The present lock down has got me thinking, how can my dear country rise up from the ashes of Covid-19, a lot of problems are looming, from increased cases of robbery to domestic violence at home among couples to civil disobedience. Some citizens in some states refused to stay at home and even the places where lock down is enforced by the military the citizens are doing selective rampage in areas where the security personnel can’t protect. The citizens are security operatives cannot be on every street or patrol every street hence they are implementing selective demilitarized zones of mounting road blocks at strategic locations.
Two questions burn my mind. First, when and how do we return life back to normal post corona virus. Secondly, why are all the models our leaders are borrowing from the west not working? Then I remembered a passage in the ancient book of wisdom, Isaiah 31:1-3 where it asked why does the world (Israel) run to Egypt? Then Egypt was the west, the cradle of civilization.
‘31 Woe to those who run to Egypt for help, trusting their mighty cavalry and chariots instead of looking to the Holy One of Israel and consulting him. 2 In his wisdom, he will send great evil on his people and will not change his mind. He will rise against them for the evil they have done and crush their allies too. 3 For these Egyptians are mere men, not God! Their horses are puny flesh, not mighty spirits! When the Lord clenches his fist against them, they will stumble and fall among those they are trying to help. All will fail together.’
There are so many things that make the western solution work for them, Chief among them is DATA. They know the number of citizen, location and characteristics of every individual in every region, thus planning for their need and reaching them is simple.
They also have constant power, buying and storing things for long is affordable. Most importantly, most of the citizens have solve their greed level, only the poor will queue up for financial aim designed for the poor.
I honestly don’t know why African countries western models recklessly without thought. Social distancing also means you don’t live in a slum, get to work in congested public transport, have disorganized markets. Lock down means you aren’t homeless, don’t earn per day, have electricity etc.
Malawian high court just ruled against the president lock down order, saying, “Social distancing means you must have three weeks food in the fridge. Clean your hands means you must have water and soap.” You can lock people at home without making provisions for them
I laughed hard, when I read that states demand their workers to stay and work from home in Nigeria. The modules operandi in the government circles are still file and pen, so how do they work from home?
Secondly, even if the ministries are so tech enabled that they have their data stored in the cloud, where is the internet and power for the staff that earn less than USD200 a month to work, considering all other things are constant.
Data is very expensive and working from home is typically unrealistic for civil servants across Africa. Interestingly, children in US public school all have laptops they use in school, do we have such in Nigeria?
I was discussing with my cousin in the US and he confirmed that the schools sent the laptops to each student to them at home, loaded with learning materials and assignment for the term. They were also requested to quarantine the devices for some days and disinfect the devices before us.
So as the Corona is forcing our kids to stay at home and watch cartoon from dusk to dawn here in Nigeria, their counterparts in US are still in school and not loosing study time.
Anyways, how do we build a functional model that can work and help up?
First we need to build our own solution starting from affordable power, this will in no small easure increase the GDP of the nation across all verticals of the economy. While bringing down the power monster; we need DATA, DATA, DATA!!!
We must declare a state of Emergency on data acquisition and record keeping in all human endeavoir, from agriculture to rainfall, to number of childrend in secondary school to number of boys in kindergatern.
Then we must end hunger by making food available with affordable healthcare cover for all.
All policies rely on data, food and health to work.
We need to have our own
- Robust search engine;
- Robust science and tech programs to encourage research and development;
- Functional Satellite in orbit to provide cheaper internet
I am working on a application to can automate the dispensing of disinfectant on people at public places, imagine if thousands of link minds across the country are also building solutions during this lockdown, can you quantify the ripple effect, but unfortunately, only a few are working, while most are locked into the fantasy of getting the next meal.
Government cannot provide all our needs, but they can make policies that prohibit the importation items that strain the demand for dollars. When we reduce the demand for forex we will have a more sustainable economy.
We need to wake up and end self inflected neo-colonization. We are deliberately inviting neo-colonial imperialism, foreign company exploitation, and ultimately subjugating our sovereignty and wealth to the West.