5 Reasons Why We Need Better Nigerians, Not Just a Better Nigeria (A Nigerian’s Perspective from Scotland)

1. Why is personal responsibility crucial for Nigeria’s progress?

2. How can Nigerians contribute to a cleaner environment?

3. What role does law and order play in national development?

4. How can the Nigerian diaspora contribute to building a better Nigeria?

5. What specific actions can individuals take to promote a culture of responsibility?

see all the answers below

As a Nigerian career coach living in Scotland, I visit my homeland at least twice yearly. During these visits, I offer career coaching to people from various educational backgrounds, including the unemployed and underemployed. Witnessing their struggles firsthand has made me deeply contemplate the future of our beloved nation. The common refrain of needing a “better Nigeria” is undeniable, but what truly makes a country thrive? Grand infrastructure projects? Abundant natural resources? The answer, my friends, lies closer than we think: it’s the people themselves.

While a functioning government is absolutely necessary, sustainable progress hinges on top-down initiatives and a citizenry that embraces responsibility. Here’s why building better Nigerians is the key to unlocking a truly great Nigeria:

1. Law and Order: The Bedrock of Progress 🚦

Take a moment to consider our neighbour, Benin Republic. Although not as wealthy as Nigeria, they demonstrate a crucial difference: respect for the law. Traffic lights are obeyed, cyclists stop at intersections, and authorities are taken seriously. This sense of orderliness is the foundation of any successful society. Imagine Nigeria, where traffic flows smoothly, public spaces are spotless, and everyone follows basic rules. This dream becomes a reality when we, the people, prioritise order and accountability.

Why is personal responsibility crucial for Nigeria’s progress?

Personal responsibility fosters a culture of self-reliance, reduces dependence on the government, and promotes accountability and proactive problem-solving.

2. Personal Responsibility: Building a Culture of Self-Reliance 💪

A recurring theme in Nigeria is the tendency to blame the government for everything, from power outages to poor sanitation. However, true progress necessitates a shift in mindset. We must move from a culture of entitlement to one of personal responsibility. Why litter the streets when proper waste disposal solutions exist? Why expect everything for free when responsible citizens contribute to the national good? This shift may seem small, but its ripple effects are immense. Responsible waste management reduces health risks, and a culture of paying taxes ensures the resources needed for infrastructure development.

My Visits to Nigeria: Witnessing the Impact of Attitudes 👥

I’ve encountered individuals with immense potential during my career coaching sessions nationwide. Unfortunately, these same individuals often cite a lack of governmental support as the primary reason for their struggles. While systemic improvements are crucial for long-term development, focusing solely on external factors can be paralysing. Imagine the collective impact of these talented individuals channelling their energy into self-improvement and taking ownership of their careers. It’s a powerful reminder that individual initiative and responsibility are key drivers of progress.

How can Nigerians contribute to a cleaner environment?

By taking ownership of waste disposal, avoiding littering, participating in recycling programs, and encouraging responsible behavior in their communities.

3. Leadership Begins at Home: Raising Responsible Citizens 🏡

Let’s face it: leaders emerge from the people. If we, as a society, prioritise cutting corners and disregarding rules, how can we expect our leaders to be any different? The responsibility for raising responsible citizens lies squarely with each of us. We must instil in our children the importance of following laws, respecting authority figures, and contributing positively to their communities. By nurturing a generation that values these principles, we pave the way for better leadership in the future. Responsible citizens hold their leaders accountable, fostering a more transparent and effective governing system.

4. Breaking the Cycle of Blame: Empowering Progress 🔄

The constant blame game serves no purpose and hinders progress. Instead of pointing fingers, let’s channel that energy into action. We can volunteer in our communities, advocate for change peacefully, and hold ourselves and each other accountable. This proactive approach fosters a sense of ownership and empowers us to create our desired future. When we take responsibility for our actions and communities, we become active participants in shaping a better Nigeria.

What role does law and order play in national development?

Law and order create a stable and predictable environment where businesses can thrive, public services can function efficiently, and citizens can feel safe and secure.

5. Building a Better Nigeria, Together 🤝

The truth is that a better Nigeria needs both responsible citizens and a functioning government. The good news is that we have the power to influence the first part. We create an environment where good governance can flourish by taking responsibility for ourselves, our communities, and our future. This isn’t about negativity or pointing fingers. It’s about a shared vision: a Nigeria where the streets are clean, the laws are respected, and everyone contributes. This dream becomes a reality when we, the people, commit to becoming better Nigerians.

The Path to a Better Nigeria: Building Responsibility, Brick by Brick 🧱

Building a better Nigeria requires a two-pronged approach. We need good leadership, but most importantly, we need responsible citizens. We, the people, can create a nation where traffic lights are respected, public spaces are clean, and rules are followed. Let’s become the change we desperately crave.

The solution lies in fostering a culture of individual accountability. We must ditch the “everything is the government’s fault” mentality and embrace personal responsibility. Here’s how we can start:

  • Obeying traffic laws and basic courtesies: Imagine a Nigeria where traffic flows smoothly and pedestrians feel safe. It starts with each of us. 
  • Taking ownership of our waste disposal: Proper waste disposal not only keeps our environment clean but also creates opportunities for recycling and waste-to-energy initiatives.
  • Paying our bills and taxes promptly: Reliable public services require consistent funding. By fulfilling our financial obligations, we contribute to a nation with better infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
  • Holding ourselves and each other accountable for positive change: We can speak up against corruption, encourage responsible behaviour in our communities, and celebrate individual acts of service.

