Paper: How Nigerians Celebrate Christmas

Do Nigerians necessarily deserve to worry about what to eat at Christmas, nearly six years into democracy? That question is fired by facts on the ground. Since the inception of this administration, Nigeria has been on the swing of good fortune. Oil has never sold below $25. Infact, this year, Nigeria surpassed its projected revenue, following a sharp rise in the price of crude oil. Unbudgeted revenue rose to as much as N370 billion and is still climbing. Improvements in oil receipts have helped government to top the foreign reserves at $16 billion dollars. However, this seeming prosperous outlook does not reflect on the standard of living for majority of Nigerians. In 2004 alone, price of petroleum products increased by more than 200 percent. Though Officially N49 petrol sells at N53.50 per litre or more in most places. This has touched up multiplier increases in other sectors. To tell the truth, only a few Nigerians can, this Christmas, say they are not celebrating with a heavy heart; with a worry gnawing at their souls about what the new year may bring. Nigerians are not just worried about economic instability, they are equally contending with political instability. The polity is wracked by unending crisis - power struggle within the parties, crisis of confidence between the states and the federal government, increasing boldness of some groups to press their grievances through violence, among others. Against this background, we urge Nigerians to brush aside their privations and think about what to do to bring about positive economic and political change. Regardless of how it has been distorted, democracy can lead this country to prosperity and growth. Christmas can get back its meaning and splendour once again if we do the hardwork required to build a prosperous country. It is possible, from what we know about the potentials of this country. We wish you a Merry Christmas....