Thursday, June 25, 2015

Insanity is...

Albert Einstein said: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Every year, Lagos and Lagosians are reminded that the city is a huge slum thanks to the annual flooding. Yet, year in, year out, there are no  large scale visible concrete steps to address the issue across the City though there are pockets of improvement in Victoria Island where some drainage channels have been constructed The 2011 flooding was seen as the beginning of the end but the rains had not begun with Lagos. This also  occurred in  2012, 2013 , 2014and has begun in 2015.  Immediate impact of the floods include:
  • loss of property 
  • loss of productivity and labour as people cannot get to their workplaces and even when they do cannot be productivity as they had to wade through water
  • Inability of businesses to operate
  • Annual contributions to mechanics for vehicle repairs
  • Health issues arising from mosquitos, walking/ swimming in unsafe water especially for slum residents
  • Loss of lives
The annual flooding is worsened by the  presence of potholes on roads, absence of drainages,  open sewers  and drains (this poses a health risk but without the rains, it breeds mosquitoes and with rains humans can fall into them and rain water is not discharged.  Considering the  high incidence and death rates that result from Malaria and  other water borne diseases, addressing this issue should be a top priority for the government. The effects of climate change provides a strong motive for the government  to look into this issue 

What can be done?

  Lagos State government has identified the issues  that cause  flooding. One of those -the  coastal features of the city- cannot be changed. The focus should move to addressing the issues by:
 1)  the construction of strong and durable roads with drainage channels
2)   Provision of manhole covers for drains on public roads and property  and enforcement on the use of manholes for private properties 
3) Sensitization of residents on the importance of not blocking drains with dirt and debris and the enforcement of strong penalties for offenders 

Every year, residents are advised to relocate from flood prone areas  without the provision of alternatives. For slum dwellers and residents who struggle to get by, the  advise is not feasible. Government can assist prevent  and mitigate the effects of flooding by providing temporary housing for potential residents that may be affected or address the factors that would exacerbate flooding if it occurs . The State government has had sixteen years to prioritize and solve the flooding challenge the City faces. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015

We Have an Opportunity.Let us Take It

Below is the full text of President’s Muhammadu Buhari’s speech at his inauguration.
President Buhari’s inauguration reminds me of the clean slate Nigeria was given when Abacha died. Rather than re-create the Nigeria we wanted in 1999, we allowed the government dictate to citizens without accountability. Sixteen years later across the nation, we are back to square one. Now is the time for the engaged Nigeria- not the beer parlor/ newspapers free-readers association/ office lunch time - types but hands-on we cannot afford to fail engagement.
The President set the tone for his government with that speech and compared to others before it there are no seven-point agendas and servant- leader images. The president was direct and touched on all our pain points as a nation including tribalism. With the inaugural address, he has set a tone for his government and highlighted below are parts of the speech that resonate and would like to see execution. Remarks in bold mine. 
I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today
marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.
I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.I would like to thank the millions of our supporters who believed in us even when the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their resolve in waiting long hours in rain and hot sunshine to register and cast their votes and stay all night if necessary to protect and ensure their votes count and were counted.  I thank those who tirelessly carried the campaign on the social media. At the same time, I thank our other countrymen and women who did not vote for us but contributed to make our democratic culture truly competitive, strong and definitive.I thank all of you.Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody(meaning: I acknowledge that individuals have contributed to my campaign and election but I would not be held ransom by anyone). A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue(There will be no witch-hunting).Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our African brethren should rest assured that Nigeria under our administration will be ready to play any leadership role that Africa expects of it. Here I would like to thank the governments and people of Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria.I also wish to assure the wider international community of our readiness to cooperate and help to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns.(There are many issues we grapple with as a nation and world wide examples listed above;  the primary actions of this administration will be to fix fuel and power issues). We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house.Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind ourselves that we are heirs to great civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of those great ancestors flow in our veins. What is now required is to build on these legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.Daunting as the task may be it is by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system. The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system.For their part the legislative arm must keep to their brief of making laws, carrying out over-sight functions and doing so expeditiously. The judicial system needs reform to cleanse itself from its immediate past. The country now expects the judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases especially on corruption, serious financial crimes or abuse of office. It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedeviling governance today.( I regard this part of his speech as important because the National Assembly has shirked in its duties and though the Judiciary has made efforts at regaining its image as the defender of Justice, there is more to do be done as Lady Justice in recent times has been a respecter of persons, lenient with the wealthy and punitive with the poor)Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments.(Yes!)  Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account. While the Federal Government can not interfere in the details of its operations it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked.( The local government is the first level of government citizens have and it has not been impactful. In my experience, local roads are not built, instead, citizens are levied unnecessarily and the cry is that they have no access to funds routed through the state government)  As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch.However, no matter how well organized the governments of the federation are they can not succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.My appeal for unity is predicated on the seriousness of the legacy we are getting into. With depleted foreign reserves, falling oil prices, leakages and debts the Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it round and to tackle the immediate challenges confronting us, namely; Boko Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the power shortages and unemployment especially among young people. For the longer term we have to improve the standards of our education. We have to look at the whole field of medicare. We have to upgrade our dilapidated physical infrastructure.The most immediate is Boko Haram’s insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.(Great! This tells me, this government is serious about the insurgency and tells the Military command that too. The government is being tested. There have been attacks in Maiduguri on the 30th and 31st)This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police.(Calling Mohammed Yusuf’s murder what it is! )Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connections to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko haram. We shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human right violations by the Armed Forces.Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people – friendly and well – compensated security forces within an over – all security architecture.The amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, but the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20b expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.Our situation somehow reminds one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius CeasarThere is a tide in the affairs of men which,taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;Omitted, all the voyage of their life,Is bound in shallows and miseries.We have an opportunity. Let us take it.Thank youMuhammadu BuhariPresident Federal Republic of NIGERIA andCommander in-chief-of the Armed forces

