NIGERIA’S CREATIVE INDUSTRY
There are enormous potentials and opportunities available in Nigeria waiting to be tapped. One of the problems created by the discovery of crude oil is the neglect of Agriculture which used to be the mainstay of the economy. People abandoned the farms in millions to seek greener pastures and good living in cities and urbanized settlements. Youths too look up to thousands of Nigerians making a living in Western countries and seek to join them. If they can’t go through the legitimate process, they pursue the ambition of travelling abroad with reckless abandon. They forget that the Western nations of decades ago are no longer as vibrant as they were because they now have their own challenges that have made them tighten immigration regulations. Those living abroad will inform you that the good times are gone. There is unemployment in the Western world, just as their are homeless people, failures and criminals, roaming the streets of the developed world. This is in addition to social problems that are not in tandem with the cultures of Nigeria.
Many people have great brains but don’t really put them to profitable use. A person would only be able to utilize his or talents if he or she discovers such latent gifts. Creativity derives from being creative. Every human being has some innate or inherent capabilities deposited in them by the Creator. This explains why people could be more gifted than one another in certain endeavours. Talents and capacities vary. It is possible for a person to be a talented vocalist, but a failure in playing the organ. To be creative is explained as ‘’having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas: using the ability to make or think of new things: involving the process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created’’ (Marriam Webster Dictionary) Being creative could be by way of inventions, or the ability of a person to use his or her brain or endowments to perform some tasks that are relatively unique.
THINKERS ARE PROBLEM SOLVERS
Thinkers are best positioned to be creative. Thoughts are translated into gains You must think deeply to be successful in every human endeavour. Instead of utilizing 18 hours to attend social functions, watch blue and romantic films in addition to engaging in those wild celebrations, think about profitable issues. Several people have carved their names in gold in the area of inventions. Some did but were never known because they lived in obscurity. Others too invented some useful items which their societies never bothered to encourage and so, lost great opportunities. In the past few decades, remarkable achievements have been recorded in the creative industry. The age of the computer and the Internet is contributing phenomenally to the process of change and development. Several people have carved their names in gold in the area of inventions and innovations. Some did but were never known because they lived in obscurity. Others too invented some useful items which their societies never bothered to encourage and so, lost great opportunities. Nigeria has also produced several geniuses that were, however, not followed and encouraged, to be able to tap their potentials to the fullest.
SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMMES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
The welfare of the citizenry is one of the primary purposes of government. There are several programmes being introduced by governments at the three tiers to assist job seekers. National Social Investment Programme. For instance, the Federal Government of Nigeria established the National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP) in 2016, to tackle poverty and hunger across the country. The suite of programmes under the NSIP focuses on ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women. Since 2016, these programmes combined have supported more than 4 million beneficiaries country-wide through a fair and transparent process supported by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and other notable MDAs with aligned goals. (http://statehouse.gov.ng/national-social-investment-programme/) You have every right to ask for information on all these from your representatives in government. They must have constituency offices to attend to your inquiries.
The Programmes are as follows:
The N-power programme is designed to assist young Nigerians between the ages of 18 to 35 to acquire and develop
life-long skills for becoming change-makers in their communities and players in the domestic and global markets and
given a stipend of N30,000 monthly.
The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme directly supports those within the lowest poverty bracket by
improving nutrition, increasing household consumption and supporting the development of human capital through cash benefits to various categories of the poor and vulnerable. The support is conditioned on fulfilling soft and hard co-responsibilities that enable recipients to improve their standard of living.
Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) is a micro-lending intervention that targets traders, artisans, enterprising youth, farmers and women in particular, by providing loans between 10,000 and 100,000 at no monthly cost to beneficiaries.
Integration of Niger Delta youths through various support programmes
The HomeGrown School Feeding Programme (HGSF) aims to deliver school feeding to young children with a specific focus on increasing school enrollment, reducing the incidence of malnutrition (especially among the poor and those ordinarily unable to eat a meal-a-day), empowering community women as cooks and by supporting small farmers that help stimulate economic growth. (http://statehouse.gov.ng/national-social-investment-programme/)
REDISTRIBUTION OF INCOMES & PHILANTHROPY
There is a need for society to imbibe the culture of selflessness and abandon selfishness. To accelerate transformation, there is a need for the private sector to take the lead. Increased focus must be on the redistribution of incomes. It is, therefore, heartening that the private sector in the country has, in the past two decades embraced the concept of corporate social responsibility while individuals are also increasingly getting committed to philanthropy. Instead of travelling out, you could take advantage of various schemes put in place by private sector captains. The Dangotes, Elumelus, Dajumas, Adenugas, Alakijas, Oba Otudekos, Jim Ovias, Subomi Baloguns, Otedolas, and other quiet humanists, who came after Mobolaji Bank Anthony, and Candido Joao Da Rocha, and other quiet givers have schemes supporting the alleviation of poverty. All you need do is to make a diligent enquiry about the activities of these philanthropists to see where you could fit in. It is also important for the affluent in Nigeria to commit resources into philanthropy. Andrew Carnegie – donated money to build over 2,500 libraries worldwide; John D. Rockefeller Jr. – dramatically expanded the Rockefeller Foundation and Rockefeller University; bought and then donated the land in Manhattan upon which the United Nations headquarters was built.
