The recent report that a “snake swallowed N36 million in a JAMB office” is eliciting the characteristic responses from Nigerians.
The types of responses that continue to keep the country from attaining her potentials.
With this muted potential, it is easy to understand the abysmal performance of our economy, therefore, our subpar quality of life and overall wellbeing.
The security challenges in the country; the unemployment: which is a time bomb waiting to explode; the different agitations for restructuring and separation; resource sharing, etc., are all connected.
They are all connected to the state of our economy. And our economy is connected to our attitude.
This brings me back to the snake and the N36 million.
The characteristic Nigerian responses have been to express surprise and outrage, blame someone, then make fun of it while we wait for the next outrage as we forget and move on.
In the middle of all these, no one has questioned why a government agency would have that much cash lying around?
What is the protocol and chain of command in receiving and handling cash in this, and all government establishments?
Was this money collected in one hour or even in one day? Why was it not lodged in a bank, or locked in a safe until such lodgment is made? Who is in charge?
Our major issue is attitudinal.
We question the messenger rather than the message; we pray to God “to take control” rather than plan and work for what we want; we defer to ethnic and religious sentiments rather than competence; we resort to blame games rather than find solutions; we think region and ethnicity rather than of Nigeria; we seek self fulfillment and aggrandizement rather than what we can contribute to our nation’s building. We live in the moment of here-and-now rather than proffer visions for a greater tomorrow. The list is endless.
If we get our attitude right, we would get a lot right, and Nigeria would be right.
Then snakes would not swallow huge cash, neither would rodents chase the president from his office, and we would definitely not have so many youths unemployed.
*** Chibuzor Obiakor is Chairman/CEO of Cobik Health systems Ltd. He is a founding member of the APC and its 2015 candidate for the Federal House of Representatives for Idemili North and South Federal Constituency.