What a special season is it ? It is both the beginning of the new season and also the start of the third decade of the third millennium in the epoch of our lord.
Following the failure of General Sani Abacha’s Vision 2010 which died with him, the democratic government of the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua in 2009 created the Nigerian vision 2020 which, based on Nigeria’s economic prospects as confirmed by foremost world rating groups, pronounced as follows;
“By 2020, Nigeria will be one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena.
The picture of things as we step into 2020 is way different from what was declared. Nigeria is ranked as the 27th largest economy in the word in nominal Domestic Product, GDP and the 22nd in purchasing power parity. It retains the number one position as Africa’s largest economy, GDP, but because of severe failings in so many sectors, emerged in 2018 as “the poverty capital of the world” with the largest number of out-of-school children (13million).
With a population which crossed the 200 million mark and growing at about three per cent, the economy will continue to be the main challenge every administration will have to find ways of tackling in the foreseeable future.
Our poor economy is the precursor of the most debilitating social problems facing the country; insecurity, spiralling violence and crime rate. The Year 2020 demands that concrete and long term steps be taken to create the needs of the continent’s most populous entity. Unfortunately, we do not seen to be moving in the right direction.
Not only did the government of President Muhammadu Buhari spend over two years to create its Economic Recovery and Growth plan, ERGP, in 2018, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo – led Economic Team has already been disbanded, and the President ial Economiv Advisory Team has not indicated which way we will go next.
The bully here is the Muhammad Buhari regime that came into office proclaiming respect for rule of law and basic principles of the governance but has gradually transformed into a despotic apparatus of state violence, spreading fear like a diseased air. Here is a government that is too sensitive to the views of those opposed to its ways. But it is only by standing up to impunity disguised either as national security or patriotism that others elsewhere can and will join us to end it. There is nothing wrong in a government holding to a position that is dear to it on serious issues of state policy.
There is no question that politics is all about interest where each contending force must fight for the propagation and protection of its own interest. But in Nigeria, sincere politics doesn’t necessary have to be a zero sum game, their is everything wrong about the ways of a government that holds firmly to its position while going out of its way to silence those bold enough to stand aside to champion a position not popular wit it. It is not everyone that speaks in this democracy. This is where we are presently in this country with the Buhari regime that has claimed for itself a position of infallibility. Nigerians, this year must resolve to support this government in a manner of becoming true patriots, not under a contrived climate of consensus where no questions are asked and all is considered good.
Apart from a sudden closure of the land boarders, Buhari unilaterally announced a rather queer policy that is already increasing Nigeria’s already over bloated population: the Visa on Arrival Policy “for all Africans”.
The New Year, and the entire new decade, can only end well for Nigeria if something much more creative and hidden agenda is done to put our economy on a sustainable and implementable path.
Apart from the economy, President Buhari is expected to restore the contracting democracy and civil liberties. He must also respect the Federal character provisions of the constitution and eschew nepotism.
Welcome to the new decade!