As the curve of the number of COVID-19 cases is yet to flatten, the Federal and State Governments in Nigeria have been uncoordinated in their strategies used to combat the deadly virus. In the North especially, as some states are saying no movement, other states are allowing people to leave their states.
Recently, the Kaduna State government turned back several haulage vehicles loaded with well-concealed passengers from neighboring Kano State. Last week, five new cases were reported among the Almajiri deported back to Kaduna from Kano. Other northern states that have received their own batch of Almajiri stand at risk of getting infected without proper testing. The unconfirmed deaths in Kano has shown that laxity during a pandemic has grave consequences.
There have been reports about security operatives compromising the lockdown measures by collecting bribes from motorists in exchange for safe passage to their various destinations. In some cases, the security operatives are the ones carrying passengers from one location to another. Recently, a video was shared widely on social media about an incident in Ekiti State. A boy traveled from Lagos to Abeokuta despite the lockdown, from there he found his way to Ekiti. This shows that with the right price, motorists can move anywhere without hindrance.
The style of governance in Nigeria has been to collect revenue from oil rents, collect taxes, create and fund useful and useless bureaucracies, enrich political cronies, borrow money from banks, loot the borrowed cash, pay and owe salaries when convenient, pile up debts if necessary, award useful and useless contracts to sustain chop make I chop, collect funds from international agencies and steal the funds.
There is no plan to make Nigeria self-sufficient in education, health, manufacturing of essential commodities, reduction in import bills. Even the president prefers to visit doctors in London instead of equipping hospitals in Nigeria. Many sectors of the economy are comatose and unproductive. With the increasing population, the government is becoming unproductive and inefficient. Nigeria is certainly a ship adrift on the sea with no plan, purpose, and direction.
COVID-19 has unveiled serious and unserious nations. Those that built internal capabilities to solve problems over the years are in firm control of their fate, others like Nigeria, that run abroad to beg for funds and copy and paste solutions they know nothing about, are wishing and praying for the serious nations to develop solutions for them.
Can we fight COVID-19 to a standstill without help from abroad? Can we achieve universal education, healthcare for all without international donors? Are we not tired of being a developed nation and running an import-dependent economy? When are we going to achieve massive industrialization that will create massive employment and increase our export earnings? Which kind of nation do we want to build?