The future of a nation lies not in the volume of its natural resources or its infrastructure, but in the quality of the value its citizens have to offer – both within and outside the country. It is in the information they have, that is, what is IN them that results in their FORMATION; the education and skills of its people.
Everything boils down to life and economy. The responsibility of a government is broadly two: security of lives and creation of a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. This is what citizens must understand and demand from their leaders. Infrastructure do not necessarily result in development. There could be all the infrastructure and yet the people are poor because of instituted inequality.
So, huge investment in education and research and development is key and strategic. It is even required to equip citizens to make right political/electoral decisions.
A sincerely altruistic leader will focus more, not on the kilometers of roads s/he is able to construct, but on building the mental prowess of the citizens for them to lead healthy lives and fulfill their (economic) life goals.
Government should not be in the business of doing business, rather it should be in the business of equipping the people to do business profitably, then pay taxes for the good of all. If a government has both political and economic powers, like is the case in Nigeria where oil is the major source of funding for government activities, there would never be sustainable development.
Economic powers should rest with the people, not the government. That way, the government feels (more) obliged to “serve” the citizens, rather than “empowering” the citizens - a misplaced feeling of pride and dominance that has destroyed the nation for long. The government got the power from the citizens in the first place, why should it feel it is now so powerful the citizens should be at its mercy? Unfortunately, the citizens are because they lack their personal economic powers and they live in survival. Citizens even lack the understanding to know that they do not judge a government by the number of roads it is able to “repair” but by the impact it is able to have in educating and in-forming them.
What’s the way forward?
Citizens must first engage in self-awareness and make other citizens aware of the important things. We as citizens need to take this leadership role to educate fellow citizens until there is so much ripple effect and positive awareness.
We need to vote in leaders whose manifestoes talk about making the government directly less economically powerful but ensuring the citizens have more economic powers. It is even wiser because more people can engage in the multiplication of wealth than government and there would be better returns on investment.
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