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A MIDDLE CLASS WITHOUT HOUSING

housingI remember when I was in Primary school back in the 1980s. It was an interesting time because there was so much going on in Nigeria that my innocent mind tried to grapple with the multiplicity of government inventions and how people reacted to it. Still wallowing under the weight of a Militocracy, Nigerians had begun to adapt to the reality on ground and make the best (or should I say make the worse) out of a situation that was completely avoidable. So many ideas were frolicking around simply to romance the existence of the Nigerian state, while a few individuals were the destiny deciders for millions of people. I can clearly remember the days of MAMSER, Better Life for Rural Women, Structural Adjustment Program and several others, all initiatives of military men trying to achieve good leadership. But perhaps one that really struck a chord in my stringy mind was the “goodies for all by the year 2000.”

Central to the lineup of goodies that were to be realized by the year 2000 in Nigeria was housing, and I remember how I used to fantasize on the kind of house my family will eventually move into based on this wild promissory note the government was handing out. As naïve and inexperienced as I was then, my gut feeling was to question the possibilities of these statements simply because what I saw on ground didn’t in any way match the reality of the direction the country was moving into. All the promises sounded desirable, but not of it felt attainable. No! Not with what we were experiencing at that time. Nevertheless it was a buzz word for government officials and many Nigerians who were feeding from the same table and flirting with the men of risky ways.
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