issues

Live in Lagos – Can I help?

Help by force!

I arrived Lagos like an Israelite carrying the half-baked dough into a determined exodus. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, particularly how I will react to the weather, coming from extreme conditions like we saw this year in the Northeast US. Nothing really changed about the humid conditions, even at 8pm the wind was warm and slightly noxious. But hey! I am used to this, just have to acclimatize a bit. Err…I will dare not talk about Murtala Mohammed Airport, else it will be the rantings of a raving lunatic. Lekki Airport to the rescue!!!!!!!!!!

The road from the airport still is the famished road. It is fast becoming a bush path and reminds me of the road from Onitsha to Owerri in the late 1980s into early 1990s, It may soon need the kind of old Mercedes-Benz 9-11 trucks to ply it. It still amazes me that the government expects people to encounter that road first on a visit to the country through Lagos. Again it may be one of those roads that fall into the grey divide of Federal and State roads and no one is responsible for it. Very soon I will get dangerously upset to code red levels and will fix it. If the government refuses, private business making a fortune refuses, very rich men whole have stolen us blind also refuse to act socially responsible (at least to save face and the impending anger of the State), mere men like me will one day carry a digger and shovel to repair the road. At least beyond our children traveling safely, the police checkpoints will run smoothly and not be afraid to stop more vehicles and harass tired travelers. I have an idea, I will first start by asking my neighbour from Borno, who owns an active barn in his backyard (suitable to shoot a medieval movie), to lend me his cattle so they can graze the weeds shooting from the islands on the entire stretch of the airport road.
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issues

THE REAL COSTS OF POLICY FAILURE

The recent mandatory extension by nearly a month for primary and secondary schools to resume in Nigeria to enable the voters registration process, has sparked some ire within the circles of those who are advocates of better education in the country. But somehow such angst has not necessarily translated into an active debate on how the government remains very insensitive to some issues that impinge on a sense of good governance. I am very passionate about education and it seems to be the one issue I am daily engaged in as I read and research. When we were celebrating our 50th anniversary, I took out time to highlight the need to elevate the discussion on education to a national level, compared to debates on whether to hike the price of fuel or not. I am convinced that until it becomes that important, and people see it as a do or die matter, we will be playing into the hands of incompetence that which can likely determine our relevance in a competitive world in a few years to come.

But despite the glaring need to reform this sector, and the seeming interest of the present administration to tackle the demons therein, we are seeing nothing but contradictions already from our leaders. I cannot understand why voters registration”must” be done within the vicinity of a public school. Aren’t there countless other venue to use in doing this? What’s wrong with other public spaces and arenas? Can’t even the innumerable churches lend their outer space for this purpose if the inner sanctum must not be desecrated by secular activities? Even though schools might seem to be the most appropriate place to do this, can’t our leaders for once see that some things are far too important and should not be compromised on? Even if for nothing, there is a symbolism attached to holding sacred the education of our children. Yet we felt it okay to go ahead and bite of weeks from the schedule of these kids and think they can effectively compete with their peers around the world.
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issues

THE POWER OF ILLUSTRATIONS

This video is to show how powerful illustrations are. I had previously heard this talk given by the famous Ken Robinson and applauded it. But when I saw RSA’s rendition of it through illustrations it created a different impression on my mind. I now understand in more detail, aided by graphical concepts, what Ken was trying to communicate. A great speech isn’t exactly communicated until you can build mental models of what the speaker is sending across. I just felt like sharing the video here and letting you into this. What I would say is that you first listen to the speech without watching the video. Probably just play the video and open another tab in your browser so you take your attention away from the video. The play it again, this time watching the video itself and see if your understanding improves. Try it.

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