Having lived in Nigeria almost all my life, and since relocating to the United States seven years ago, there is a huge difference between the way things are been done in both countries. The way of living in Nigeria is hectic and filled up with a lot of chaos and fewer opportunities offered by the government, while here in t he United States, life is more structured and there are various opportunities available to people who wants to take advantage of it. Life in Nigeria differs from that of The United States in terms public education system, transparency of the government, health care and social benefits all differs from each other.
The federal, state and local government provides funds for the education system in Nigeria. This provision has resulted in education to suit the socio-economic circumstances of individual federating states. The education system in Nigeria comprises of six years of primary school, six years secondary school and four years of university education. Education is free but not compulsory in Nigeria, in the sense that it is up to the parents to allow their children attend school. However, free education does not apply to the university education level.
There are no forms of scholarships, financial aids or Pell grants available to Nigerian students in the University level. Because of that, Parents have to pay out of pocket for their children’s university expenses, which limit the number of children who attends university. While education in the United States is mainly provided by the public sector with control and funding coming from three levels: federal, state and local. Child education is compulsory, public education is universally available. The education system in the United States is divided into three levels: elementary school, middle school and high school.
The college education is optional, and there are financial aids, Pell grants and other forms of financial assistance available to students who wishes to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The form of government in Nigeria and The United States is a lot similar, but yet different. Nigeria has a federal republic form of government, which gained its democratic freedom in 1999 after fifteen years of military rule. Nigeria has thirty-six states and a capital territory, which is located in Abuja. The system comprises of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary arms of government.
There are three political parties, namely People Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress (AC) and Action Party of Nigeria (APN). The Nigerian government suffers from mismanagement and rampant corruption. The United States is a Democratic republic with fifty states and a federal district. The government of the United States operates on constitution of the land that was created by the founding fathers in 1787. The constitution formed three separate branches of government, which are the legislative, executive and judicial branch of government.
It also established a system of checks and balances that ensured that no one branch would have power over the other. The two major parties in the United States are the Democratic and the Republican Parties. In Nigeria, the health care system is different from that of the United States in the sense that it is financed by multiple source-tax revenue, out of pocket payment by individuals, donation by organizations, community financing and recently health insurance, after the inception of a national health insurance scheme. The federal, state and local governments are responsible for financing the primary and secondary health care.
The federal government sets overall policy goals, coordinates activities and ensures quality of services rendered to it citizens. Doctors, nurses and other health workers in Nigeria faces the challenges of poor pay, lack of facilities and lack of opportunities to develop professionally. In Nigeria, most average doctors earn less than the equivalent of $12,000 annually, which has led to strikes by doctor thereby endangering the lives of sick patient. While the United States, the health care system is largely operated by private sectors.
Although the federal, state, county and city government also own certain facilities which caters mostly to the needs of low-income earners. Doctors and hospitals get funds by payments from patients and insurance plan in return for services rendered. The average doctor earns about $200,000 annually. Nigeria does not have any generic Social Welfare program that has specific payment benefits and in-kind benefits for all people, although there are a number of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization) and Government program, which assist vulnerable groups such as retirees and children, where resources allow.
There no benefits for its unemployed citizens, and welfare benefits also. In the United States, there are various welfare benefit programs for its citizens who are low-income earners. Some of these benefits include; food stamp, unemployment benefit, housing benefit, social security benefits etc. Having lived in Nigeria and since living in the United States, The United States offers opportunities for people to grow and develop.
The government offers assistance to its people in terms of education, small-scale business, unemployment and lots more. Knowing that these benefits are available to me makes, living here more exciting. The United States cares more about the welfare of its citizens and the listen to voice of the people sometimes. Whereas in Nigeria, the government only cares about their pockets and the provisions of these benefits even if available only caters to those in the higher hierarchy thereby displacing those people who actually needs these assistance.