• Friday, December 01, 2023
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The world economy: Nigerian perspective (3)


To zero in on Nigerian perspective, a lot of critical factors that interplay for the achievement of our economic developmental goals and target (with specific focus on the Vision 20-2020) ought to be considered. The vision’s target (with reference and timeline to the Chinese economy) is just 7 years apart. Thank God for the ongoing “Transformation Agenda” of the Jonathan administration. Without rhetoric, I make bold to sincerely contribute, advice and suggest ideas that would add to the appreciable efforts of our leaders in giving Nigeria a better direction, if actually we are sincere in attaining this vision come 2020.
All Nigeria needs are determination and political will by our leaders, though 2020 is just by the corner. Forecasts by Goldman Sachs identified Nigeria among the “Next 11” emerging markets – economically dynamic and promising developing countries with the potential to play significant roles in the global economy. Others in the group are Egypt, Mexico, Iran, Indonesia, Bangladesh, South Korea, Pakistan, Turkey, Philippines and Vietnam. Our path to 2020 is very encouraging, considering our large population of over 160 million people and demographics, among other factors that will directly affect the potential size of our economy and its capacity to function as an engine of global economic growth and development. China’s economy shall be cited in this respect.
China’s five-year economic plan started around 1958. The 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) convened on March 3, 2013, with her full session kicking off on March 5. This 12th NPC, China’s top legislature at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, was expected to last till March 17. Nigerians need to know that the modern China, now exalted to the position of world’s largest economy, started its reform and opening-up policy in 1978, championed by a visionary and patriotic Chinese politician, Deng Xiaoping. If Nigerian leaders are sincere, why can’t we achieve ours?
We need to start now to analyse and predict the future of our nation’s economic development aright, as China did, with a view to achieving Vision 2020. It is not yet too late. Once we will, we can achieve the feat. Nigeria’s Vision 20-2020, arguably, is an ambitious economic plan that is achievable if only our economic development projects towards that could gain adequate attention/required momentum, conscientious efforts, with the right political will from our leaders. These will propel and accelerate the nation’s ongoing industrial transformation programmes. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, finance minister and coordinating minister for the economy; Diezani Allison-Madueke, petroleum minister; and Olusegun Aganga, trade and investment minister; and indeed all the federal ministers in their respective duty posts are hereby urged to continue sustaining the tempo if we are to perform this feat in the next seven years. I will still mention the wonderful package of the green plan document, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), among others. Since our country is divinely disposed of many favourable conditions and positive factors for economic and social development, we must make progress while maintaining national stability. We must unite as one and work hard to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and accomplish our national goals. I strongly believe that Nigeria has entered an important period of strategic opportunities critical to our economic growth. Please permit me here to remind us that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) requires urgency. Our leaders, both the cabinet officers and the legislators alike, should seize this opportunity and apply skill to tackle all kinds of challenging and complicated national issues. We ought to make the best of our available opportunities in nation building with our knowledgeable and rich practical work experience, especially at the marketplace, by thinking internationally, because economic reform programme is the biggest opportunity that shall launch us to our desired position in the comity of nations. We must speed up our industrial structure adjustment by strengthening the position and increasing the competitive edges of our Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through financial support from the Bank of Industry (BOI) to stimulate private investment, and expand the sector further through Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
At this point, I wish to remind all of us that petrochemical industrialisation in Nigeria, with our oil and gas, should be emphasised seriously at this stage. We have all it takes. We must also increase arable land and give high priority to agricultural produce – keep a stable agriculture for the sake of the agro-based local manufacturers. This is one area I always talk about with my friend Peter Ezenwa, an economist. Through SURE-P as well, people’s wellbeing is improved by strengthening construction of government subsidised housing. This social development plan must encompass reduction of urban unemployment level of our teeming young graduates towards curbing youth restiveness and the current security challenges facing the nation. These, I believe, are part of the ongoing Transformation Agenda that will tackle the widening income gap, enhance transparency in governance, and the above mentioned measures that will facilitate investment for us to gain a more dynamic presence on the global economy. By these, we shall accelerate growth model change and promote sustainable, healthy economic development. People’s livelihood will be notably enhanced. I rest my case for now.

Nwachukwu writes from Onitsha,
Anambra State.
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