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Opinion

Role of government in your well-being

When I was young, government was everything and it was everywhere. Even my father who lived in Dasin was a local government contractor. But today, everybody is beginning to realise that government is shrinking. The world over, government is becoming smaller to the extent that recently in Nigeria, state governors have proposed to President Buhari to, amongst others, retire civil servants from age 50 and above. If that is not done now, which it won’t so soon, it may happen in the future. So get yourself prepared.

Therefore as we prepare to leave the world for you, every young man and woman should get prepared as your ride would be rough as with financial intelligence authorities everywhere, time shall come, as in Europe and America, where stealing government money is no longer fashionable.

Proponents for smaller government are of the view that large bureaucracies not only breed inefficiency and even corruption, as well as kill initiative. That’s why today, all over the world, everything is either privatised or is being privatised.

In fact in America even prisons are privatised. Individuals or companies can build a prison of their own. When government arrests and sentences a criminal to prison terms, he/she is handed to a private prison where he can be incarcerated for the number of years ordered by a court of law, and then handed back to government after serving the prison terms, to be released.

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s government owned oil company, is now a public concern. Saudi stock market has become one of the largest stock markets in the world. In fact it is 5th in the world. Aramco is listed on the market from which you can buy shares of the oil giant from here in Nigeria.

So get yourself prepared for the life ahead. In Nigeria, we have private universities, private this, private that, that even the NNPC (liveware of the nation’s economy), is now a limited liability company whose shares would soon be traded like any other business enterprise.

Young people beware. The days of capital and private initiatives are here. Some of us that are old did not prepare for this. In fact there was no need for it. Now you cannot have any excuse if you are caught in the web. To be forewarned is to be foretold.

In my days when parents in northern Nigeria were told to take their children to school, most times under duress, but on free tuition, most people thought the time when education would be paid for would never come. Now it is here.

The era when parents never thought that the well-being of their children would affect not only parents and the children but society as a whole is gone. Today it is their children that are mostly armed robbers, bandits, Boko Haram and kidnappers, who became so because their parents never took education seriously.

If you are a young person thinking of building a family, and think you have no role to play in which course you or your children study in school, you better have a rethink. The saying that “every degree is a degree” only worked during my time. As the world is fast moving to knowledge economy, if you think you can study Public Admin. without having financial literacy and compete in the same market place with others who have that knowledge, you are mistaken.

This is not only for you but for your own children as well. The time for living smart is here. You are your own best friend. No state Governor or local government chairman would enter your home and tell you to switch off the television in your home at 10pm. Nor would your state Governor decide for your children which programs they should watch on television. Therefore whether your children watch BBNaija, Emanuel TV or Sunna TV depends absolutely on your nonchalance.

In the days gone by, we could afford to live a comfortable life with a single degree or no degree at all, work in the state or federal civil service or the local government and be paid salary whether we go to work or not. This era has been over for some and will certainly not continue forever.

Over all, government may do, but you MUST do for yourself to make your world a safer place by paying your electricity bill, pay water rate, afford hospital bill, pay your children school fees, or take a mortgage to own a roof over your head, etc. I think marrying an educated lady that can contribute to the family and may ease some of these challenges.

In the alternative, you can get a degree, stay in your comfort zone in your village unchallenged by your environment and blame everybody but yourself.

Do not say “had I known”. Now you know.

  • Dasin is a former member of House of Representatives from Adamawa State.
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