How to reBuild a Nation (part 3)
Defining our National Standard is the starting point of the planning stage.
What is the barest minimum a Nigerian should have access to in Health, Education, Housing, Food, Power Supply, Transportation and Communication? What is the barest level of religious tolerance acceptable?
When we know what our standards are, we can measure whether we are moving forward, moving backwards or just plain stagnant. When we know what our standards are, we can hold ourselves responsible. When we know what our standards are, we can tap into our collective human capital. When we know what our standards are, we can dream of a better future.
The Standard must be simple enough for anyone to understand- be it our friend from the creek, forest, desert or city. It should be short enough to fit into ONE PAGE. It should be concise enough to memorise.
It must be so relatable that even primary school children will understand, recite them as rhymes, sing them as songs, write them as essays. Our Standard must be pronounceable and translateable to pidgin English, and subsequently the thousands of languages we have in Nigeria. Our sports teams must be able to bear the standard on their uniforms; our policemen should be able to drum them into the ears of misbehaving citizens and foreigners.
when WE ALL UNDERSTAND the basics, we can begin to implement them; our government agencies and parastatals will no longer need to spend billions on “sensitization” programmes; our children will not write exams and pray to God for a Miracle; our Teachers will not think of forcing students to pay for grades; Our hospitals will not kill patients in the name of observing “due process”.
I make bold to say that any exuberant, verbose, grandiose, impenetrable, technically worded “economic blueprint” will have breath only within the files in the government offices and the random newspaper mention. It will hold no water, it will hold no value to the people that are allegedly supposed to benefit from them.
It is only when we define our national standard that we can tolerate vague visions like “empowerment for all”.
WHAT is our national Standard?