Let’s go the Chinese way
Those of us who were around when President Muhammadu Buhari headed Nigeria as a Military Head of State still think of him with respect, and look up to him with tremendous hope of making it where others had failed. Call us the Buhari die-hards.
Though I was relatively young and could not make more sense than that which teenagers make of national issues and elders events, I still can recall a number of things about his military regime. One of such was his ability to instill orderliness into a hitherto chaotic system. I’m talking of the type of orderliness that was speedily forming a reliable shape for a new Nigeria to the surprise, envy and fear of many. Yes, to the surprise of many Nigerian, envy of most African nations and fear by super economies who knew exactly what that meant for the strength of African Continent.
I must say, Nigeria has right from time exhibited qualities of leadership and tendencies for being a reliable brothers’ keeper, with a strong vision for African unity against all odds. I will love to talk about these odds some other day.
Now, that orderliness was so real that one could not miss it in the attitude of Nigerians. His War Against Indiscipline (WAI) was like an official hammer with which the deviant instinct in many was beaten to conformity. An enforced queuing manner in banks, fueling stations and places requiring orderliness was demonstrative of an emerging culture that was gradually moving into sectors of life as we realized that the military government of Muhammdu Buhari was for real.
The monthly sanitation exercise was given a degree of seriousness that gave Nigerians no option than to keep the environment clean. I recall with laughter how on a fine outing day from school, I chewed sugar cane and did not know how to dispose off the waste thereafter. Of course, the usual temptation was to do that through the window of the commercial vehicle conveying me home. But I dared not submit to that temptation. I could risk the possibility of stopping the vehicle by the watchful agents of WAI. And that could mean exposing the bus driver who did not provide the enforced waste basket for vehicles. Therefore, stuffing the waste in my school bag till I got home was a safer option for me. WAI and other government’s policies were doing that for many Nigerians when the military government was toppled.
Looking back at it now with a mind set of an adult, I feel if the regime was given enough time to instill that needed sanity into the system, Nigeria would by now have been the true giant of Africa, leading by example as it sets reform agenda for other African countries.
Agreed, most of his policies, though truly correctional, came at a cost which simple minded Nigerians found hard to pay. No any change leading to development occurs without telling effects on people of a nation. I love to refer to Japan and its reforms policies which were extremely isolationist and exclusionist. Again, I refer to happenings in China today.
No doubt, China is today giving America a major cause for concern. China is not only challenging America’s technological might, it is also playing catch up in most aspects that give super nations their global supremacy.
I came across a piece written by an Atlanta based Development Analyst that echoes my thought in the question of national development. The facts of the piece are real food for thought for Nigerians, especially politicians who waste time plotting against the nation in merciless disregard for the spiral effects on the rest of us.
It is only in Nigeria peace is compromised just to settle political scores. We see politicians with faded relevance erecting groups that openly work against our collective peace and progress. In an effort to divert government’s attention away from progressive efforts, they resort to forming anti government groups with focus and emphasis on fueling tribal and religious crises. Where such groups are used and done with, they graduate into more deadly groups in formidable fractions just to constitute threat to peace, lives and property.
The north as a region is today a theatre for these dirty politics. A geo-political zone hitherto known for its relative peace, good politicking and tolerance is torn to pieces by the diversionary foul plays of desperate politicians with zero value for human lives. Healthy opposition has since given way to deadly antagonism.
Where we have a few politicians with a residue of pity who decide to tread on course, they always turn out to be fact-blind by choice. They refuse to recognize a fact even when one stares at them in the face. They castigate and mark everything in the negative, no matter how good and workable it is.
I refer again to the current temporary closure of Nigeria’s boarder by the president. It is a move with a long time effect which has been tested in the success stories of the world’s strongest economies.
So, the fact is, for Nigeria to measure up in a continent where its leading status is being seriously threatened, we have to play catch up and make sacrifices, just about the Chinese way. Sacrifice comes with understanding and endurance. Government’s policies need to be understood and supported, and their temporary implications endured for the kind of hope we place on the present administration to bear fruits. Ex-tray President Buhari, and you will see a determined person aiming to have a nation built on values and workable blueprint.
With an ambitious blueprint, China is a threat to the developed world today. As a deliberate policy, China is currently pursuing agenda that will aid in the localization of production. And, this is a policy which development analysts believe will in the near future make the world economy answerable to China.
The policy is specifically meant to jack up China from a labour intensive economy to one of advanced technological production that will meet up with super technological demands and challenges of the future. And, in line with this aim, the Chinese government fully sponsors talented youths to study relevant courses in America’s best universities. The deliberate choice in the course of study often gives China the opportunity to access superior technology and the intellectual property needed to aid its quest for technological edge over others.
So, it is not by coincidence that these Chinese youths measure only in courses like Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and such other hard core science and technology courses that are future based or focused. With several steps far above others, it is pretty obvious that China is thinking far ahead into a future of sophisticated technology where the one who gets there first lord it over others.
Certainly, Nigeria is not China, but it can toy China’s line of thought for greater achievement of set goals and a resultant clear lead in Africa. With the current move towards localizing production, what Nigeria needs do is plan towards an enabling environment, supportive structural framework, workable blueprint and technological knowhow, fully and deliberately pursued the Chinese way.
In this case, a policy that will clearly spell out preferences and defined line of action must be in place to help place the nation on course. Nigeria has lots of talents wasting away. Such talents can be traced and tailored in the direction of our national goals for development. A deliberate move at stealing the intellectual property that will aid our development can’t be more of a moral issue. Like China will say, anything goes in a world of competing knowhow(s).There are equally other talents that can be improved locally with even greater developmental value.