Memo To Education Minister

The present government under the
leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari
is a government that many Nigerians
expect much from. It is a regime that
embodies high caliber of personages, an
administration that aims at repositioning
Nigeria, one that intently and keenly wants
to extricate this country from the past
entanglements and disorder.
Nigeria is a vast country with many
problems, issues and complications that
need careful solutions, and one person or
group of persons cannot provides these
solutions. We need the positive
contributions of all Nigerians. All should
join hands therefore with Mr. President
and his government to salvage this
country. As a university lecturer, the issue
I want to tackle here borders chiefly on
I will like to divide the world into three
categories in terms of ability and
capability. This is to see to which category
Nigeria belongs and why.
1. We have what they call developed
countries. 2. There is what they call
developing countries and thirdly what they
call underdeveloped countries. In my
opinion, the first category is those that
have (a) manpower, which means powering
terms of people available or required for
work or military services. (b) technology
and (c) mineral resources. For instance
America and Russia. The second category is
those who have technology and manpower
like Malaysia, Pakistan, India etc. The third
is those who have manpower and minerals.
This apply to all African countries and also
to many Asian and South American
countries or the Caribbean countries.
Obviously, we belong to the third category,
for we have enough manpower and mineral
resources, but without technology. A huge
country like Nigeria is dependent on
others. Sometimes we are a liability. The
food we eat cannot be produced at home,
but we import it.
Nevertheless, we have scores of Nigerians
who are technologists, technicians and
scientists, in various fields living outside
the country, in America, Europe, Asia etc.
These qualified brains do not want to come
home, because they will not be respected,
dignified or encouraged by the country, so
that we can tap from their knowledge and
know how to develop our nation.
They feel that, coming home is just a waste
of time and human resources. For there
will be no work for them to be engaged in.
Above all, they will not be given befitting
salary. In some circumstances, in Nigeria, a
politician may even be more regarded than
a university lecturer. I met some of these
educational elites in Kuwait, and I know
some of them in London, Malaysia and so
on. Even some were my mates during my
school days.
Furthermore, what perplexes and
astonishes me is that, some Nigerians
accuse foreign countries for our
retardment and backwardness. Has any
foreign country sent their army to stop us
from progressing? If we say they are
sabotaging our efforts, then why do we
allow them? Why are the other nations
progressing and developing?
For instance, Ghana, Malaysia, China etc.
Today Pakistan and India are nuclear
countries. MTN and DSTV are from South
Africa, Nigeria has nothing of this nature.
We import rice from Thailand, India and
even from Cameroun, why is this so? We
must tell ourselves the bitter truth. It is a
virtue and nobility to accept the truth.
Most of our past leaders were not
patriotic. They were selfish and egocentric.
They only believed in looting our national
They always blew the trumpet of education
as their utmost priority, but they
performed very low. Our nation is rich
enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with
any country, but who will lead the
crusade? We hope this determined and
resolute government will do.
No country can move forward without
qualitative education. Those who landed on
the moon were able to do so because of
their education and technology. Education
had not been receiving the attention it
deserves over the years in Nigeria. Right
from our primary schools up to our
universities the standard has been very
low. Until Nigeria stops importing eye-glass
cases from Jordan, curtain from Syria,
electronics and cars from Japan,
substandard products from China,
torchlights from Korea, shoes from Egypt
and the rest, we may never get to the
promise land.