Wednesday, 2 March 2016

MustRead: Developing the culture required to build a developed Nigeria by Bobby Udoh

Whilst the majority of us Nigerians desire to see a developed Nigeria in our lifetime, we have refused to accept our role in the attaining of this goal. In recent times, there are a growing number of citizens who now acknowledge that the work of building Nigeria cannot be accomplished by those in government alone.

Despite this progress, we have a far greater challenge and that is the lack of the culture citizens must adopt in this building season. Without the required culture for the nation-building season, no government policy or passion of citizens will deliver on the desired goal.

Culture is the way of life or lifestyle of a people and therefore, it is a critical ingredient required for nation-building. It must also be stated that culture is a product of citizens’ mindset and core values. To read more about the nation-building core values, click here.

So, what are the qualities of this culture?

Commitment to long, hard work: Yes, every serious human endeavour requires hard work but the culture for nation-building demands our commitment to a long period of challenging, difficult, hard work.

Due to our many years of lawlessness, it takes our commitment to a long term view and an acceptance of opposition to withstand and/or overcome the numerous obstacles.

This commitment will help us overcome the very enticing opportunities to take shortcuts or the easy route which is usually part of our current state of lawlessness.

It must be added that this commitment will lead to a significantly high workload because though there is so much work to be done very few people are willing or committed to the demands of the work. Easy money had become available for so many years that the value of diligent and tenacious work is now a rare commodity. Yet, these are critical for nation-building.

Simplified Lifestyle: It has never been possible to build something of significance for the future without a significant simplification of one’s lifestyle. The building of a developed Nigeria will not be different.

There is need for a culture where we focus less on ourselves and focus more on others. This mindset will reflect in our choice of material possessions (clothing, cars, houses, accessories, holiday destinations, gadgets, etc).

The essence of a simplified lifestyle is to ensure that we are not easily distracted because material possessions (their acquisition and care) is resource consuming (time and money) and considering the demands of the work, we must seek to redirect the much needed resources to nation-building.

We give up most of the good things of life in order for us to create a nation where most of our future citizens can enjoy these things in a secured, stable and developed society.

Sacrificial Giving: The culture is giving is essential for nation-building and when we say giving, we refer to sacrificial giving. We will give of our money and time and it will be sacrificial because it will inconvenience us.

The task before us is daunting and the citizens available to work are very few. Therefore, these few will be left with no choice but to carry the load meant for many and yet, the many sitting on the sidelines will be the ones constantly criticizing that which we are building for theirs and their children’s future. Yes, it is sacrificial that we are doing this mainly for others.

Aided by a simplified lifestyle and a commitment to long hard work, the culture of sacrificial giving will be the product of our daily lives.

Minority Thinking: Another quality of the nation-building culture is the fact that our thoughts, words and actions are usually against that of the majority. We have accepted that Nigeria can be and will be built and have gone further to commit our lives to that task. As a result, the picture we have of the future is different from that of majority.

This minority position brings with it a lot of opposition from friends and family members who consider us to have lost it. We also face strong opposition from operators of the various systems that has produced illegitimate sources of income.

Nevertheless, we find comfort in our being the minority because of the vision we have for Nigeria and our recognition that great nations have always been built by a minority fully committed to the task.


Knowing the culture required for nation-building and knowing that Nigeria is still quite underdeveloped, you have to make the choice on whether you will part of the minority citizens actively building Nigeria. The key question to you is, how will you translate your strong desire for a developed Nigeria into daily concrete actions?

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