Borno state , one of the historic state in the Northern Nigeria is in the news lately , with the “empowerment scheme” of the government. There were Jubilation in Bornu state as Governor Shetima’s Government empowers over 5,000 youths with the New Improved Shoe Shining Kit, fully equipped with polish & brush. This empowerment scheme has offended some and pleased others .
Worrying that this type of empowerment schemes in the northern Nigeria is becoming more common ,Bornu inclusive. The south side of the country has been in awe and questions are asked. Questions like has the Northern Governors lost it in terms of governance and ideas ? Have they given up on their youths as the presidency called the youths “lazy” ? Does it mean that the future is bleak for the youths of the region ? Is this as a result of religion or culture ?
Questions, questions questions are been asked . These questions demand answers, the case of Bornu because worrying, we are looking at shoe shining not shoe creation.” In Abia state, my friend, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is empowering youths on how to MAKE shoes. In the year 2018, Borno is empowering their youths on how to SHINE shoes. Do you now see why Nigeria needs restructuring? We have different visions and can’t move at the same pace” said Reno Omokri.
This has shown the disparity between the southern Nigeria and the northern Nigeria. The other day the country was assaulted when carts were commissioned as a poverty alleviation centre in one of the Northern states ,this was followed by noodles cartons as a poverty alleviation scheme in another northern state.
The Northern handlers have must understand that capacity building, education (STEM) and top notch skills are what brings community out of poverty not shoe shining. A concept the Bornu government isn’t grasping. As the world is heading into the era of Internet is things (IoT) machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) the north must understand that it is either they invest massively in education, change their cultural orientation and mindset, their youths would always do catch-up to the south irrespective of the amount of political power they have. This situation has made some Nigerians to see North as never do Wells and a clog in the wheel of progress, a narrative the North must change. This has also made some regions to be angry of been lumped with the North, they have said that left alone ,they (Eastern Region ) can survive as a country and have requested and requesting for restructure that would give autonomy to region or referendum that would give rise to a new country. A situation that the rest of Nigerians are against but due to the Northern ways of doing things people are beginning to have a rethink.
North is a region that has the capacity to feed the whole sub region ! North has land and fertile ones , but what do you see today in North ? Hunger , almajiri etc. The earlier we start talking about the narratives and how to change the narrative in North via agriculture value chain, Governments of the north must invest massively in agriculture and packaging, education and then reorient the people that education isn’t Haram as it has always been seen. The development of the North is the development of our collective country. We want North to evolve and Nigerians wants to see a prosperous North, but the government of the region must change from gerontocracy to tech savvy and modern minded ones. Failure to do this, the status quo remains! The time to do it is now, with your voters card ,North can help themselves. They can’t be polishing shoes for the southerners, they must compete on a level playing field , we want North that common entrance grades would be the same with Anambra , Lagos or Delta State. We want North that isn’t classified as education disadvantaged zone. We want a North that is at par with South but apart from wishful thinking , the destiny of the North lies in the hand of the North.
Anthony Emeka Nwosu