“It’s fine to criticize the government and all the other centres of power, probing for their inevitable, arrogant error modes. But we won’t blanket betray the nation that protected us, or the city whose cops we’d call, if we ever got into real trouble. We won’t undermine the confidence of our fellow citizens by hammering away at their belief in themselves or their democratic institutions”
-David Brin, “Our favorite cliche: A world filled with Idiots” David Brin.com 2013.
I’d never thought of confidence as a tool for developmental change in Nigeria until recently. Well, not until five days ago. Not like something major necessitated this idea though. I could conveniently say it just came on the spur of the moment.
The word ‘confidence’ may have several meanings quite fine but I particularly like the one that defines it as the quality of a deep belief and trust in oneself, or a course.
I’ve lived in Nigeria all my life, so basically, I’ve seen Nigeria transcend over different seasons of life just like a growing child. If asked to describe Nigeria in one word, I think one word that’ll come to my mind is developing.
In times past and present, I’ve heard citizens complain that bad governance has kept the country stunted, about how the leaders are bad and without conscience.
Well, for me, sometimes I blame these leaders, sometimes I don’t. Why? Because I believe everyone owes a quota to Nigeria.
Among the myriad of problems facing them are unemployment, corruption, currency devaluation, poor infrastructural facilities, incessant attack and killings by terrorist groups, and sometimes I wonder how we’ll get out of this.
Confidence is a tool aimed at giving people, nation or a body the needed drive to start things. There are many projects left unattended in Nigeria consequent of several reasons encapsulating fear, corruption, lack of trust, etc. And I wonder, will things ever get better?
I hear from the news that there are a lot of unfinished projects awaiting continuation. Typically, there’s a refinery currently under construction in Nigeria. Maybe the government is scared of investing in that course because it could fail, but why start a project that can not be finished even in the presence of resources for it. The country is in debt, people are suffering daily and there are no jobs on the street.
Why invest the little that could be channeled to other feasible projects. But, a refinery will employ jobs and generate revenue. Has the government thought about that?
They say failing isn’t an enemy, it’s fearing failure that truly cripples you. If you set big goals and have big dreams, you’re going to feel overwhelmed and you’re inevitably going to feel like you can’t do it.
There are so many abandoned projects all over the country. Abandoned roads, abandoned plans for development of rural areas, abandoned hospitals, abandoned schools, abandoned industries and all that.
If Nigeria must grow, then, being uptight about having a project fail should be disposed of. Because projects will fail.
It may be normal to get tired in between ideas which are not off anyway because a project or goal is in its early stage and has every tendency to fail or pull through. But nobody forfeits an important cause because of an unforeseen risk. And this is the point where a deep belief in oneself stems from.
William Hazlitt said; as is our confidence, so is our capacity.
Over the years, I’ve seen how my capacity is dependent on my confidence level. How my mind is the initial motivation for achieving common and uncommon courses.
One of the major problems of economic development in Nigeria especially in Eastern Nigeria is the ability to fake foreign labels on Nigerian made products.
It’s not surprising to see a shoe made by a cobbler in Aba Abia state but with a Made in Italy label. It has eaten up the heart of the society that everyone thinks whoever uses Nigerian products is poor and perhaps uneducated. Nigeria is not the poorest country in the world, so why does it look like we are the least race of humans on earth.
An average Nigerian feels ecstatic at the grant of a visa passport to travel abroad. The problem with this feeling is that abroad could be any other country of the world outside of Nigeria- it could be a poorer country than Nigeria just as it could be a rich country of the world. Is there hope for Nigeria?
In my candid opinion, some of the things the government can do to enhance nation building is a call to action. A call to action for what?
A call to action that citizens come to the realization that being Nigerian makes nobody less of a human being, that all hands be on deck, that Nigeria is for everybody, so good or bad, everyone faces the tune of the music.
We don’t have confidence in our leaders. The kind of political conflict that goes on during general elections in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. A thousand Naira can barely feed a family a day in Nigeria but I’ve seen citizens stampede over a thousand Naira that hired political thugs or political parties will share to them during elections. I had a conversation with a very young girl of about 20 during the last general elections.
I saw her at the voting ground, walking all over the place in a bid to stay alert for money sharing. She had her baby strapped to her back while pushing her way through to a man sharing money to voters and urging everyone to vote for a particular candidate.
She seemed to care less about herself or her baby.
When I confronted her later to ask her why she had to risk even the baby’s health just to collect a thousand Naira, her eyes darting back and forth, she told me that it was the nation’s money which she had to collect when available since the leaders will not do anything for the populace when they assume office.
And I’m wondering how many Nigerians are up for the same game. Most Nigerians believe everyone in Nigeria is corrupt and without a true sense of purpose for the Nigerian dream.
Nation building is not only for the government of any nation. Nation building can consistently be achieved when everyone gets to work and stops looking for who to blame. There’s mishap in almost all the sectors of the economy.
Students in tertiary institutions are not confident in their ability, so more than half of the students resort to offering money to their lecturers to pass courses and graduate just as lecturers feel students have to offer them money.
Nation building involves social harmony, infrastructural development and economic growth of the nation. Are these prevalent in Nigerian society today?
I’d like to conclude with some ideas I gathered from Forbes on ten ways to gain confidence.
Things can be done if truly you want them done. Nigeria, let’s get things done. We cannot keep abandoning projects everyday across the country.
The progress level in Nigeria can be checked consistently. A wise man said the best way to reach your goals is to break them down into smaller goals and coherently monitor them. Ideas that seem bulky can be broken down into smaller ones so as to easily get them done.
In Nigeria, we must learn to do the right thing. Most confident people live by a value system even when it’s difficult and not necessarily in their best interest but in the interest of the greater good.
Do our leaders think long term? Well, let’s follow through the development process and think long term, it is responsible when one says I am going to achieve a goal and puts energy into seeing that it is achieved.
The foundation of unhappiness is decisions made for short term comfort that impede long term goals.
This nation can be built. Everyone who believes can believe in totality, and contribute in any way, there’s no nation without her people. The onus lies on Nigerians.
As Henry Ford said; “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
Craig. J(2012) 10reasons why confidence leads to success. Retrieved from https://timemanagementninja.com/2012/07/10-reasons-why-confidence-leads-to-success/
Jeff. H(2018) 9qualities of remarkably confident people. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/9-qualities-of-remarkably-confident-people-th.html
Mustapha Akanbi. F(2019)The challenges of nation building: The case of Nigeria. Retrieved from http://www.mafng.org/anniversary/challenges_nation_building_nigeria.htm
Bridges. F(2017)10ways to build confidence. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/francesbridges/2017/07/21/10-waystobuildconfidence/amp
Adaeze Nwachukwu is writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, blog posts, etc. She bagged an Engineering degree in Polymer and Textile Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
Adaeze is a firm lover of nature, an avid reader of books and opinions, a traveler, and an astute scholar of life. When she is not doing any of these, she’s somewhere by herself, listening to good music, trying out a recipe or visiting a friend.
Adaeze participated in the 2021 Crater Library’s Remote Internship for Non-Fiction Writers.
At the moment, Adaeze writes for Study Abroad Nations and How I got the job.