Before writing this topic, I decided to browse through other similar topics that talk about the quality of life in Nigeria. And one thing that stood out for me is that a lot of these topics are written by people who are not even Nigerians.
Some of these conclusions about the quality of life in Nigeria are written as a product of statistics and surveys that were conducted online. Most of them just focus on pure numbers. I’m not going to do something like that. I am going to give you a very first-hand experience of what it means to be in Nigeria and what it means to live in Nigeria.
I am going to tell you what quality of life means in Nigeria based on five different indices that I have selected. So let’s start with the first one.
To understand the level of development of a country, we need to look at the people and their educational level. People who are educated often tend to do well over time. The education sector in Nigeria is not well funded. It is very common for university lecturers to go on strike and refuse to work because of one demand or another.
In fact, as we currently speak, the university lecturers are currently owed three months of salary, being the money they were supposed to be paid when they went on strike. So you can imagine being a university teacher. You are owed for three months because you went on strike to fight for what you believe should be your rights. How are you going to do a good job at the school?
I understand that most state governments in Nigeria, if not all of them, perhaps have this system in place whereby education from the primary to the secondary level is largely free. But this doesn’t really encourage people, especially in the north, to go out to be educated. And the reason is not far-fetched. People who are secure are the ones who are more likely to go to school. With the recent incidences of bandit attacks, especially in northern Nigeria, who come into the schools to kidnap students and take them off to wherever, do you really think any parents will be so willing to take their children to school?
So Nigerians might have achieved a lot in terms of education, but that is really down to our diehard ability, our very brainy people. The government hasn’t really done enough to ensure that we reach half of our true potential.
To look at the quality of life of people, we also need to look at the health care, that is available on ground right now. The primary health care sector in Nigeria has suffered a lot of mishaps due to poor availability of resources. And also, the health care system in Nigeria is greatly suffering from the mass exodus of doctors and nurses to overseas countries where they have been better paid.
And I am not going to stand there and criticize anybody. I am not going to stand there and criticize any healthcare official who feel that they’re going to get a lot more money by leaving the shores of Nigeria. In fact, I would encourage anyone to do that.
The reason is that the ruling class all have access to good health care. And if they are sick, even for a headache, they fly out of the country to get the necessary health care that they need. The rest of us are just left on our own. We are left to buy drugs off the shelf to treat things because we can’t even go for tests in a proper hospital.
And I cannot begin to imagine what people in the rural areas go through, what pregnant women in the rural areas go through, and what kids in all those communities go through. The health care system in Nigeria definitely will reflect the kind of life or quality of life that people in Nigeria live. And the health care system, to be honest, is perhaps, at best, average. We have brilliant doctors and hardworking nurses, but have not given not enough tools to carry out their jobs.
Before we talk about the quality of life in Nigeria, there’s no how we are not going to talk about the jobs in the country. Nigeria is a country that people barely have any jobs to start with. And the people who have enough jobs can’t even pay rent or feed themselves properly, especially in recent times with the hardship that has engulfed the entire country.
If you ask the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics about job employment in Nigeria, they’re going to quote a 4% or thereabouts employment figure that shows that Nigeria has even a better employment rate than countries like the UK. But that is the biggest lie in the book. Nigerian youths are not able to easily get jobs. And even job creation opportunities by the government are not really there, or they are not paying good money.
The only people in Nigeria that are really enjoying any form of employment are the people who work in oil and gas, government-related establishments or companies, or people who are politicians. Those are really people who are benefiting greatly from Nigeria because they have access to all the money. The rest of us are left to fend for ourselves.
4. Electricity and fuel
Electricity, or energy, is a way to measure if a country will do well in the long run or not. If a country has electricity, they can power small businesses and make more money. If a country has electricity, it will help the creation of small and medium-scale businesses. But Nigeria is not the case. Nigeria barely produces 4,000 megawatts of electricity. And even a country like South Africa is doing perhaps 10 times what we are doing. So here we are, having to battle with electricity, even in the 21st century, despite the fact that we have too much money in our hands.
The other issue is the most embarrassing thing in the whole world, has to be the fuel issue in Nigeria. And Nigeria produces a ton of oil every day. But we somehow transport this oil to other parts of the country, to other parts of the world, like Singapore orJapan, where they refine those oil and then sell it back to us in Nigeria. That is one of the dumbest things in the world, by the way.
So there’s no electricity to go around the people. Fuel is not even there. And even the fuel that is there, it is super expensive. It is madness what we practice in this country, honestly. T
Poverty is a big deal in Nigeria. And what we have today is multidimensional poverty. Nigeria itself, has concluded that 133 million Nigerians are poor. People are so poor that they use dung to cook and to make firewood. They don’t have access to sanitation or good health care. The government itself conducted a survey of 56,000 people and concluded that we are so poor. So you can make whatever you want from that.
Wealth. Yeah, we can have a few people in Nigeria who are wealthy and who occupy various huge establishments. In fact, the wealthiest person in Africa is in Nigeria. But it’s just a few. The wealth never circulates. It just circulates between the political class and even the business people. Those people usually have access to government money or government contracts. Or they are related to government in some way.
It is really hard to be a fully private individual and make money in this country. But that’s where we find ourselves. So in conclusion, you asked me about the quality of life in Nigeria. Well, I’ve told you about the quality of life in Nigeria is. I’m in Nigeria. I’ve been in this country. I was born here. I’m a citizen of this country. I can tell you 100% what the quality of Nigeria is. You can quote whatever statistics you want to quote. But I’m telling you what is on ground. I hope this message gets to you. I understand the full extent of what you are going to meet in the country. Thank you very much. If you have more questions, just ask me in the comment section. Thank you.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.