Saturday, April 11, 2015

#Nigeriadecides, then what?

Nigeria’s 2015 elections has been interesting and remarkable. 
Nigerians and Africans are proud that the elections were not marred by widespread violence. It shows  that gradually,Nigeria’s democracy is maturing. 
Nigeria’s election success story began in 2011 with the election of president Jonathan. That  election was regarded as credible and representative of the  wishes of Nigerians though there was  violence in the North. He won the 2011  elections based on the goodwill he enjoyed. 
He was also voted out in 2015 based on his non-performance especially  in the areas of corruption and insecurity. The fact that a sitting president can be voted out shows Nigeria and Nigerians are getting there and are capable of putting their leaders on their toes. Similarly, APC (All Progressives Congress)- the ruling party in Lagos lost 5 seats to the opposition in Lagos and to non-indigenes. That the President conceded peacefully is commendable  as it calmed frayed nerves and doused the expected violence. 
Another positive of the presidential elections is the surprising revelation of the swing blocs in  the country. The fear of a North West/ North East domination in elections has been quelled by the swing votes of the North Central and South West.
In spite of this progress Nigeria's democracy has made, deep-seated issues of weak institutions and ethic bigotry remain and need to be addressed.
When it emerged that the South-South and South-East voted for President Jonathan, tweets like below went viral on social media. 

Thankfully, it was roundly condemned and this particular user's account was deactivated. Also, the Oba of Lagos in tirade against the Igbos in Lagos cursed them for not voting APC during the presidential elections. In that speech, the Oba incited violence against the people. Again, saner heads prevailed and citizens including the APC dissociated itself from the Oba's outburst.  Just like the Buhari certificate saga had no effect on citizens determined to vote for him, I believe that the Oba's outburst will also not swing votes to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
 That there are voting patterns/ blocs that will always vote a certain way is typical of most democracies. In the United States, there are red and blue states and once in a while when there is popular candidate or a burning issue, a purple state emerges. Also in the United Kingdom, the North and South also vote along party lines (Labour/ Conservatives). That Nigerians vote along ethnic lines, personal and religious interests is not a reason to promote hatred and violence against them. As this election has shown there are swing votes and these  votes can be trusted to be non-partisan (as seen in the presidential elections for the North Central and South West).  
The fault lines of religion and ethnicity need to be addressed because may Rwanda never happen to Nigeria but inciting comments from the Oba and  the current vice president during his campaign in Minna shows this is an issue that needs to be addressed. 
Lagos has led the way because there are numerous non-indigenes in positions of authority in the state and currently 5 of those have been elected to the house of representatives. This can be replicated across of the states where a Yoruba Christian in Kaduna or Imo will be able to run for an elective position and win. People in authority have to be mindful and careful about what they say. Like it happened in Rwanda, where the leadership promoted the hatred between the Tutsi's and Hutu's and led to the genocide and in South Africa, where a traditional ruler's comment has led to attacks and looting the businesses of foreigners, leaders should be aware of the responsibility that comes with the positions that they hold.                                                            
This election season has also revealed the weaknesses of our institutions. Below statement is credited to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

