By Sabo Ibrahim Hassan
The seemingly endless abuse of creativity and intellectuality in Nigeria is exponentially becoming pervasive. Perhaps this is one of the primary reasons we are yet to be promoted from the developing class to developed countries. Aside from other countless resources Nigeria is blessed with, humans’ can never be overemphasized. I am not more concerned about the figure; I am rather concerned about the productive aspect of the figure, capable of portraying our competing capacity as a nation.
An endowed nation like Nigeria should not have been where it is if things were managed appropriately. We are so blessed that an average Nigerian can do the unbelievable in terms of intellectual display. Still, because of our disregard for this special gift and lack of governmental support, we ended up losing our best brains to other countries.
Creativity means the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. On the other hand, intellectuality refers to the state or quality of being intellectual, whereas, according to Wikipedia, an intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking, research, and reflection about the reality of society, and who proposes solutions for the normative problems of society. Only a head with no brain will argue how endowed my country is in this regard. In fact, it is not hyperbolic that an average Nigerian comparatively performs excellently.
Apart from the regrettable failure of the country to identify and tap from the potentials of its citizens, the way our leaders abandon several talented Nigerians is quite irksome. Take, for instance, the report of a boy by Channels TV, who built Nigeria’s first locally-made drone. Another young Nigerian made an electric transformer, another young man from Delta invented a mini flying aircraft without a school degree. Another report is of another young Nigerian by CCT, who built an electric-powered car.
Additionally, a 16-year-old Nigerian who converted his bicycle to a motorcycle as reported by the BBC, will not be left untold. These and many other examples will prove how blessed this nation is with brains. But, does the government empower and support these talents? I will leave this as an open question. Where are these innovative young guys? Don’t be surprised to hear that they are in their various communities wrapped by idleness since the government has no spirit of willingness, let alone be ready to support and promote them.
Another perspective on how the country abuses creativity and intellectuality is how countless dreams have been shattered by our unfavorable, challenging, and careless education system. Many graduates are not the very products of what they aspired to be. On the contrary, the system forced most Nigerians to study what they had never dreamt of or desired. This, in turn, has drastically affected our productivity, where many passionless and zestless graduates are continually added to the already super-saturated labour market.
For instance, ask many graduates about their initial dreams and listen to the wonders that will flow out of their hearts. The issue of requirements regarding a course of choice is an imperative factor contributing to this effect. But, notwithstanding, since our country is not the only nation with a requirements policy. Think about the creativity and enthusiasm of a person whose dream has been shattered.
Elsewhere around the world, custodians are working relentlessly to identify where the talent of its individuals lies, provide them with everything necessary and force their spirit to go along the most appropriate direction. The story is sadly different in my country. If we had utilized our manpower judiciously by doing all necessary to keep them, Nigeria would not have been the giant of Africa nominally, nor would it have been a superpower without power.
More lamentably is how Nigerian medical doctors keep increasing the workforce of countries such as the UK, USA, Canada and many more. Moreover, they are found to be among the best brains over there. The ‘Women and Men report 2021’ by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that 39,912 doctors were available in Nigeria as of 2017. The number of doctors increased to 44,021 in 2018. But this number reduced drastically to 24,640 in 2019. Again, the president of the Nigerian medical association, Dr Francis Faduyile, also noted that the high rate of insecurity, unemployment, low remuneration, bad roads, and poor healthcare system are some of the reasons doctors are leaving the country in search of greener pastures. He noted that 75,000 Nigerian doctors were registered with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), but over 33,000 have left the country.
It is needless to dwell on the causes of the emigration of these intellectuals. I will instead concentrate on the effects of this negligence and unwillingness by the government to support these brains through providing a healthy environment empowered with cutting-edge technology have on our development as a nation. For instance, a research report by the World Bank revealed that in the Human Capital Index, Nigeria ranks 150 out of 157 countries in the year 2020. Moreover, income inequality and disparity in economic opportunities remain high and have consequently affected the government’s efforts on poverty reduction.
Where on earth will a country that is blessed like mine will remain where my country is? Therefore, we need to stop this dragging attitude. It’s even mandatory if the country is seriously serious about its development. Until our government and other authorities do their work well, we will keep going irreversibly directionless.
Sabo Ibrahim Hassan sent this article via Ibrahimsabohaassan60@gmail.com.
Leave a Reply