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Nigeria @ 53: Problems And Solutions | 1st Prize, 2013 Young & Cerebral Essay Contest

Nigeria @ 53: Problems And Solutions | 1st Prize, 2013 Young & Cerebral Essay Contest

Today, I’m publishing the compelling essay which clinched the first prize in the 2013 Young & Cerebral Essay Competition (yours sincerely emerged 3rd prize winner). It’s published here with the kind permission of the author, my very good friend, Abdul Abdullateef Olasubomi.

You can read the second prize winning essay here and the third prize winning essay here.

2013 Young and Cerebral

Abdul Abdullateef (L), yours sincerely (M) and Osita Crownwell (R).

You can read it below or download a PDF version of it here.




Nigeria marked its 53rd independence anniversary on October 1, 2013. A casual glance at the nation’s 53 years journey shows both betrayal of expectations of greatness and the irony of the nation. Despite the abundance of human and material resources, Nigeria remains an undeveloped country with clearly more than half of its population living below poverty line. It is also plagued by myriads of problems which continue to undermine its potentials.

Against this background, this essay examines the major problems embattling the nation at 53 whilst proffering lasting and workable solutions to those problems. This paper posits that the problems of the nation are multifaceted and any solution must be holistic and durable for it to yield maximum benefit. It is argued that hopes of development and greatness are not lost provided the nation steers its ship back on the right track.


Falowo (2013) said, ‘it is only the full understanding of the root causes of the problem we face today as a nation that will afford us the chances of discerning what solutions are possible, which can work and which cannot’. The problems besetting Nigeria today are many but the most critical ones are highlighted below.

The basic problem crippling the progress of the nation is failure of leadership (Achebe: 1984) Related to this is the problem of bad followership. Another core problem facing the nation is insecurity – insecurity of lives and property. Disunity also hinders Nigeria’s progress. There is also no doubt whatsoever that corruption is a major impediment to the nation’s success.

Other problems include poverty, unemployment, criminality, ethnic distrust, politicised judiciary, electoral fraud, religious tension, lack of basic amenities of life, epileptic power supply, poor infrastructure, pathetic education system, political crisis, commercialisation of public or government office, resource allocation, failed institutions (political, educational, economic etc), environmental degradation, spread of drastic disease, chronic frustration of citizens, collapse of national ideals and social values, a culture of impunity, widespread celebration of mediocrity, indiscipline and irresponsibility. 


The first solution is social transformation and value reorientation. We must work towards establishing a society where people are judged not by their family background, ethnic or religious affiliation, but by merit and character and a society where people imbibe ideals of fairness, justice and honesty.

Secondly, we must ensure enthronement of Good leadership. According to Bola Tinubu (2013), “There is urgent need for a new generation of leaders that would clear the cobwebs of decadence and political scavengers. This new generation of leaders must take our dear country to its manifest destiny”.

Also, government must ensure provision of basic amenities of life such as food, clothing, water, road, power, education and employment. It must also ensure improvement in the standard of living.

Other recommendations include an independent and honest press, independent judiciary, strict enforcement of laws, accountability in public office, and policies implementation. Finally, we must uproot the tree of disunity and sow the seeds of unity.


At 53, Nigeria is far from its destiny. There is an overwhelming disparity between expectation and reality. Rectifying the anomalies is a joint task incumbent on all stakeholders not just the government. Therefore, all hands must be on deck!


  1. Emeka Obia, “Nigeria at 53: Making Progress or Remaining Stagnant” (October 4, 2013). Available online at
  2. Kunle Falowo, “THE PROBLEM OF NIGERIA (1)” (April 30, 2013). Available online at
  3. Simon Kolawole, “Nigeria: Problems and Solutions” (Oct 2, 2011). Available online at
  4. Emmanuel Oladesu, “What is Nigeria celebrating at 53?” (Oct 1, 2013). Available online at
  5. Major problems facing Nigeria today. Available online at
  6. Lai Labode, “Corruption is NOT Nigeria’s biggest problem” (April 12, 2013). Available online at
  7. Benjamin Chuka Osisioma, “Combatting Fraud and White Collar Crimes: Lessons from Nigeria” (May 22, 2012). Available at

8.      Chinua Achebe, “the Trouble with Nigeria” (1984) Heinemann.

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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. Samuel Edet says:

    Awesome piece.

  2. Abdullateef says:

    thanks bro. congrats on your NOA win too.

  3. Samuel Edet says:


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