoting waste management, etc.
- Creation of more civic organizations like Budgit, a civic organization that facilitates societal change through citizen engagement through technology.
- Individuals must realize they are responsible for who they vote for and must ensure they vote for befitting candidates against voting for those who use bribery and corruption to gain votes and dole out empty promises.
- Despite the slow-paced Education system, citizens especially the youth should take up the responsibility of upskilling themselves through avenues such as volunteering, internships, taking courses, and learning skills.
- Instead of taking part in vices such as armed robbery, internet scamming or prostitution, young people can take advantage of learning platforms available to them, learn and monetize skills
- Individuals should get involved in advocacy.
Think of more hindrances to community development and how they can be tackled. What can you do from your corner to make your community great? Kindly share in the comments section, you never know who might be inspired by your words!