Nigeria is currently ranked 29th with 91 million poor citizens and GPD of $397.30 billion. By the second quarter of 2020, if Nigeria fails to achieve a minimum gross domestic product (GDP) of $700 billion; if Nigeria is not industrialized, economically competitive, productive, diversified, sustainable and inclusively prosperous and remains at its current 29th place in nominal terms, then Nigeria would be adjudged to have failed to earn a hotspot among the enviable league of the top 20 economies by 2020.
On the strength of some analysts (including Goldman Sachs) prediction on the prospect of Nigeria’s economy and a research conducted by economists at an American Investment Bank which revealed that Nigeria may become one of the top 20 global economies by 2025 on the assumption that Nigerian leaders would galvanize and channel her abundant human and material resources to set its national economic goals, the Federal Government of Nigeria set an ambitious economic goal to leapfrog Nigeria into the revered club of top 20 economies – tagged Vision 20:2020.
To avert the familiar and historic antecedents of policy failures, reversals and somersaults in Nigeria from the first national economic plan of 1962 to the recent Vision 2010, the National Council on Vision 20:2020 and the National Steering Committee on Vision 20:2020 were created and focused on two broad objectives of making efficient use of human and natural resources to ensure rapid economic growth; and to translate the economic growth into equitable social development and opportunities for all Nigerians.
The strategies for actualizing these were to urgently address the major constraints to Nigeria’s growth and competitiveness such as weak institutions and infrastructure like epileptic power supply, poor transport system, among others; to invest in human capital development that would create a class of active citizens for national development; to aggressively pursue a structural transformation of the economy from a mono-product to a diversfied and industrialized economy; and to hugely invest in infrastructure that would create an enabling conditions for growth, productivity, and industrial competitiveness. 10 years and few months later, Nigeria’s agricultural activities are still largely mechanical, our industries and manufacturing companies produce only about 10% of what we consume, major roads connecting the regions are still in deplorable conditions, manufacturers are still using alternative power supply, the entire country engulfed in insecurity and a widening opportunity and development gap.
The subtle art of political deception in global politics is most manifest in captivating and impeccably articulated policies of governments all over the world. The needs of Nigerians were never sorted out by the poor implementation of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS); the 3Rs never Reintegrated, Rehabilitated, nor Reconstructed Nigeria; neither did the Structural Adjustment Programme confront Nigeria’s daunting development challenges.
Nigeria has lost the opportunity of becoming a 20 top global economy by 2020 but Nigeria has definitely not lost an opportunity to achieve the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP); to achieve the SDGs 2030; African 2062 Agenda; and the chance to build an economy that can lead the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative.
Ekpa Stanley Ekpa,