By Godsgift Onyedinefu
The United States of America says Nigeria’s performance on security and provision of the most basic infrastructure is horrendously low and urged it’s citizens and other intending visitors to reconsider visiting Nigeria.
The US Embassy, on its website recently, described Nigeria in very unflattering terms. It harps on two major albatrosses, namely crude infrastructure and poor security.
“Anyone familiar with the Nigerian terrain knows full well that its performance in these two areas is horrendously low”, the Embassy wrote.
For instance, on health, the embassy said Nigeria has well-trained health professionals but lacks good health facilities. It particularly notes that many medicines are unavailable, including medications for diabetes and hypertension.
It says that medicine should be purchased with utmost caution because counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and distinguishing them from genuine medications may prove difficult.
The expose’ also says that Nigerian hospitals often expect immediate cash payments for the health services rendered. It thumbs down the emergency health services in the country, saying that they are practically non-existent, and circumscribed by unreliable and unsafe blood supply for transfusion.
It then counsels intending visitors to Nigeria to consider Europe, South Africa or the United States itself for treatments that require such services. It notes, quite sadly, that “ambulance services are not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas.”
The embassy, further speaking on water supply in Nigeria, noted that “no areas (in Nigeria) have safe tap water.”
It added that roads are generally in poor condition, causing damage to vehicles and contributing to hazardous traffic conditions.
“By the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, the approved lifespan of water pipes is five years. Sadly, these pipes have hardly ever been replaced since they were laid decades ago, so it is proper to consider pipe-borne water wherever it exists in the country as unsafe. It is clear that even ice blocks brewed from such unsafe sources are not to be trusted for human consumption. In the areas of roads and safe traffic”, it wrote.
It also berates the public transport system, describing it as unsafe throughout the country. According to it, “public transportation vehicles such as buses and motorbikes are unsafe due to poor maintenance, high speed and overcrowding.” Sadly, it is not certain that governments across the country have ever considered the import of this damning description on the US website, otherwise they would have taken concrete steps to make the country a truly modern society.