There is no nation that can exist without being a burden to itself when it does not have the necessary Infrastructure in place for its citizens. I am writing this at a time when my dear country is celebrating its 53rd independence and I must say it is very disheartening when you think about infrastructure and you take a good look at my country. What you can see most times is broken down structures or facilities that have been neglected over the years. In most places, the facilities are not even there at all. Unfortunately, some of our parents, when they talk, make references to the good old days. Although I think that some of them do not know it is a very bad and really shameful thing to boast consistently of how they had been privileged to per take in the ‘good old days.’ I come close to tears almost on daily basis because of what we are going through in this country that we should not be going through at all.
A few months back I said on television that we are working very hard to pay taxes in this country and some people are mismanaging our taxes. As soon as you earn the money, the government or your employer takes the taxes and when the taxes are taken they give you what is left. From what is left, you strive as much as possible to give yourself and family a good life. You also put a car on the road. The car is a product of several savings and in some cases, loans. The sad part is that the taxes taken from your salary should have been used to fix the roads but the roads are there and they are not fixed then the roads that should have been fixed by our taxes are the ones spoiling the cars that be bought after tax deductions from earnings. When the road that should have been fixed by your tax is not fixed, it spoils your car that you bought from what is left after paying tax and then you have to continue to pay tax while spending what is left to fix the car that you bought. The very rich then decide to buy very big jeeps hoping that they will escape from having to report to the mechanic workshops regularly. Unfortunately they are disappointed because they still have to report to the mechanics.
As if that is not enough, the people who collect our taxes and are supposed to put all the necessary infrastructure in place have a fleet of cars to choose from when they are going out. All these cars are bought from the taxes that we pay and when they buy the cars, they also put sirens on the cars. So the issue is that they collect your tax to buy several cars that they do not need, maintain the cars with your tax and buy sirens on the car so that they can chase you off the road when they are coming and you are also on the road.
In this country we have see several people dying simply because of bad roads. There are those who have been involved in boat mishaps because they have to move from their towns to other towns and the only option is to use boats to get there. The mishaps could have been avoided if only the government was kind enough to construct a small simple but strong bridge for the people to cross on.
When I looked up the synonyms for infrastructure I saw words like Communication, Transportation, Road and Rail network. These are basic things that you get in so many other countries and my dear country in so many states is still struggling with these things. Even in Lagos where the government is providing several buses to ease the transportation challenges, the buses are now in a mess and many of them are with broken seats. The people are over packed in the bus and it is such a shame. You also have issues of taffic in some areas where we should not have traffic at all if only we are always looking out for how to solve problems.
All of these things are discouraging but I sincerely look forward to a nation with the proper infrastructure in place. I dream about the nation where you don’t have to worry about the height of the car that you need to buy because of the roads. I am thinking of a time when we will hardly hear about accidents because of bad roads. I anxiously wait for the days when we will drive for only twenty minutes on the same routes where we are driving for two hours now because I know it is possible. I look forward to seeing those days that my grandmother used to refer to when she would travel safely with no one hanging on the train from Lagos to Kano selling colanuts and returning to her family.
I am seriously imagining a Nigeria with infrastructure and I will live to see it happen in my time just as I hope you also live to see it happen.