Sometime last month, I was in a queue at a government-owned hospital in Benin city to make payment for the drugs prescribed for my parents. While we were waiting patiently, and the lady attending to us was trying to increase her pace to meet up with the long queue, a woman jumped the queue ‘forming’ hers was an emergency case.
We obliged her, though grudgingly, as two other persons had used such lines before to beat the queue earlier. But then, since we couldn’t be so sure that she was lying, we allowed her. The problem in Nigeria is already on overdose mode, we shouldn’t be seen as catalysing hers.
She was attended to, but there was a little problem. The cashier did not have her exact change, and so owed her ten Naira. She stood there waiting for the money. Four other persons were attended to from the queue and she was still there.
It was at that point that we started being ‘Nigerian’. The guy in front of me opened the floor. “Mama, I think say you dey hurry before, unto say na emergency matter. Ten Naira don cancel the emergency?” “Nor mind dem. Na so dem dey do. If to say na me dey dat front, she for nor enter my front. Dem go dey use emergency dey lie”, another woman fired from the back.
As I listened to the verbal attack that followed this woman’s action, even after she eventually left without the change, I thought of how we abuse privileges in various spheres of life, thereby making other people pay for our bad behaviours.
Last month, I was at the Thomas Sankara Students’ Union Building of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, and I saw three fine and functioning union buses. I was told the Union officials are not allowed to drive them except they go with the official driver assigned to them by the school management. I shook my head because it was not so in my time. But then, that privilege was already being abused back then, and the school management was threatening to impose an official driver on the only bus we had.
I presume successive regimes after ours did worse, and that necessitated the school management to take the decision that had lingered for so long.
Today, so many people will say, ‘when civil service was civil service, things were rosy’. Pry them further to know what killed the ‘rosiness’, you will find out that in one way or the other, they took advantage of the system and ruined it, thereby depriving others of that privilege.
As humans, we should know that our actions or inactions affect others in one way or the other. That privilege that was given you but you abused, will be paid for by someone else, perhaps your child. That trust that was given you but betrayed, will be paid for by someone else, maybe your close relative.
Just last week, some startups in the country that give loans to small and medium scale businesses were complaining about non-compliance by those that have accessed these loans. These Fin-Tech companies are busy trying to make access to loans seamless and fast, while the beneficiaries are trying to beat the system and run away with the loans without paying back.
If these Fin-Tech companies pack up tomorrow due to unpaid loans, those that ruined the system will be the first to tell their children how Nigeria was making sense during the Fin-Tech era. They won’t share the role they played in killing the initiative.
Whatever privilege we are enjoying today, we should try to ensure we sustain the process for those coming behind us to benefit from it also.
The making of a better Nigeria is a collective responsibility.
FinTech #NationBuilding #Civicduties #Legacy #SocialObserver #PoliticalEnthusiast
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.