The most valuable contribution donors can make to advance significant societal change is to extend their practice of philanthropy beyond financial gifts and volunteered time, to also leveraging nonfinancial resources such as their clout, connections, business know-how, and political sagacity to create systems-level change across sectors in support of the cause. Changes to several existing policies could serve to remove barriers to giving. These include the current limited/ lack of tax rebate on charitable contributions. Also, there is a need to build volunteerism into the educational system and workplace. Formal education is not an end in itself but a tool for service; the best way to teach this fundamental truth is to make the practice of volunteerism part of the syllabus of Nigerian schools at all levels. For example, a student in a university should be required to carry out a certain amount of volunteer work as part of his or her continuous assessment. Likewise, the practice of volunteerism as part of corporate culture should be adopted by all companies in Nigeria. However, instead of one-off or episodic campaigns, companies should encourage their employees to become committed long-term or life-long supporters of causes.(United Nations Post-2015 Agenda/sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php)
YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNANCE
(The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption’: A speech by Chief Emeka Anyaoku,
Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has asserted that ‘’If the country is to successfully reduce the current high level of poverty, youths must play an active role in three areas of politics, including governance; social change, including change in societal values and ethics; and economic activities, especially entrepreneurship. a former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth at a Youth Forum organised by RISE Networks) Anyaoku enjoined youths ‘’to mobilise themselves and channel some of their youthful enthusiasm and activism into clamouring for the restructuring of the country’s governance architecture in order to realise a truer federalism that will give the country greater political stability and faster socio-economic development.
Anyaoku asserted that ‘’Nigeria is in great need for social change, as corruption pervades all levels of society, starting from examination malpractice to bribery and seeking for gratification before the performance of one’s obligatory duties, to outright embezzlement and stealing of public and private funds.’’
Therefore, youths, fasten your belts. The future belongs to you, but you must work towards having a glorious future. No one would contest the fact that Nigeria has brains that could easily match those of leaders and rulers of the developed world. It is a good idea for the more patriotic involvement of youths in governance. At the local level, ask for Town Hall Meetings to be convened by your representatives at the three tiers. But it would seem youths cannot legitimately push out old politicians because that would be unconstitutional. Youths, therefore, must be prepared to get firmly rooted at the grassroots. Nigerians must be carried along as true partners in national development by political actors at all levels, in the realization of the need for the introduction of workable measures. Youths must start endearing themselves to their communities by mapping and selling coherent and purposeful policies geared towards development. Those who view the world through specialized prisms have at different times spoken about underdevelopment arising from incoherent implementation of policies as the misery of the country.
For instance, Chief Emeka Anyaoku once asserted that one of the most serious problems confronting Africa and African Diaspora is the poor culture of governance; and that we still need to learn the lessons of putting forward our best people to run for governance and help lift the country upwards. On his part, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari has observed that if we accept that conflicts and wars retard development, in no continent is this more true than in Africa, and this is why our continent is behind the rest of the world. He argued that people are not going to invest in countries of conflict; and without investment, both domestic and foreign. Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan was in Nigeria not too long ago and pointed out that our country holds the key to the development of Africa. Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi too has pointed this fact out very patriotically, that Nigeria must not fail Africa, and indeed the global community, because the consequences could be very weighty.
JOIN THE VANGUARD THAT WILL MOVE NIGERIA FORWARD
The strategic position and influence of Nigeria in Africa, over the decades place great demands, burden and strains on the country as a model for several other African nations. It is endowed with enormous resources, human and material, that could launch the nation to greatness. Nigeria is widely regarded as the engine of the economy of West-Africa, a motivator of the African Union, and the catalyst of African renaissance. Such is the importance of Nigeria in global politics that it is believed that whatever happens in Nigeria has the possibility of reverberating to other nations in the continent. Nigeria is abundantly endowed with human and material resources that could sustain a broad-based growth and development. Does it ever occur to us that outsiders will not be able to solve Nigeria’s problems for Nigeria and that Nigerians themselves will solve the nation’s problems better than any foreigner?
Therefore, it is better to resolve to be part of the vanguard determined to move Nigeria forward in life by participating in the electoral process. Preparation is very important and central to the success of rulers. Youths would be under a false illusion that power would be handed over to them without any contest. And barring the older generation on the excuse of recycling is undemocratic if they are still wanted by the electorate. Over the years, policy experts have identified some of the factors capable of moving Nigeria forward as: ‘’consistency in policy formulation and implementation, transparency, accountability, the enthronement of due process, rule of law, and fiscal discipline. This is the major panacea to the problems confronting Nigeria.
Anybody, particularly, the younger ones who seriously want Nigeria to participate in political governance for the purpose of building Nigeria develop would note and do the following: Be conscientious and patriotic through your behaviour by being socially responsible. Social responsibility would drive development and nation building
Use your votes/ballot box to choose the candidates of your choice in government. Your vote is your power and you
must resolve to make sure that your vote counts
Resolve never to be bought over by money politics that would only make you sell your present and future to anybodywho purchases your soul
Be firmly entrenched with your constituency and sell your plans and programmes
Resolve to take your representatives in Government to task by asking questions and developing a great interest in how your affairs are being managed.
Commence an advocacy campaign immediately on channels of mass communication to enlighten prospective voters about your packages
Resolve to be part of the process of development It shall surely be well with Nigeria.