Making Nigeria a Better Place Initiative (MNBP) is an independent nonprofit organisation, established with the following objectives:
– Create and promote news on Nigeria;
– Restore and promote our values and heritage;
– Change the way we think and behave;
– Celebrate Nigerian achievers at home and abroad;
– Tell the Nigerian story in a truthful and compelling manner, and
– Galvanise human and natural resources to build a better Nigeria.
Clearly, we do not have any other country to call our own and we must therefore make Nigeria work for us. From the dip stick survey we conducted, it became evident that only Nigerians can make Nigeria great; indeed every Nigerian must be an active participant in the task of nation building. Although Nigerians are generally expressing frustrations with the political leadership, we are fully persuaded that Nigerians themselves are also part of the problem – there has to be a change in the way we think and behave. Parents have a major role to play in restoring family and societal values that have crashed so badly. We need all hands, at home and abroad, to be on deck to drive the Nigerian project.
After a careful review of our findings, we resolved to formally launch MNBP as a proudly Nigerian advocacy and engagement initiative – it will not in any way become a political association. Instead, we shall seek collaboration with all tiers of government, critical stakeholders and key influencers, the teeming youth population, volunteers, Nigerians in Diaspora, the private sector and captains of industry, the media, social entrepreneurs, the diplomatic community, professional groups and other organisations that would assist us to achieve our objectives. Our position is that it is never too late to re-set the development agenda at the federal, state and local government levels by setting the right priorities.
We are fully aware this campaign will not be a sprint, but a marathon race; and we are also mindful that it will come with its own peculiar challenges. However, with a positive mental attitude and trust in God Almighty, we are confident that our efforts and labour of love would be fruitful. MNBP gives us an opportunity to create a lasting legacy of impact by influencing positive changes that would lead to a significant turnaround of the present situation in Nigeria. Part of our strategic mandate includes co-ordinating a worldwide messaging effort to re-enforce the values of hope and belief in Nigeria especially in the context of the messages espoused in our national anthems and pledge. We also intend to build global country brands for Nigeria by exploring the great potentials and opportunities in the different sectors of the economy.
The key message of MNBP at all times will be how we can make Nigeria a better place for all including our unborn children by building an egalitarian society. We shall reflect on values such as visionary leadership, mutual respect, trust, friendship, love, transparency, diversity, integrity, unity, equity and social justice. We need God’s love to unite us because diversity is, sadly, not our strength anymore. In the process, we hope to influence the way we think and behave. Even the Holy Book tells us in the Book of Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is”. Every good or bad idea starts from the mind. We can heal our nation together by becoming more united, regardless of where we come – we are Nigerians, not Hausa, Ibo or Yoruba or any of the ethnic groups. For example, instead of State of Origin, why don’t we focus on State of Residence?
The debate for achieving the Nigeria of our dream is not exactly new; discussions and agitations by different interest groups asking for their own share of the “national cake” each time they feel they are being “marginalised” will continue. Every time, we point to the United States, Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore, Norway, China, etc as exemplary models and template for re-building Nigeria, but, in truth, turning Nigeria into a paradise does not require any rocket science. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong in thinking and believing that the significant developments and quality of life achieved in those countries can also take place or should have taken place in Nigeria by now.
However, we need to modify our thinking and change our orientation; we must stop de- marketing Nigeria because it is bad behaviour. Nigerians, both at home and abroad, are doing great things to inspire monumental changes and development in Nigeria; so we have the people and talents to lead this change for Nigeria to become “a land flowing with milk and honey’’ like any of the countries mentioned above. Dubai, a city that literally grew out of the desert, has become a model of development globally raking in significant revenue largely from destination marketing.
We do not trust each because of tribe and religion made even more tragic because of what is now known as “identity politics”. Unfortunately, the tragedy is that the majority of Nigerians are still finding it difficult to understand that they hold the power to turn things around. Elections can be rigged but we can also refuse to be used by politicians; it means election rigging and its twin cousin of violence can be avoided but it is a choice every Nigerian must make. We complain about our constitution, but the problem is with us and not the harmless document. The solution is to change the way we think and behave like Rotarians who “think above self”.
There is no part of Nigeria that will not welcome good roads, clean running water, constant electricity, efficient public transportation system, eye popping infrastructure, all round quality education and well-equipped hospitals. We cannot depend on oil forever, so we need strategic thinkers – and we have plenty of them – in government to shift our focus to non-oil exports because there are several options on the table.
At MNBP, we shall create initiatives to engage with different segments of society so that, together, we are able to build the country of our dream. Be a volunteer, join us and support our vision for a better Nigeria. Yes, we have an abiding faith in the possibility of a great renaissance
– Nigeria will be great again!