Remember, ” Better Nigerians ” build a ” Better Nigeria.” It’s time to move past mere aspiration and take concrete steps towards building a nation we can all be proud of. Let’s harness our collective energy to create a society where responsibility is the norm, not the exception. Together, we can transform the dream of a “Better Nigeria” into a beautiful reality.

How can the Nigerian diaspora contribute to building a better Nigeria?

They can invest in local businesses, mentor young Nigerians, advocate for good governance, and share their skills and experiences to drive sustainable development.

The Nigerian Diaspora: A Catalyst for Change 🌍

Nigerians living abroad have a unique opportunity to contribute to this movement. We can leverage our skills and experiences to:

  • Invest in local businesses and social enterprises: This injects capital into the economy and fosters sustainable development.
  • Mentor and empower young Nigerians: Sharing knowledge and guidance can equip the next generation with the tools they need to succeed.
  • Advocate for good governance: Using our voices on international platforms can hold Nigerian leadership accountable and promote transparency.

By working together, Nigerians at home and abroad can create a powerful force for positive change.

What specific actions can individuals take to promote a culture of responsibility?

Obeying traffic laws, properly disposing of waste, paying taxes promptly, holding themselves and others accountable, and engaging in community service.

What do you think is the most important trait for building a better Nigeria?

Let’s Start a Conversation 💬

The path to a better Nigeria is paved with open dialogue and collaboration. Share your thoughts on collectively building a brighter future for Nigeria. Here are some questions to ponder:

  • What specific actions can we take to promote a culture of responsibility in our communities?
  • How can we empower young Nigerians to become active participants in shaping the future of their nation?
  • What role can technology play in fostering transparency and accountability in governance?

Together, we can make a difference. Let’s start the conversation today and turn the dream of a better Nigeria into a thriving reality!

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Sam Soyombo
Sam Soyombo

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Sam , thank you for sharing your thought-provoking article on why we need better Nigerians.

    As a young Nigerian undergraduate, I find this piece particularly resonating because it highlights the urgent need for personal and collective growth in our nation.

    Your emphasis on the importance of self-reflection, skill development, and active citizenship resonates deeply with me.

    I recognise the need to improve myself and contribute positively to my community.

    I intend to apply the lessons from this article by setting personal goals, seeking out mentorship, and engaging in initiatives that promote positive change in my campus and beyond.

  2. Hi Sam, thanks for sharing this inspiring content; it is true that we need better Nigerians and true progress necessitates a shift in mindset, because we’ve always focus on having a better country rather than working towards playing our role as a good citizen. If we can just move from a culture of entitlement to having a mindset of personal responsibility, starting from each family… Nigeria will be better!

  3. Absolutely! This perspective resonates deeply. The emphasis on nurturing better Nigerians is crucial because ultimately, the strength of any nation lies in the character, skills, and resilience of its people.

    As you rightly pointed out sir, infrastructure and resources are important, but without citizens who are educated, skilled, ethical, and proactive, sustainable progress becomes elusive. Investing in the development of individuals through education, mentorship, and empowerment not only enhances their lives but also enriches the collective fabric of the nation.

    It’s heartening to see someone actively contributing to this cause through career coaching, bridging gaps and empowering fellow Nigerians to thrive and that is while i appreciate your effort so well with coaching and mentoring young minded individual. Thank you for sharing this with us sir.

  4. I want to express my gratitude to Sam Soyombo for sharing his insightful article on the importance of personal responsibility in building a better Nigeria. His blog post offers a refreshing perspective on the role of individuals in driving progress and development. Sam’s willingness to share his thoughts and spark meaningful conversations is truly commendable. Thank you, Sam, for your thought-provoking article and for providing a platform for discussions on critical issues through your blog.

  5. Sam, your blog post on building better Nigerians is truly inspiring! As a fellow Nigerian, I found your perspective refreshing and thought-provoking. You rightly emphasize that real progress requires citizens who embrace personal responsibility, respect laws, and actively engage in their communities. Your experiences coaching Nigerians have shaped your understanding of the need for a mindset shift. Through open dialogue and shared commitment to being responsible citizens, we can transform Nigeria into the thriving nation we aspire for it to be. Keep up the great work, sir

  6. As a Nigerian student residing in Nigeria, I can relate so much to this blog. Having firsthand experience with the societal and infrastructural challenges in our country, I understand the importance of personal responsibility in fostering national development. The emphasis on shifting from blaming the government to promoting individual accountability resonates strongly with my observations. I believe in the significance of obeying laws, maintaining public spaces, and instilling values of integrity in our communities.

    As a Nigerian, I am committed to contributing to the progress of our nation by actively participating in initiatives that promote positive change and advocating for good governance. This blog reinforces my belief that by taking responsibility for our actions, we can collectively build a Nigeria we can all be proud of.

    Thank you so much for sharing this blog.

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