In a nation characterized by good climatic conditions, abundant natural resources and well-positioned geography, one would expect that such a nation would blossom economically and in every wise in the advantage bequeathed her by nature. But reverse is the case in Nigeria.
Nigeria is known to possess all the requisite resources in terms of mineral and human for her development in every sphere but instead she has been on a path of constant retrogression. Now, the question is, “what is the root cause of Nigeria’s constant retrogression?”
Over the years, it has been constantly reiterated that human beings are the life-giving force of the cosmic system. Every activity or phenomenon we see in display is built upon the bedrock of human function. According to Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion which states that every object will continue to remain at rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force. Human beings are the external force charged with the responsibility to plan, initiate and coordinate the necessary actions required to take every object out from rest and put the planet in an animated state of being.
Given this understanding, it should be reiterated that the source of every action or behaviour is rooted in a word called “mindset”. Mindset refers to a way of thinking. It is the regular pattern of a particular thought process. Mindset is so critical to the creation or development of any phenomenon. It dictates the reason why actions are taken, why people act the way they do. The issue of mindset is the starting point of every philosophy or value system adopted by every organisation and national society. The value system upheld by anybody of people is tied to the mindset or mentality they possess.
For more than two decades, different administrations have been on a quest to solve Nigeria’s problems but all to no avail. The reason being that they have failed to identify the root cause of the nation’s problems which is “wrong mindset or mentality”, that has been subtly built into the subconscious mind of the populace.
Nigeria has so drowned deep into the ocean of decadence that the abnormal has become a norm in the society. Doing the right thing today in Nigeria puts one in a position of crime while the real criminal offences are (disguisedly) celebrated and even awarded accolades. Today, we see thuggery being celebrated at the expense of respectable endeavours including education. We see graduates with outstanding results given peanuts while immoral acts are celebrated with stunning quantum of financial remuneration.
The issue now is “what is the solution to this menace that has plagued the mental residence of the Nigerian people?”
John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America once said; “the progress of a nation is no swifter than the progress in education. And in progressing in education, the human mind is the fundamental resource.” John C. Maxwell concurs to this statement by stating that so much emphasis should not be laid on growing an organisation so much that it neglects working on the people’s attitudes. Further stating that an organisation that focuses on working on its people’s attitudes would experience 10 percent growth overnight. This is true not only for an organisation but also a macro-organisation like a nation.
Statistics has shown that Nigeria is the global capital for poverty and out-of-school children with an estimate of 13 million. This reveals a correspondence between poverty and undeveloped minds indicating that any nation with a high level of undeveloped or poorly developed minds will attract retrogression.
The principal solution to the problems of the Nigerian state is education. And by education we mean the transformation of the mental attitude or mentality of the populace not just the traditional acquisition of attitudinal skills of reading and writing. Emphasis should be placed on civic education where patriotism, morality, etc are preached. Imparting individuals with the information on the need to contribute their quota to the development of their nation both through their character and acquired knowledge, not depending and blaming the government for their malfeasance instead taking responsibilities as patriotic citizens.
Civic education should not be limited to secondary level of education but also incorporated into the tertiary framework of the educational sector. Every student irrespective of their disciplines should be mandated to take the course, civic education since they are all citizens.
Furthermore, a law should be enacted mandating all children to attain the primary and secondary levels of education. This will greatly reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country and automatically reduce the poverty level. More so, the government should endeavour to tap into the potentials of the society outcasts commonly called “area boys” who are seen on the streets and roads of the nation causing mayhem. This should be done by creating rehabilitation centres for these ones where their minds would be worked on and restored to “factory setting”. Subsequent to this, they should be employed for the government into areas where they can perform best. This would increase national citizenship behaviour or what is popularly called patriotism.
In conclusion, it is stated that the root cause of Nigeria’s problems is mentality and not anything else. And if the mentality of the people both the rulers and the ruled can be changed to the right one, the nation would be able to attain her maximum potentials.