Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Myth Of Vision 20 20 20 In The Face Human Capital Neglect!

Two days ago, I was running an errand for my wife, and I was at Julius Berger Junction, a key point of traffic convergence in the Abuja metropolis. It is significant because traffic from different locations from, and outside, the Federal Capital Territory of |Nigeria, converges there.

What I saw, made me sad. I could only bring out my camera, and take some photographs. I saw five women in wheelchairs, and three of them had children, two infants, and a toddler, they were not going anywhere, they were at work: they were begging

To see five women panhandling broke my heart, to see them with three children one of possible school age, lost my faith in those who currently pilot the affairs of Nigeria.

Apart from the evil of the boy not going to school, there is the danger of him being hit by a car!

But these women are not criminals, they are actually victims of two crimes, the neglect of the state.They are twice victims, they have been victims of polio, now they are being exploited for what the nation failed to protect them from!

From past experience, I know that a syndicate probably brought them them to beg, they were trafficked, now they are being exploited. They are not different from the Nigerian girls transported to Italy, and other nations including poor neighbours like Mali, where our girls are sexually exploited.

Our government spends millions of naira in noisome exculpation of her inability to prevent the girls from going to Italy. So my question is, what is preventing them from protecting vulnerable groups like these women and their children here, and now, at home? 

I know for certain, that for those women to be brazenly there, someone in government has been paid off, to look the other way: corruption! And you would never believe how much money we are talking about here!The women exploit the generosity, and the piety of Nigerians to dispossess them of their money!

One of the women is out of the picture, but the others, and some
of the children, are in the frame.
I give money to people in need, but not to an assembly line of slaves! In doing so, I would be encouraging their principal to continue his evil business!

In the same vein, I find I must refer to a man I saw fleetingly in Ibadan a few months ago, my knowledge of Ibadan geography is poor, so you would forgive me if I cannot tell exactly what part of town I saw him in, sometimes I loose my way around the city and I have to keep driving until I get to a place I am familiar with.

This fellow was elderly, at least his physical appearance seemed to suggest it. From what he was wearing, and where he was sitting, it was clear that he was suffering from some very serious psychotic problems. He was camped in the median, and he seemed not to have a care in the world, apart from the  sun that was disturbing him. It was clear from his appearance, that he had been like this a long time.

The poor man sits beside two posters, one advertising a room
denied him by the government, the other of a politician who
has probably promised to develop the state. Yet he sits neglected.
The question I asked myself was, what were the social services in Ibadan doing? What were they earning their salaries for, was it to attend fancy courses abroad, and speak high-falutin phrases on the prognosis of dementia, or to just take care of people?

The two incidents I have referred to are clear indicators of where our priorities are as a nation, we do not care for our people. People in government believe that development indices are their poorly constructed roads, overinflated contracts to build airports, and all the other brick and mortar stuff. They do not see the development of our people,our greatest resource, as true development.

I have just read today that people in three of the  BRIC nations, India,China, and Brazil, are upbeat on their outlook for next year, they are so, because there are sustained efforts to develop human capital in these nations!

These are the same nations we are aspiring to become like, and possibly surpass by the year twenty twenty, we call it Vision 20 20 20. The vision is in the pipeline, and I suspect it would only remain there, a pipe dream! Intentions alone do not develop nations, practical steps that touch the lives of citizens do.  


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