There has been an ongoing battle for Rivers between the Presidency and the governor and state institutions have been used as proxies in that battle. There was a time the Governor had a running battle with the Commissioner of Police and now it appears it is pay-back time.  The statement of the military officer is most shameful. Add to this the withdrawal of the Speaker's security detail, the re-appearance of President- elect's certificate in military custody, the hate documentary against APC's presidential candidate tells the new government that State institutions need to be strengthened and independent.
 Strong, fair and independent institutions are germane to the growth and development of any nation because it prevents tyranny, oppression, impunity and anarchy. 
For instance in the United States, issues of corruption always arise, but because there are structures and systems in place, corruption is addressed and for those who insist on beating the system, they tweak the law.
Nigeria's election is being celebrated because INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) has been strengthened in between the 2011 and 2015 election cycles. INEC is far from conducting the best of elections logistics and fairness-wise but the last 2 elections have been credible and transparent. Social media may have helped because citizens can now record and report incidences of rigging and keep the institution honest.  Holding other factors constant, 2019 elections would be more credible. Like the use and exercise of a muscle, State institutions need to be independent of governments, that is the only way they can grow.
Once upon a time, Nigerians elected two Muslims as presidents. Ethnic biases will always be there but it should not be dominant. The incoming government has its work cut for it and as it addresses the issues of the economy, social orientation.  Social re-orientation in terms of messaging and role modelling by leaders.
Again, Nigeria has been given a fresh slate. She can write better this time.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Education of a British-Protected Child


I recently read Chinua Achebe’s memoir; “the Education of a British Protected Child”. The book resonated with me especially because of its focus on identity, culture, family, Nigerian and African politics and the relevance of the events he depicted  to current events. Of course the author brings his own narrative and views; yet this does not colour the essence of what he says.
In “What is Nigeria to me”, he breaks down his identity as a Nigerian and the optimism that greeted Nigeria’s independence. He recalled; “travelling as a Nigerian was exciting, people listened to us. Our money was worth more than the dollar".  Though he experienced racism in North Rhodesia (Zambia). His retort to the ticket collector that “by the way, in Nigeria we sit where we like in the bus” was an aha moment in understanding race relations at that time.  His conclusion-“being a Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting"- captures the frustration and feeling I experience as a Nigerian. 
In the following chapter, “Travelling White", he examines racism in Africa. The subjugation Africans suffered on their land may explain the resentment towards White Africans. But do two wrongs make a right?
In the final story Achebe continues on the theme of white racism, how the narrative has been controlled and how black people view themselves with the lenses of former oppressors. He noted the almost equal relationship that existed pre-slavery (Walter Guyana also documented how developed Africa was before slavery in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”). My take is that as Africans, we have to develop ourselves and shape our own stories. Like the Yoruba proverb goes “if the in-house murderer does not kill  one, the one outside would not succeed.  Who are we? What do we want for ourselves? Obviously, we have lost years to slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Our destiny is in our hands. Are we taking it?
Though the book has repetitive stories, I recommend the book as a good read and as a teaser, enjoy these three chapters

Saturday, February 21, 2015

On the postponement

Had the presidential elections held on the 14 of February, Nigerians would have known the captain of her ship till 2019. To be clear, it is within INEC's right to postpone elections within set time frames (Part IV, Section 26). However, this postponement  rankles because the Commission categorically stated that it was ready to go ahead with the elections  but the nation's security forces openly stated that they will not provide support for elections on the 14th after the National Security Adviser (NSA) had called for a postponement. Who benefits and who loses? At face value, PDP and it supporters through various campaigns  benefit as they gain more time to contain the momentum APC had on its side. But did they really benefit? Since the postponement, Boko Haram- that the Military wants to contain in 6 weeks- has attacked several villages, the Naira has further lost its value  and investors are bidding their time till after the elections hold.  Who loses and who gains?

Photo credits:,, twitter.,com,,,,ww,,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Overtake don Overtake Overtake

Title credit goes to Fela

I get my money
Plan my plan finish
Start to go for market
Start to go for shopping
Before I reach market nko o?
Government show don enter
My plan don spoil o
Government show don enter
My plan don spoil o

My friend wan come buy fan
Him dey sweat for him dey sleep for room
Him dey for level of three
The fan na seventy-five naira
My friend him dey follow salary
Him dey try to save and save and save
Every time he nearly buy the fan
Government go add ten naira more
Every time he nearly buy the fan
Government go start one activity
Till the fan reach two hundred naira
My friend nearly die, he never die

My friend he no wan die
Die-die no dey for him dictionary
For where? Huh...
Him dey try to save and save again
Him save for one year and six months
Inside cupboard
Under pillow
Under, under cooking pot
Inside socks
Under carpet
Him dey on his way to buy the fan
When alarm come blow
Government announce second tier
Everything come tear to pieces
Everything come expensive
Even water become expensive

