I dream of a prosperous country where every Nigerian will live in dignity. I dream of an end to high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment in Nigeria. I dream of a Nigeria where the rule of law will prevail and where there will be observance of human rights.
I dream of a Nigeria where governments at all levels will prioritize human capital development, and industrial development. I dream of a country where governments will ensure that citizens have access to quality healthcare; and where the rich will patronize local hospitals rather than go abroad for medical treatments, for the locals would provide same quality healthcare as their counterparts anywhere in the world. I dream of a Nigeria where people die in the presence of loved ones rather than in lonely foreign hospitals. I dream of Nigeria with reduced infant and maternal mortality rates. I dream of a country where the rich invest in the health sector – build world class hospitals – rather than waste money to place adverts on obituaries of loved ones, most of who die because of the poor state of the Nigerian healthcare.
I dream of Nigeria where every Nigerian child has access to quality education; a country with some of the best universities in the world that parents will see as the first choice for their children. I dream of truly world class research universities in Nigeria. I dream of an era where there will be no strikes by academic and non-academic staff in our higher education institutions. I dream of students unions that will truly prioritize the welfare of students. I dream of an end to cultisms in the Nigerian campuses. I dream of Nigeria where lecturers will not seek sexual favours from students, and where lecturers won’t pass off the work of students as theirs. I dream of a country where admission to higher education institutions will be on merit.
I dream of Nigeria where every child, including the girl child, will have access to quality education at all levels; a country where the girl child is in schools rather than being married off; and a society where the girl child has the same rights as the boy child.
I dream of a united, stable and peaceful country. I dream of a Nigeria where ethnic and religious militancy will be a thing of the past; and where there will be no basis to reward ethnic and religious militants with amnesty and juicy government contracts.
I dream of a country where freedom reigns. I dream of a country where citizens will reclaim their humanity. I dream of Nigeria where citizens will stop worshipping the god of money. I dream of a country where people worship the creator – the real God and not “the Nigerian god”. I dream of Nigeria where everyone will be defined by the content of their character rather than their religious and ethnic backgrounds, or by state of origin. I dream of a country where our common humanity and citizenship define us.
I dream of Nigeria with well equipped police force, where officers do not have to use their personal resources to furnish their offices, and where they do not have to use their own mobile phones to carry out official duties because of governmental neglect. I dream of a police force that can protect the lives and property of citizens. I dream of a police service that will serve our people and one whose officers do not solicit or accept bribes. I dream of a country where our navy protect our waters and not outsourced to so-called ex-militants.
I dream of an efficient and effective aviation sector, where there will be no air disasters and no flight delays; and airlines like Arik will ensure that their flights are on schedule, and if there are delays the airlines will tell passengers the exact reasons rather than the nonsensical “operational reasons”. I dream of a society where customers will be queens and kings. I dream of an aviation sector that will be planned for a growing population. I dream of a country that renovates and builds airports for today and tomorrow. I dream of the day when it will take passengers at our international airports less than 10 minutes to go through immigration. I dream of a functional rail system and motorable roads, with the resultant decline in road accidents.
I dream of a country where public servants will be servants and not lords over citizens. I dream of Nigeria governed by decent people rather than criminals who parade themselves as politicians. I dream of a country where politics is a second profession; and when a politician doesn’t win an election , s/he goes back to his or her primary means of livelihood. I dream of Nigeria where public service is not a means of primitive accumulation and of a society where public officials will not loot the national treasury and our commonwealth. I dream of Nigeria where those that attempt to dip their hands into the national purse become outcasts in society, and not rewarded with traditional and religious titles.
I dream of a country that rewards hardwork and excellence, where entrepreneurs and not politicians are the richest. I dream of Nigeria where the politicians and other public officials are not the richest among us. I dream of a society driven by politics of ideas rather than godfatherism, and ethnic and religious considerations. I dream of a country where gender equality is practiced in all walks of life, including the political sphere. I dream of development and governance, and consequently public policy, based on scientific ideas, hence evidenced-based rather than on myths and superstitions.
I dream of Nigeria with purposeful leadership that will put national interests above individual and sectional interests. I dream of leaders that will develop the productive capacities of our country, including human capital. I dream of a country with strong industrial base, that will export rather than import finished products. I dream of a country where manufacturing of commercial products and innovations/inventions take place in every corner rather than religious houses sprouting in every street corner. I dream of post-oil Nigeria where the manufacturing and service sectors contribute more to exports, employment and GDP.
I dream of Nigeria with leaders like Lee Khan Yew who will transform our economy from primary sector dependent to high value-added manufacturing and high service sector based. I dream of a president who will inspire Nigerians to actualise their human potentials.
I dream of Nigeria with moral icons like Mandela and Tutu. I dream of a day Nigerians will have leaders that are unifying figures and who command moral authority. I dream of a country with true statesmen/women.
I dream of the day when every Nigerian will experience uninterrupted power supply. I dream of a country that will take advantage of our natural environment to generate electricity. I dream of green energy as one of the main sources of power supply in Nigeria. I dream of Nigeria where oil companies will observe the international standards of environmental protection.
I dream of the Nigeria with free and fair elections, where politicians will not be experts in writing election results to change the will of the people. I dream of the day when genuine losers of elections will accept the results and move on until the next election. I dream of Nigeria without electoral thuggery. I dream of a country where our very best, both morally and professionally, will dominate the political space. I dream of Nigeria where elections periods will not be cycles of politically motivated killings.
I dream of Nigeria inspiring the African continent and the black race to become important players in the international community. I dream of Nigerians heading major international development bodies like the World Bank and the African Development Bank, not because of acts of charity, but the strengthen of its economy.
I dream, I dream and I dream of a better Nigeria. I dream of a brighter future for our children. I dream that all Nigerians work to make these dreams a reality.
Omano Edigheji, Ph.D, is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies, Johannesburg, South Africa (http://www.cps.org.za). He invites you to follow him on twitter, @omanoe. Please feed him back via: firstname.lastname@example.org
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