Happy 56th Independence Day!
Or is it: Happy Independence Day?
Do we feel independent?
Maybe the independence day celebration is part of our problems. We celebrate too many things too much. In 2014, we even went as far as celebrating the 100th anniversary of our amalgamation. The result has been a high level of complacency and short term national thinking/planning.
Celebration gives us a sense of accomplishment, and every year we celebrate independence day we make it look like we did something extraordinary to keep together. We start comparing the year with 1960 and the civil war years and the military era and the bad times we have pulled through. We begin to feel we have accomplished very much and every other thing we are pursuing are just icing on the already baked cake.
Other countries have multi-year plans. Plans to stop importing oil in 20 years time (to be energy self sufficient). Plans to cut down greenhouse gas emission to less than 40% of what it was in 1990 by year 2050. Plans to build mega cities in 50 years. Our own dear Nigeria only tags along with UN MDG 2015 and SDG 2030 goals. The only one we tried was vision 2020, and it was more for political talk rather than any actionable/concrete plans.
The only independence I think we have is political independence. We don't have economic independence. We don't have institutional independence (maybe we don't even have institutions). We don't have technological independence.
If you ask me, I don't think we are independent. We sure don't feel independent.