By Bala Baba Dihis

What good has Nigeria done for me?. This is quiet odd considering the fact that I am a constant critic of the way Nigeria is and how the whole system is run and managed by Nigerians. I criticize the country constantly because I always want it to be better.

Despite how dysfunctional and bad things are there are some positives that the country has done for me as a person.

Firstly, Nigeria has given me an identity. I am a Nigerian and everywhere I go I carry that Identity proudly. Nigeria has also given me good and affordable education. I’ve traveled round the world and I see how expensive education is. The education Nigeria gave me is not high grade education, but it is good enough to empower and enlighten any serious person and spur him or her on to achieve and become great, that education was able to make a difference in my life when I traveled to Europe at a very young age.

Because of how Nigeria is, it has made me a go-getter. You can’t afford to be lazy or laid back if you are a Nigerian, there is this hustling and fighting spirit that Nigeria brings out in a person and it makes us stand out amongst other Africans when we move abroad to societies where things function. Nigeria has made me and other Nigerians very ambitious, when we want something, we go for it. It really does not matter what kind of obstacle is in our path, that Nigerian spirit keeps pushing us on. That is why Nigerians are the most successful Africans in Europe, America, Australia and Canada for example. Nigeria has given us that fighting spirit and makes us to see opportunities and utilize them, where others don’t.

I’ve lived in Europe and the middle east, and Nigerians truly stand out amongst other Africans. We are always smarter and more clever than the rest of the other Africans and even our European, Asian and Arab hosts recognize that distinction. Nigeria gave most of us that fighting spirit.

Nigeria has given me the right to free speech and total freedom which most countries including some developed countries pray for. I am a social critic and I freely criticize and lampoon the government openly without fear. Many other Nigerians do that as well. I would have long been dead or locked up if I were in a country like Russia or China, for example.

Nigeria is a very subsidized country where anyone can make a living in any good job you do, no matter the level of job it is, it will still be able to feed your family. Things are cheap in Nigeria. I just used N600 this evening (about One Pound) to eat a plate of rice mixed with beans, salad, beef, pure water and a bottle of Pepsi. A meal like this will cost like 7 euros minimum (N3500) in Germany. With the little work I do I am able to feed and afford many things because the country is cheap and very subsidized. This allows many Nigerians to survive on their very meager earnings.

Nigeria allows me to own properties easily, because the country has very lax regulations on taxes, people are able to own things cheaply and people aren’t taxed heavily, many people live comfortably with little wages no matter their condition.

Nigeria has given me Nigerian food and Nigerian music which I so much cherish and appreciate and also some aspects of the Nigerian cultures and traditions like neighbourliness, communal living, Nigeria has taught me to help others and also cry for help to others because of the nature of the country and I appreciate that as well because it is something that I notice is lacking in many other parts of the world. People die in silence in other parts of the world over little things they can easily ask for and get help from others. Nigeria teaches you this communal way of living which I consider to be a survival mechanism.

This one is also personal, but the Nigerian government gave me capital which I use for farming through their CBN anchor borrowers scheme in 2016 and I have been farming since then making a decent living for myself. Am I happy with the way things are going in the country? I am not, but there are some positives in Nigeria and I only hope we get our acts collectively together and change the country for all of us since the potential is there for us to be great, and also build a good nation for the betterment of majority of us not just a few as it stands now.

(c) Bala Baba Dihis 2020