Growing Poverty In Nigeria: Need To Utilize Our Natural Capacities, Creativities

BY PAUL NWAYALANI
It was Professor Sergei Yeframov of Russia, in a research carried out some years ago, who said “if you could use just 50 percent of your existing mental capacity, you would complete the doctoral requirements of a dozen universities, learn a dozen languages with ease and memorize the entire twenty-two volumes of the Encyclopedia Britanica”. Creativity is a natural and normal ability, which is possessed by everyone as the creative facility is uniquely human, and possessed in quantity by virtually everyone.
According to Brian Tracy, “creativity is like a muzzle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Just like a muzzle, if you do not exercise your creativity and stretch it regularly, it becomes weak and ineffective, as ability to generate ideas must be constantly utilized to be kept in top condition. Each time you use more of your existing brain power, you become even more capable of thinking better and with greater clarity”. Need for Nigerians to utilize their natural creativity and capacities becomes imperative following the present state of growing poverty in the country, a situation where there is massive loss of jobs, dwindling purchasing power, and general lull in economic activities, with the prices of goods and services rising astronomically since the beginning of 2012, and having doubled in more instances in the economy. Today about 60.9% of Nigerians, totaling 112.47 million of estimated 167 million population (as estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) are living in absolute poverty.
Until the recent down turn in global oil prices, it was disturbing to not that the Nigerian economy was growing, but poverty increasing every year, and a situation in which almost two thirds of the country’s population is living on less than US$1 (N162 as at the time of NBS studies) a day. Ironically with the current massive corruption and mismanagement in the system, and many people lacking the needed disposable income or material possession to lead a happy and productive life, there is need for us to apply natural creativity instincts to survive, in an economy where a few citizens in the corridor of power live in abundance, and majority suffer in the midst of plenty.
It is indeed common knowledge that Nigeria still operates a super capitalist structure and winner-takes-all economy, but to enable the people apply their natural creativity and entrepreneurial capacity for survival, there is an urgent need for the establishment of strong and very stable institutions to stringently regulate and effective monitor the nation’s economic system, so as to put under check, the massive corruption in Nigeria, there should be an equitable distribution of material wealth and other resources to pay for public goods or at least boost investments in key sectors of the nation’s economy. This is the surest way of guaranteeing the creation of employment and other creative economic opportunities for enhancement of the living standard of Nigerians.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the State governors, members of the National and State Assemblies should endeavor to put into good and judicious use, all the country’s resources and shun corruption, so that with our vast natural and human resources, Nigerians ought not to, in any way, be associated or identified with “absolute poverty” as indicated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently.
Unfortunately, the suffering populace in the country have continued to bear the economic hardship, and have remained worried over the years. But must they continue to worry over the conflicting demands of their daily lives, as the incidence of worry in Nigeria today has assumed an alarming proportion, thus posing a national challenge with its attendant health, psychological, economic problems and unwarranted pains. According to renowned educationist, Ben Elisi Asoya, “worry can put ulcers in the stomach, sap vitality and drive one to an early death. Worry makes us incapable of handling life’s problems effectively.”
When putting our natural capacities and creativity into use in order to survive the present day Nigeria, we should adopt the principle of “scenario planning” which involves thinking of several productive moves in the game of life and start imaging what might happen in the future, despite the fact that the future is unpredictable, but certain events will continue in future as an anticipated. One of the best method of creativity is to develop options and alternatives at all times, no matter how well things are moving at the moment, so there is always need to think of Plan B as the most important part of our business and even personal life as well as it will be a back up plan if our current job, career, industry, political adventure (for those who solely live and depend on politics) or if course of action fails to work out successfully as planned.
As it obvious that with the current political trends in the country, the anticipated “sudden change” promised by the ruling party, APC, at the federal level might not be feasible and quickly realizable, Nigerians should start creating their own future, and strategies for survival. According to James Allen, “you will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.” This means that, we should all adopt the leadership quality known as” future orientation”, due to the fact that despite the nation’s enormous resources and economic endowment, poverty caused by massive corruption, mismanagement by our selfish and wicked leaders, have become the bane of our society.
Oppressed and hungry Nigerians should now think about the future and what they want to accomplish, as well as where they want to be and what can be done to achieve it, which is adopting the principle of “long-time perspective.” A renowned author, Banfield defines long-time perspective as the “ability to think several years into the future while making decisions in the present”.
Having our political leaders woefully failed us over the years, Nigerians should start thinking into the future, so that the better decision we make now will assure us that future will become a positive reality. For instance, when a public office holder, who has woefully failed and or neglected to perform to the expectations of the people who put him/her in office for eight years is negligently re-elected for another four years, it means that the future of that constituency has not only been mortgaged and doomed, but the future of the people of the area has also been programmed negatively to attract absolute poverty.
And since mass corruption, unemployment and poverty caused by mismanagement of the nation’s leaders, where most of the state governments cannot afford to pay the pitiable salaries of the civil servants for several months, and with starvation taking over the society, and with the hope of the populace in quandary, Nigerians should put less hope in Nigeria politics, but concentrate more on self-employment through creativity and display of other natural capacities to survive and to enable them achieve economic independence and self-reliance in a turbulent society like Nigeria.