The hardest part of being what I call a first class citizen of the world (just as we have third world and first world countries) is that one can be easily blinded to one's relative state in life. Naturally, we are configured to have a blown up self esteem. Even the man in the jail has a very good impression of himself relative to what every other person have of him. We tend to see only the good in ourselves and often in a larger than real proportion. And we are not so good at detecting all that is wrong with us.
There is almost a universe of gap between what people outside Nigeria see Nigeria as and what we inside Nigeria see Nigeria as. We feel the outside world focuses on our bad side and magnify it. But how can we see ourselves as we truly are? How can we be objective in our determination of our position in the world. I have thought a lot about this and come up with a list of what is truly wrong with us.
1. Very Poorly Educated Populace
This is the one that saddens me the most. I am extremely active online and a member of several online communities. Read the comments on LindaIkeji's blog and the comments on DailyMail.co.uk. Then read the posts on Nairaland and the ones on 4chan.org. Read the comments on our newspapers websites and the ones on foreign newspapers website. Listen to the discussions on our radio and listen to discussions on BBC Radio 4. Watch our TV channels and watch foreign TV channels. Read what our journalists write and compare it with what foreign journalists write. Then listen in to conversations around you -- at the mall, at the office, in the bus and at home.
The truth is the level of education in our country is very low. The educational quality of our graduates is not as good as that of other graduates in most other countries. The reasoning of our secondary school dropouts is not as sound as that of high school dropouts in a lot of countries. Even the quality of our professors is poor compared to their peers in other countries. On all levels our populace are mostly less educated.
And we seldom realize this because we keep equating education to ability to read and write and speak English fluently. It's way beyond that. It is the ability to advance the human race and do things right.
2. No Desire To Be A First World Country
We have no genuine desire to improve our lot as a country. We avoid making the required tough changes it would take to improve the country and its standing in the world. We feel too comfortable with our current national state and would rather blame our troubles on a particular tribe or outside force than try to move into the community of the developed countries.
We hate being criticized and celebrate leaders that deflect the criticisms rather than tackle the root-cause head on. When our politician reply a question about corruption on CNN with a deflective question like "Isn't America and the UK corrupt too?" he turns an instant hero at home. We only want the outside world to see the little that is going right with us and not the whole of us.
We have no desire to be a global leader in anything. We produce almost nothing the world will miss us for if an earthquake swallows us.
And those two things are what I feel is wrong with us in Nigeria.