Home Economy NIGERIA: One Country, Wasted Visions — By: abiodun KOMOLAFE

NIGERIA: One Country, Wasted Visions — By: abiodun KOMOLAFE

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“We must make sure about two things, namely: that our principles are just and that our methods are practical; for nothing destroys her own ends as unjust principles and impractical methods and approach.” – Obafemi Awolowo. Twenty-three years ago, yours sincerely authored an article on one of Nigeria’s never-ending Development Plans. The intervention, entitled, ‘Vision 2010 Hath No Fury’ (Nigerian Tribune, May 27, 1997) particularly frowned at the vagueness, inconsistency, and lack of capacity to follow through that have attended such efforts in the past. It, therefore, urged Nigeria’s leaders to embrace pragmatism, pay systematic attention to detail and concentrate on basic directions and overriding priorities in their efforts to reposition Nigeria for greatness. Expectedly, ‘Vision 2010’ went the way it came! Then entered ‘Vision 20:2020’! Again, this is the Year 2020, which means this ‘Vision’ is also dead and, its carcass, interred! But, like a nation in search of hope, a new effort, tagged ‘The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ is now on the plate, with 17 objective goals to aspire to! Will Nigeria get it right this time? Or, is it yet another trip to crass bureaucratic exercises, aimed at stealing Nigeria’s resources dry, robbing it of development and making it sicker? Anyway, one can only hope that ‘The 2030 Agenda’ would, this time, go beyond another government policy statement in writing, signifying nothing, especially, after the taxpayers’ money will have been spent to pay per diem, to talk and to drink tea, on the road to 2030. Well, it is not a big deal for policies to fail because we are dealing with human beings. But, when a policy fails, the remedies that are not rocket science, because it is easier for smart leaders to go back to the drawing board. However, when self-conceited, arrogant, and, perhaps, sometimes, ignorant leaders are in charge, they find it difficult to admit that policy is even wrong and should be investigated for revitalization or reinvigoration. This boils down to selfish, parochial interests of a few people in governments that are at variance with the interests of the masses. If there is a policy failure, it is our duty to go back to why it was formulated in the first instance; then, begin to check its building blocks, until we get the answer. After all, the essence of governance for any functional government is to be ahead of its people in…

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