No Comments » April 17th, 2007 posted by // Categories: General Articles

Now that the elections are almost over, where does Nigeria go from here?  I wrote the article, Nigeria’s Poverty Can Be Overcome, and I have a great desire to see “all” Nigerian children be given the opportunity to receive a proper education.  As an educator, I know how education and prosperity are closed knit together.  For without a proper education, how can an individual apply for  a decent job, take care of their family, and contribute back into society and their communities? 


After my visit to Lagos, Nigeria a few months ago, I told my students that they were tremendously blessed to be able to receive a “free” public school education.”  At times some of our students do not take advantage of this opportunity nor appreciate the air-conditioned classrooms, free textbooks, qualified teachers, and opportunities to excel in school.  A lot of our students strive for perfection, but some others do not know how good they have it.  After visiting Nigeria, I know how good American students and teachers have it.  


 I thought about the poverty situation in Lagos, Nigeria and the surrounding countryside where I visited and how this situation can be overcome. 


In my opinion, all children should be given the opportunity of receiving a “free education”.  If all Nigerian citizens are mandated to pay taxes on property, cars, food, clothing (as in America), and that money is used to establish a “free public school system”, build schools, and pay teacher salaries, then  ALL children will be given the opportunity to go to school and receive an education.  And perhaps those same children will grow up and give back their talents, gifts, and skills into their communities and society.  Sure, some would venture away to other countries, for that is life, but many would be grateful and desire to help change Nigeria for a better tomorrow. 


If property taxes and sales taxes are mandated and implemented, then parents and guardians would not have to struggle in deciding whether they should pay for their apartments and put food on the table for their families or pay school fees.  If one is poor, or on the borderline of becoming poor, school fees, many times, take a “back seat” to what is needed right now!  If taxes are implemented “all” children will be able to go to school, and SCHOOL FEES will be done away with. 


Now, just because I said Nigerian children should be given a free education does not mean that money does not have to be paid out for the buildings, textbooks, and teacher salaries.  The money for those things would come from the tax money that is collected every time someone purchases groceries, buys an automobile, a house, clothes, shoes, etc.  Perhaps you already pay taxes on those things, I do not know.  But if you do not, it is a way of implementing a free education system. 


I am not saying America has all the knowledge to direct everyone in every situation, for it is the collaborative minds and efforts of many nations and people that, when coming together, can make things happen.  Even, I as an individual, am offering my idea in helping this situation possibly becoming resolved.  However, if you look at a nation or country and see that they are successful in a particular area where you are trying to reach success, it is no shame to say that way has worked, and perhaps it may work for us if we are willing to try it.

Think about this, how many years has Nigeria had an abundance of poverty in the country and though improvements may have been made over the years, as compared to many countries in 2007, it is still far behind in that area.  Just because something has been done the same old way for years (as in parents and guardians paying for their child’s education as opposed to the government providing this service), does not mean a change cannot take place.  The change may, or may not, make things better, but you will never know if you are not willing to try it out.   If one refuses to change, then how can improvements been made?  Simply, changes cannot be made.  If something is not working, then it is “more than time” for a change to be made.  If not, the poor will get poorer. 



Who wants to wake up poor and uneducated and go to sleep poor and uneducated day after day–no one will voluteer for that status I am sure!  I also saw many Nigerians begging on the streets during my visit (children, young people, and adults).  Let us strive to get rid of this situation.


I challenge the lawmakers and governing bodies to freely educate Nigerian children, and see the hope that springs forth, the dedication of Nigerian citizens to help change their image, and the dignity and pride of Nigeria abound on a higher level. 


Too often Nigeria is acquainted with schemes, but when people are given an opportunity to become educated and are offered decent jobs, perhaps they will not resort to dubious ways.  Not all Nigerians are schemers, for I met many . .I mean many . .Nigerians that were beautiful, not only in appearance, but in their hearts and integrity, with which they carried themselves. 


Again, I say who wants to wake up poor and uneducated every day and go to sleep poor and uneducated every day . . .No one . . .! 


Written by pmdaboh


Sumter, USA

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