Monday, December 15, 2008

The reality of Vision 20–2020

Recently, the Federal Government advised states to ensure that whatever economic blueprint they design for their respective states should of, necessity, be in line with Vision 20–2020. For the records, Vision 20–2020, is government’s ambitious economic catchphrase that aims to make Nigeria as the “20th most industrialized economies of the World” by the year 2020.

Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan dropped government’s desire of synergy of economic ideas with the states during the just concluded and hugely successful, The Sun South-East Economic Summit, held in Owerri, Imo State.

According to the Vice President, state governors are at liberty to design their own economic vision, but underscored the imperativeness of such plan to factor in the policy framework encapsulated in the Vision 20 – 2020 document in line with President Yar’Adua’s seven-point agenda. These include, the rule of law, strong economy with low inflation rate and job creation, power supply, security, among others.
In this connection, the Vice President stressed the need for integrated effort with the states, the public and private partnership for accelerated national development.

On the face of it, the cooperation being sought by the federal government from the states, points to a positive direction. It can be likened to a compass for a co-ordinated economic development blueprint that can help the nation move forward. It makes economic sense that state governments should apply themselves to the realization of this vision and the goals contained therein.

Hitherto, there have been so many visions, from past and present governments, at both federal and state levels. They have remained just visions. In most cases, the visions are blurred and poorly articulated.
It is, therefore, high time these visions moved from been mere mantras, to concrete things that Nigerians can see and feel. In this regard, the federal government should lead the way and the states will follow. It is one thing to embrace a vision, it is another thing to transform it into reality. Essentially, a vision must say something that clarifies the direction in which any nation needs to move.

Sadly, this is yet to happen in our country. While we support government’s idea and calls for states to join in realizing the goals, the governments at all levels need to be reminded that a vision is vacuous if the leadership lacks what it takes to actualize it. In effect, without sensible vision, every effort dissolves into a list of confusing and incompatible projects that takes the country in the wrong direction. Government’s vision will remain a mirage if the enabling environment is not put in place.

The fundamentals such as regular power supply and security are priority areas, the absence of which the government’s 7-point agenda cannot be realized. The vision plan should not be a temporizing platform as is the case now. At present, Nigeria is stuck in the middle with no tangible incremental improvement in essential things of life.

We therefore urge the federal government to apply itself consciously to meeting it’s own agenda based on promises made on assumption of office nineteen months ago.
No amount of documented blueprint will yield the necessary democratic dividend when the leadership seems to have lost focus with the agenda that brought it into office. Our position remains that good ideas have never been our problem as a nation, it is the lack of a purposeful leadership that can chart a good direction for human and economic prosperity. That, in our view, is the reality of a vision. A vision with discernible cause of action capable of yielding purposeful results, is what Nigeria urgently needs.