By Samuel Odebode
I have observed a contemptible trend in Nigeria, how politicians, clergymen, the elites and contractors distract Nigerians from the real issues of life. They create loud and catchy news headlines daily to keep these poor masses busy, talking, gossiping, laughing, protesting, these ‘distractions’ are deliberately created just enough to give these poor masses enough ‘mental food’ to take to bed and postponed the real issues that affect their lives and loved ones daily.
I might not be able to speak to all demographics regarding these ‘distractions’, but certainly, I can share my view with fellow engineers like you. How do we keep Nigeria Engineers from ‘distractions’ especially now that we are over 10 weeks after the inauguration of the present government at the federal level and most states of the federation?
For two months now, our ‘distractions’ are RUGA, Sowore, Edo/Bauchi HoA, Ministerial List, Herdsmen, BBNaija, Senate president/HoR speaker, COZA, Obaseki vs. Oshiomole, this week IPOB vs. Ekweremadu, HoS Oyo-Ita etc. Fellow Engineers, more issues will keep coming as it is normal in any advanced ‘animal kingdom’ like Nigeria, but they will fade away naturally just like the schism involving Tinubu vs. Ambode, Wike vs Ameachi, Buhari vs. Atiku, Dino, Fayose, Mama Peace vs DSS, Boko Haram arms purchase, Onnoghen vs. FG etc.
But, the day-to-day real issues affecting the people from basic needs like lack of ; power supply, water supply, wastewater treatment, good healthcare, security, good public schools, employment, operational institutions, etc. to other higher needs like; retirement benefits, childcare’s benefits, advanced medical research for cure, space technology for agriculture etc., will never fade away. The only solution will be a deliberate step to initiate, plan, execute and close the various well-thought-out proposals to remedy these needs.
More ‘distractions’ will keep coming until the next election in 2023, when Buhari, IBB, GEJ, Atiku, Saraki, states governors and other political actors will continue or proceed to their ‘well-deserved’ retired packages for life, running into billions of naira yearly, why the masses keep debating news headlines, praying, hoping for a better future. Yes, a well-deserved because we Engineers refuse to participate in the day to day monitoring, reviewing, tracking and providing updates to the mass on various initiatives.
As Engineers, one of our core mandates is to continue to provide services, design, research, analyze, find solutions, apply technology, transfer information, build for the general good of the public. Every practicing engineers here, registered with NSE/COREN, working for public institutions or private companies doing business with the government, please you need to provide us with information on various initiatives, progress updates taking place without violating the confidentiality of information as permitted in your organization.
Let’s channel our energy, discussion, experience and intellectual prowess; to analyzing these initiatives of the government, budgeted items, contract award sum/conditions, project technical specifications, stakeholders’ benefits, method of project execution, monitoring milestones/updates, quality control/compliances, as it affects each initiative/project for the common man. This should be our ‘distractions’, this should be our topic to debate, let see how these projects moved from a mild abstract idea on paper to a tangible product affecting the lives of millions of Nigeria for the best.
Samuel Odebode, P.Eng. PMP, a passionate Nigeria.