Friday, July 25, 2008

Today Postponed To 2020

DEADLINES are a waste if appropriate landmarks are not placed to check progress on the journey. Nigeria ’s vaunted ambition to be among the top 20 economies in the world by 2020 is an irredeemable mirage.

The reasons are myriad. Those splurging on Vision 2020 have ignored the fact that Nigeria ignores directions to the future. Sometimes, some pseudo intellectuals delude themselves with these ideas that suspend the present, in total neglect of the fact that the future is predicated on the present, if not the past.

Nigeria has none of the credentials to aspire to the vertex of the global economy in the next 12 years.
The factors that should enhance productivity – infrastructure, sound legal system, security and trained work force are on unrestrained retreat.

Countries with eyes on the future have marked measures that lead them to their target. Policies, plans, programmes and projects all centre on that future. Nothing is left to chance.

Before they proclaim their ambitions, costs of projects linked to the vision, and their sources are known.

All legal encumbrances are tackled. The people are informed about where the dreams of their leaders, those personal dreams are translated to national dreams. The people key into these dreams and the nations have some high expectations, which would task the people across the spectrum. Dedicated searches are made for the best resources to hit the chosen mark.

When the results are out, they are as spectacular as the efforts that made them. They are celebrated. All these take years of planning and actions, purposeful actions, to create niches for the country and its peoples.

Nigeria is in dire need of dreamers, more importantly; people who will get things done. Too many speeches fill the years as they roll by, drawing Nigeria closer to the fringes of the global economy, with vast devastating consequences for our people.

Twelve years on, many would forget that there was Vision 2020, just as some have forgotten Vision 2010, in which the government of General Sani Abacha invested a lot of resources.

When it was muted in 1995, the 15 years from the destination looked like eternity. The Vision 2010 report has been consigned to the shelves. Many of those feeding fat on the crumbs of Vision 2020 have not seen the 2010 report.

Nigeria is behind some of the most catastrophic countries in Africa in terms of the most basic infrastructure. Our governments should be disturbed about Nigeria’s non-competitiveness even among our African neighbours. We find satisfying excuses for every challenge.

There are excuses for our disappearing roads. Electricity is beyond us. Our leaders seek relief for the mildest coughs abroad. We screech about the importance of education, but shut the doors of our schools for months over niggling issues.

Our celebrated democracy is rooted in electoral processes that confound all known meanings of transparency.

Our leaders are rather contented with mouthing their 2020 dream, believing it postpones their responsibility for the neglected present.Today Postponed To 2020