Fan don become seven hundred naira
Me and my friend start to look ourselves
He remain small make my friend dey cry
Na laugh laugh he catch monkey
Na now he come understand him life
Enjoyment can never come him way
Na now him life dey go reverse
In Africa, him fatherland

credit: Lyrics of Fela's O.D.O.O 

The current events in Nigeria- the falling naira (officially now at NGN 205 to $1), the effects of the oil glut and falling oil prices (Brent oil which Nigeria produces sells for $56pbd), yet the benchmark for our budget is $65 per barrel and the leakages in the system that are not fixed portend what the times Nigerians are in for. 
We have a budget of 4.3 trillion naira and the government may have to borrow to fund it yet  agencies like NNPC and FIRS answer to themselves and remit to the Federal Government what they please. FIRS generated 4.69 trillion in 2014
Citizens may not immediately see the impact of our dwindling fortunes because  oil revenues primarily go to the government with little effects on the average Nigerian because governments at all levels fail to carry out their duties. The government wants to begin austerity measures  most Nigerians have been for ages. Unfortunately, citizens have to now embark on austerity 2.0. 
The combination of lower oil prices (which means that oil proceeds to the government is reduced), the devaluation of the Naira(because Central Bank can no longer afford to defend the Naira). Sadly, the failure to hold governments responsible has come back to bite us and those who may be unaffected are very wealthy  Nigerians

We are a consumer economy that imports a significant number of items including food, clothing and machines to run factories. Imports are denominated in dollars and importers will require more naira to get dollars to import the same amount of goods. They definitely will pass the costs to consumers. Imagine a trader buys 1000 units of a good at $1 per unit, In December, the cost was between NGN 165-170,now, that same good will cost NGN 210 to import. Received information is that the exchange rate will rise to  NGN 250 and the Naira maybe devalued again.  The increases in cost of goods means a reduction in purchasing power. For instance, NGN100 bread may now go for NGN 150

Second,  there is going to be a differentiation between the wealthy and the rich. For the nouveaux, wanna- be rich, family vacations may no longer be affordable. With current exchange rate, a flight to  London  will cost $663  for the fare and $590 for the tax and charges which goes  to the government of Nigeria. The ticket per person will cost N244, 0000 and this is not even summer! At that time last year, this would have paid for  12 hours trip to the United States. Thus,a father of 3 may have to shell out 1.2 million ($6000) for tickets alone.

Parents will see an increase in schools and goodluck to those who pay fees in dollars and pounds either in Nigeria or abroad.Add to that the retinue of dependants people are responsible for. Indeed, the days of "Uncle please I need 10,000 for project", "please send me recharge card" may be over because people's disposable income will be reduced
The poor and working-poor Nigerians would also be impacted as food prices will increase. This government has touted its achievement in reducing our food import bill to $4.3 billion. Unfortunately, we still import foodstuff and items like kerosene stoves and cutlery.

Finally, the value of whatever savings people may have (except it is saved in foreign exchange) has been effectively reduced. People saving to buy a car, a dress- anything that will be imported will have to save more. History did not have to repeat itself and it would not have if only we  learned from the past and put our leaders on their toes. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Last Days of Pompeii

Nigeria is still a deeply rural country. I recently travelled South West Nigeria and came across kilometers upon kilometers of green land. For a supposedly developed South West, one can only imagine the scenery in the North. As I travelled, I saw unmaintained, dilapidated and decrepit government institutions-  post offices, hospitals,schools, narrow, very narrow but tarred roads. It was picture been caught in a period. Stagnancy with no plans for the future. 
For people who live in these areas, issues like development, the future, growth and "well-being, takes on a new meaning. That some 219 girls are missing does not ring a bell or connote any significance to them.  What is important  is getting by- putting food on the table, how the children will have some form of education and leave for the city, making sure  phone lines work and they are not shafted my phone networks and resolve mundane family issues and slights. It's a little wonder stomach infrastructure is thriving. People are consumed by the present that cannot envision beyond today.
This raises the question of how a government can efficiently work on  providing infrastructure, sound educational system and standard health care facilities whilst maintaining the pastoral and agrarian nature of the people, leaving them in their countrified agrarian bliss.  Will creating that balance in any way  reduce rural-urban migration and stem the the overcrowding of cities?  Nigeria's estimated population in 15 years is 250 million  and by 2050 she will be the 4th most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 440 million. With the current state of infrastructure and institutions especially in education and health, are we ready for the future?
16-20 years ago, as I prepared for high school, we used to sing "education for all by the year 2000"- that was the mantra.  Year 2000 was the magical year where everything would fall into place- education for all, health for all... 
15 years from year 2000, I did not imagine that rather than improve, the state of education, health and infrastructure would degenerate.How do we get those who should care about setting innovative and futuristic policies to do so? What are we going to do about the North that lagged behind in education before the security crisis - especially in the area of type of education and access to education? Is a situation where a graduate cannot add two and two or understand basic logic acceptable for Nigeria?
An estimated 10.5 million kids are out of primary  school (2010 figures) can that continue? Can we afford to let those who rule us (at legislative and executive levels) get away with the waste and current grab-all-you-can attitude with developing the country? Can we afford our rulers to continue to loot our commonwealth?
Food for thought.