The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has helped to create an initial structure for determining the deepest motivations of individuals and seek to address them as they express themselves. I have looked at the stages of these needs and itemised what I consider to be critical needs for Nigeria in each stage.
1ST SET: FOOD, WATER & SHELTER. Basically, the people of Nigeria want their leaders to make sufficient provision for food, water and shelter. Survival is topmost in the hearts of the people. They want to be able to eat, drink and find a place to lay their heads. These needs are vital to their soundness. These demands should inform the projects, programmes and policies that governments can prioritise to execute for the people.
2ND SET: SECURITY OF LIVES, PROPERTY & ECONOMY. The apparatus for protecting lives and property should be at the heart of any government. Nigerians want to be assured of physical, emotional and economic security. They want to go anywhere without nursing the fear of molestation and attacks. They want to be assured that even in attacks they can be defended. They don’t want to be vulnerable in a land that should guarantee their safety. They also want to be assured of engagement of their capacity to produce.
3RD SET: FREEDOM TO ASSOCIATE. If there is anything people will always love to do again and again, it is to find a safe haven for the expression of their social needs. People want to have the liberty to relate with one another in groups, organizations, institutions and clubs freely. The Nigerian constitution already provides for this, hence the diversity of bodies formed in the nation to address mutual needs of their members.
4TH SET: FAIRNESS AND EQUITY. The citizens know that there are diversities of groups in the nation that have agreed to live together. They expect that in the conduct of the affairs of the nation, there won’t be a time that a certain group of persons will feel cheated and unjustly treated. People need to be assured that her leaders will lead without nepotism, favouritism or discrimination.
5TH SET: EMPOWERING ENVIRONMENT. The abounding competences in the Nigerian society in worthy of support. There is a huge potential that remains latent and untapped in the nation. Nigerians need enabling systems that promote enterprise development and creative engagements. Nigerians have dreams that they want to bring to life but they are constrained by many limitations largely the absence of social amenities that aid enterprise. There is a longing for enabling policies of government that makes it easy to express ingenuity.
6TH SET: RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE. Nigerians are highly religious people. They believe that the supernatural has a direct effect on the occurrences in their lives. The diversity of patterns and platforms of seeking the supernatural is what makes this need essential. The leaders of the nation must endeavour to let there be freedom of worship to the extent that it will not impact negatively on the other aspirations of the citizenry. There are subtle threats and conflicts that emerge out of intolerance and this must be addressed.
There is no hierarchy in the elucidation of these needs, but they validate the yearnings of people living in the country.
This article was first published on LinkedIn by the Author Dr. Olumuyiwa Oludayo.