Dont Get It Twisted: 2013 is a Reflection of 2012 by Muhammed Ibrahim
The world just clocked a milestone of another Gregorian new year, but we should not be carried away with the fun and enjoyment of this year as the previous year is also worth being reviewed and reflected upon. The president in his vacuous speech proclaimed that Nigeria is in a better place in terms of economic growth and stability. This particular statement becomes even more preposterous in the light of the fact that Nigerians die in record numbers from effects of abject poverty and more recently, the Boko Haram menace and the fact that there is no way
that Nigeria will be ranked amongst the top ten growing economies in the world.He also forgot to explain to millions of Nigerians why we had to spend the festive season on queues kilometers long, when a supplementary budget to the tune of N161 billions was specifically approved by the senate for fuel subsidy.
In the 1970’s, the United Nations predicted that Nigeria, Brazil and India would be ranked amongst the top ten economies of the world due to population statistics, good leadership, little or no corruption and a myriad of other qualities. As time flew by, Brazil and India rose up to the challenge and began to achieve their full potentials in
the area of agriculture, manufacturing, science and technology.
Nigeria, on the other hand, is a different case entirely: As we moved from one stage of development to another, our progress either stalled or decline and we began to retrogress. Coups became a norm. killing all hope of sustainability by preventing leaders from fulfilling all promises and seeing plans to fruition. Little did we know that coups were just a tip of the iceberg. Corruption reared its ugly head and became an issue of international concern – reaching into all aspects of our existence.
The Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) introduced by the General Ibrahim Babangida regime further helped establish corruption as a way of life. While Brazil, now ranked as one of the world’s fastest growing economies is known as the best in plantation agriculture and has generated 100,000 MW of electricity with the sum of $2billion, the Nigerian agricultural sector is comatose, despite our vast agricultural potentials, while our power sector with well over $16 billion spent so far is still struggling to attain a target of a paltry 6,000 Mega Watt.
India on the other hand is known for providing advanced and qualitative medical care services which many of our so called leaders have found as haven to cure themselves of different ailments. The country have nuclear power plants used to cater to the energy needs of the teeming and rapidly growing population. They achieved the highly admirable feat of producing motor vehicles and air crafts purely with indigenous technology, scientists and engineers with little or no foreign inputs.
Based on the above submission, it can be seen clearly that Nigeria has not achieved its potentials and efforts geared towards achieving that might remain a mirage with the present attitude and crop of leaders we have in power. Successive administration has come and gone with different economic blue print, but none of them has made any significant difference. Even the much touted Vision 20:20:20 seems unattainable by the day. Just seven years to the target date of ranking amongst the top 20 economies in the world, the indices that helps in achieving that are rather unrealistic on ground.
From an environmental point of view, the year 2012 will also be remembered as a year of devastation, degradation, and destruction: floods ravaged through our towns and villages unabated. Even though flood is a natural phenomenon, the extent of the damage in loss of lives and property could have been kept to the barest minimum if we had just been pro- active enough to prevent the disaster after being warned> Our inability to efficiently manage the disaster after it reared its ugly head, speaks volume of how prepared to make Nigeria truly great. As it is, we are bound to grapple with the effects of the flooding for a long time to come because there was unprecented damage to the soil, a very enabling condition for famine to ravage the land. The president stated that the issue of flooding would be addressed this year, but as a man who is well-known for not doing what he says, Nigerians would most probably do better to take this with a pinch of salt.
About N1 Trillion was budgeted for security last year without corresponding success and improvement; we’re still waiting to see what would happen this year in terms of our major and foremost problem – insecurity.
Nigeria gained independence almost fifty-three years ago, yet the rate of development does not in any way reflect this. Our image has been tarnished internationally: while Mr. President told a bare-faced lie about this image being regained, the US issued a warning to her citizens to steer clear of Nigeria during the yuletide. Who is deceiving who?
The journey of a thousand mile begins with a step, but we still have not taken the necessary prerequisites that would guarantee us success in the long run. Nigeria belongs to each and every one of us, and it is sacrosanct that we make sacrifices to make our dear nation better. We must take a holistic approach towards solving our problems, and refrain from viewing our country as an integrated entity with fractured lines or boundaries, for only then can we our efforts at solving the problems of social vices, corruption, and insecurity truly yield fruit.
I am @el_bonga on twitter.
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