Trouble and depression in the land

TheRE is problem in the land or more specifically, there’s problem in Nigeria. But before continuing, it’s essential I recall few instances of what happened during the week to buttress the issues I want to raise here.
During the week, a middle age man was rescued by divers in a speed boat around the Mile 2 river. The man was said to have jumped into the river with the intention of committing suicide. Through divine intervention, he jumped into the water when those who could rescue him were passing. If it had been other wise, that would have been the end for him. Prior to jumping into the waters, eyewitnesses said he had been lamenting his situation. That his situation had become so bad that he could no longer cope. Some said he was heard blaming the government of President Mohammadu Buhari for his economic woes. ‘Buhari’s government has finished me and my business.I can’t afford to live anymore’, he was quoted to have said.  Unfortunately, he never got his wish. That does not mean it could still not happen as we are a country where lives do no matter. Nobody would likely follow up to counsel him out of his determination to end his life.
The story was also told of a man who jumped in front of a moving vehicle around Maryland, Lagos. The driver of the vehicle smartly avoided him though not without injury. He was rushed to the hospital and when he was revived, he claimed it was a deliberate act on his part because his business had collapsed due to certain policies of government.
In Anambra state, a diabetic patient was said to have committed suicide as he could no longer afford to buy medications to treat his condition and he was also being owed salary as a civil servant. In Okpanam, Delta state, the story of the man who dumped his father in a septic tank is well known. His reason was that he could not organise a proper burial ceremony for his father due to his state of penury.
In Minna, beggars, destitute and almajiris embarked on protest against the government over the hardship they are equally passing through. They have given a 7-day ultimatum to government to do something or else they would cause civil unrest.
With the current situation, most Nigerians could not give to beggars, destitute as they used to do before because they too do not have enough. It is only those who have more than enough that give, most Nigerians are barely making ends meet. Poverty is increasing, people are dying in silence. Most are walking corpses. A  lot of people on the road probably have had nothing to eat and they have no hope of finding anything. It is worse in the rural areas. Cost of living has risen astronomically. Inflation has continued to be in the two digits, presently rising to 17.1 percent.
That is at the lowest level of the society. It is even worse among the middle and higher levels income earners. Most of the companies are being forced to lay off their workers because they have had to close shops. Recent information from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals that 4.58 million Nigerians have become jobless since the Buhari administration took over governance at over a year ago. This is contrary to the promise that the administration would provide 3million jobs within one year of taking over. Specifically, the NBS said the country’s unemployment rate rose to 19.3 percent from 12.1 in the second quarter of 2016
Now, we have been told to be patient and in the same breath, we have been informed that the economy is in recession. The indication is that there is no end in sight. The trouble continues. More people will lose their jobs while a lot more people would even attempt suicide. Nigerians did not vote for this hardship. They did not vote for a change that would do them in.
Most people have tagged the president as unlucky. They claim that hardship was the lot of Nigerians during his first coming as a military ruler. There was scarcity of essential commodities then, leading to queues in designated places for essential needs. The second coming is not looking so different except that Nigerians have not started queuing for essential commodities. I pray the country does not get to that sorry pass. But the outlook is bleak.
In spite of the hardship being faced by our people, it does not look as if the government is that concerned. Tax is increasing with others set to be introduced. Speculation is rife that the telecoms tax would soon come on stream. Just yesterday, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) increased its tariff by 100 percent.
One would not expect government to come up with more taxes or take more from people who are already suffering due to the economic downturn and especially now that the people are crying for succour. But government does not seem to care. It wants to add to the hardship.
So what is the way out of the hardship? Apart from the need to reinflate the economy by injection of funds, Nigerians have also been told to see agriculture as a major panacea out of the economic woes. The Imo state governor has cut down on the number of days that government workers should come to the office, two days in the week would now be devoted to farming.
In other part of the country, the same noise being made is that we should all go into farming as if that is where the solution to our problem is. What level of investment has the government done in agriculture? In what way has government encouraged and invested in the bye-products of agriculture? If some of these things are not done or being done, how then would agriculture be the solution to our problem?
Indeed, the present situation calls into question the expertise, credentials and the integrity of the present economic team. They give us false hopes while dyed-in-the wool economist are giving us a different picture. Considering the present situation, Nigerians prefer to believe the Soludos, the Sanusis rather than the government’s economic team.
Something urgently needs to be done. Nigerians are tired and are desirous of something better rather than being told to be patient. They are tired of hearing that, they require action that would better their lot.