As Nigeria turns 52, the popular reaction on social media platforms and elsewhere is that of disappointment and large disbelief in the Nigeria project. As much as it might be legitimate, it is healthier for everyone to look beyond the myriad of issues plaguing the nation, and see the possibilities, however difficult it might be. I suggest the following reasons be considered before adopting and sharing your opinion about the Nigeria project.
Five Reasons to consider.
- Nigeria in itself has done us no harm; it is in our interaction with one another that we have defined this nation thus.
- Posterity will not be kind in its judgement if we do not make this entity better.
- Nigeria owes us nothing; it was here first.
- With all that this land is blessed with, it will be a terrible thing if we do not achieve greatness in/for the land.
- Nigeria is destined to be great; it should not happen otherwise, we cannot afford to let it happen otherwise; it will not happen otherwise.
The Nigeria project is possible. I believe it, and I also believe it requires corresponding action if progress is to be achieved. I suggest the following strategies be considered for adoption.
Four Strategies to consider.
Strengthen and Diversify Production
The narrow range of goods and services that Nigeria presently produces either for export or to meet local needs has to be greatly widened. To do this a number of policies become very important. For example, credit should be extended on favorable terms to enterprises that manufacture essential goods as well as to food production. Investment from overseas in these sectors should also receive favorable treatment. A larger share of foreign exchange has to be accumulated and channeled for the import of spare parts, fertilizers, chemicals, machinery and other vital production inputs in selected priority sectors. For Nigeria to develop, it has to use its strengths in natural resources to build up its weak industrial sector.
Improve the Level of Income and its Pattern of Distribution
We have to aim at increasing the level of income. When an economy does not grow or goes into a recession, more people become unemployed, real wages decline and poverty increases. What should be encouraged are those policies that will increase the dynamism of the economy and increase incomes of the people. In this respect, resource mobilization and their efficient utilization is a necessary first step.
Adjust the Pattern of Expenditure for the satisfaction of vital needs
Previously, a lot of emphasis was put on the adoption of policies that would reduce expenditures of government and peoples to bring them to the level of incomes, such as cuts in expenditure on wages, elimination of subsidies on consumer goods and essential services and to government enterprises, reductions in the number of public employees, and other budgetary reduction. Normally, governments found it easier to slash expenditures of the “soft” sectors like education and health.
We have to refuse to accept this very narrow view of adjustment. It is possible and better to deal with well-studied government expenditure switching. Such switching can bring about significant changes in the delivery of services and effectiveness of government without increasing spending.
Provide Institutional Support
For all the above to work effectively there is need to support them with institutional arrangements. This could involve the setting up of new institutions in rural areas and strengthening old ones. Examples of such institutional support include clear legislation of property ownership; financial institutions for self-help programs or for small farmers or small industries; supervised food production credit; indigenous non-government organizations, etc.
Three Requirements to consider: Faith, Honesty and Dedication.
Two People Involved: YOU and I.
One Reason to believe still; Because it can work. Because it will work. This is our land; we own it while we know it. We have no where else to go. The Miracle of Nigeria is its people.
God bless Nigeria!