Irrespective of the general opinion, I see a self sufficient and advancing nation, against all odds in Nigeria. Its hard for anything to get so far without faith in its abilities to move forward, just like all seem to have lost hope in Nigeria. Negative confessions and the lot, have their quota to add to the nothingness we’re seemingly engulfed in
Did you know that for the past 13 years we have had a semblance of a stable democracy, until very recently? This is a point not to be skimmed passed very fast; this achievement is a testament to the courage and optimism of the Nigerian people. In the past, we had together demonstrated that the government of the people is an ideal that the people of Nigeria cherish but now some factions have revolted and decided to prove otherwise by inflicting chaos and hostility in all of the nation. Irrespective of their claims and cries of fowl, they are threatening all we have worked for. We have always had our differences as individuals and with our politicians, but we have shown great faith in democracy and its institutions; and that should continue.
‘Our heroes past’ normally should refer to a group of people who fought for our own good, but in the case of Nigeria’s heroes, they put us in this predicament of under development we’re encompassed in. The Paris club debt was incurred even at the insistence that our Naira would be devalued, meaning to say that posterity was going to have to pay back probably x 100 of the initial loan. Its more painful because this was happening at a time when the naira was at par with the dollar and chasing the pound closely behind. With our country at the then forefronts of the oil boom, due to the crises in the middle east, we had no excuse whatsoever not to develop sporadically because we had the means to thus exiting the cadre of under developing countries.
We were given bad economic advice by our pioneers. We were made to believe lies, goodwill done in our best interests. The Brits colonized the north who weren’t quite educated then, they had a centralized leadership and were easy to manipulate once you had the ears of their leader. We were played like puns in the charade of misdirection.
I choose to write from a positive point of view, because all I want to envisage, is the march forward for our great country. You don’t just give up on anyone because of their shortcomings, you embrace them and in the sincerest and subtle of ways, you make your point made. We should refuse to be limited by our differences, because if we keep doing what we always did, we would get what we always got. Attaining the desired heights for Nigeria is a collective task and cannot be done any other way. This is what we should do. And we must.
Looking at our achievements over the years, I’d love to point out a few giant steps our country has taken and also state the fact, that there is a deliberate move to transform Nigeria from a mono-modal economy to a diversified one.
Our successful elections, last year, opened new vistas for Nigeria’s foreign policy. More than ever before, Nigeria’s achievements have generated a lot of international goodwill and recognition. We must remember where we are coming from, so we can appreciate how far we have traveled.
Our foreign policy process has proven to be dynamic and pro-active. Nigeria’s place is secure among many friends in the comity of nations. We are building on that friendship to open up opportunities for foreign investments in the Nigerian economy and to provide necessary support for the vibrant community of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Clearance of goods at our wharf have been reduced from over a month, to seven days, with the long term objective of ensuring that cargos are cleared within 48 hours, in line with the international best standards. Bureaucratic activities at the ports have also been streamlined, reducing the number of agencies from 14 to 7 and our ports are now open 24 hours for business.
Taking a look at Nigeria at 52, I see PROGRESS. I see a Nigeria where by problems are nipped directly in the bud or at least some sort of effort is put in. The privatization of our power sector has attracted expression of interest from 131 companies across the globe. Possible solutions to our current power problems have gotten attention from a number of world leaders in power equipments. A memorandum of understand has been signed with General Electric of the United States and Siemens of Germany. Never for once has such a direct and open approach been taken to solving problems, as against contracting out to local indigenous companies who stand to profit from lack of progress.