Abdulrahman Rahmat Akere writes,
Nigeria is widely regarded as the giant of Africa, maybe due to its population among other African countries, but the country remains an underdeveloped nation.
Firstly, what does the word “underdevelopment” means? The word is defined, examined and discussed among different scholars based on their own respective views, but “underdevelopment” simply means the ability of having a relatively low economic level of industrial production and standard of living (as from lack of capital).
According to the Oxford Advanced reference, the term is defined as the existence of resources that has not been properly exploited. It further says the word is in a very close meaning to “poverty”.
Different definitions is being given to the term ”underdevelopment” which has, over time, led to the rise of many questions by different people of different ideology, for instance, in Walter Rodney’s book titled ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’. The writer stated many reasons on how the undevelopment of Africa is caused by the Europeans, and he put many blames on the Europeans for the mess they caused to the African society.
Some of these reasons are; the trans Atlantic slave trade, the legitimate trade and others.
He said in his book, when he discussed the effect of trans-atlantic slave trade that, during trade, energetic Africans were exported to Europe to work on their plantation
or mining. Men of age between 17 and 35 and women of 15 and 25 were forcefully taken from Africa to the “new world”, to work on sugar plantation and gold mining. Upon that, none of them were treated with humanity, they were chained from heads to toes and that led to the massive depopulation of the Africans.
Another reason or factor was the issue of “legitimate trade”. As it’s defined, it is a form of trade which is legal, and the adequate rules of trading are involved, but legitimacy is in other way round during trading with Europe. A legitimate trade is a trade involving Europeans and Africa, but the Europeans as buyers of the cash crops from Africans were the ones who determine the price of market.
Europeans regarded that as legitimate, but Africans who owned the market were denied the right to determine the price of their commodities. Rodney also stated that as another factor, and foundation of Africa’s underdevelopment.
Other factors have been viewed by scholars around the world, some said that the underdevelopment was caused by Africa’s lack of unity, poor governance, corrupt leaders, colonialism and their interaction with the Europeans. Questions also arose over time that all that were before independence, but why is Africa still at where it is, even after colonialism?
Different views were propounded, some argued that it’s because Africans are selfish, greedy and others which I support because Nigeria as a case of study was blessed with abundant natural resources, but upon that it’s been managed and directed by corrupt government.
If I could remember, a statement was first said in the USA when their government has already provided what makes life easy for the people that “give something to the government”. Nigerians didn’t back the statement but rather laugh at it. They felt like it’s only the government that has given enough like the USA that can be reciprocally served back.
The main issue about Nigerian government is that, they are selfish, they make sure they get to the leadership position, to fill their pockets to the full, make life comfortable for themselves and their relatives. This is why the rich in Nigeria are getting richer and the poor are also getting poorer.
This situation has led to the evil massive bedeviling the country, such as kidnapping, cybercrime, banditry, violence and all sort of insecurity, as a result of unemployment.
In effect, an intelligent question was asked about what is the way out and what is the solution to the underdevelopment in Nigeria. The solution always are not far fetched.
One is, changing of our mindset by changing our thoughts that when we get to any position of authority, we will change things to good and not in other way round.
Second is, by nationhood, ‘nationhood’ in the sense that we will believe that there would not be separate ethnics. Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Igbo, Igala, Nupe and Tiv among other Nigerian tribes, and we will all be “one Nigeria”.
Nigerians, Nigeria and “development” do not work only by utterance, but by working together towards a strong nationhood in lifting the country from its underdeveloped state to the greater level.
Abdulrahman Rahmat Akere writes for PEN PRESS UDUS, she is a 200 level student of History and International Studies at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

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