In about sixty two days from now the year 2020 will fade away into history. The year itself because of the global and national events has come to represent many things to many people.
While some view it as uneventful and calamitous depending on their perspectives others resign themselves to fate. From another national perspective, it is supposed to be a year of stock taking drawing from the national dream of Vision 2020.
Nigeria as nation has never been found wanting in drawing plans or visioning on how to advance the nation. It is natural to dream dreams like any ambitious nation.
We have had many rolling plans; we have had many budgets to translate the expectations but what is not certain is to the extent we have walked our talk
In 2008, the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua launched the Vision 2020 as a strategy to reposition the country to become one of the top twenty economies of the world.
What this implies is that by this year Nigeria will come close to be like at least Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland, some of the Asian Tiger countries etc.
We are in 2020 and how well have we fared in the realization of this dream.
By this dream it is implied that the incomes of Nigerians will improve so much so that the basic necessities of food, shelter, and clothing will no longer be the main consumption objective or major needs of the labour force.
It also means that by this year the country’s production function and capacity ought to have developed to the point that it can produce not necessarily everything but anything it may choose to.
Politically too, it ought to be recognized as an emerging power in world politics with strong economy which improves its rating in world affairs. Nigeria, sadly, has taken a worse turn drawing from the period this beautiful dream was crafted.
It is very clear historically that we are always long in the planning but short in action leaving us each time with unrealized targets.
The major constraints of the nation includes lack of continuity of policies, policy summersaults, corruption, incompetence, nepotism, placing round pegs in square holes, substandard performance, mediocrity, propensity to struggle for now and failure to vision and fight for morrow.
The reality of the situation is that the Nigerian economy as at present is still encumbered by the critical and challenging features of underdevelopment some of which include low living standard, high rate of dependency burden, high and increasing level of unemployment, underemployment, mono-economy, vulnerability to shocks in world economy.
Appropriate questions that should follow is, has Nigeria the capacity to grow itself to become one of the top twenty economies. If it has, what has remained its limiting factor from achieving same? It is not arguable that it has the potential to become a world beater in so many areas.
The country is naturally endowed with human and material resources. What is the major constraint of this world’s biggest black nation remains the right leadership to weave these potentials right.
Nigeria aside from being the 6th largest producer of oil which may phase away soon is also the leading world producer of coal, tin, columbite. Its potentials in agricultural products such as palm produce, cassava, and other minerals are not in doubt.
There are many other areas like human development of talents and creativity, sports, drama, entertainment etc that Nigeria can give a good account of itself and stun the world.
Nigerian intellectuals are already making waves in global politics with many holding top jobs in America, Britain, Canada, etc. We are proud of the likes of Philip Emeagwai, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili among others.
Nigeria as presently constituted cannot convince anyone of its readiness to make progress given the myriads of issues overwhelming it. The political class has remained self-serving frittering the resources of the state satisfying the appetite of the political class. Efforts to diversify the economy meaningfully has remained half hearted even when the facts speaks for itself. It should transcend mere rhetoric.
News Echo is alarmed at the state of the nation which attention was drawn to by the incident of Endsars youths protest which metamorphosed to looting and destruction of public properties. Much as we frown against it we urge the government especially the political class to recognize the message that was communicated through that action. It should form the point of departure in resolving the disturbing issue of bad governance everybody is pointing to.
Vision 2020 is a good dream on paper but here we are in 2020 running away in less than 2 months. We have instead become worse than we were twelve years ago. The indices clearly drum this. News Echo expects a better deal from our leaders for its citizens. We should walk our talk.