• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Unbridling Nigeria’s potential- A pragmatic blueprint for national transformation, Africa civilization

Unbridling Nigeria’s potential- A pragmatic blueprint for national transformation, Africa civilization

As we embark on this significant journey in our nation’s history, it is imperative not to lose focus of our country’s challenges, especially those you inherited from a past government that still lingers today. These challenges call for a well-informed approach and research-driven strategy to outsmart the endemic effects of the past ills. Nigeria is no doubt a blessed country with an immense wealth of people and natural resources coupled with the divine arrangement of the concentration of black individuals in the world. It is no accident that we have the mandate and the potential of metamorphosing into a powerful force in Africa and globally if we set the right cause and jointly address these challenges that could be a clog to our wheel of progress.

The current state of Nigeria’s economy

Nigeria has a population of over 200 million and a gross domestic product (nominal) of $504 billion. According to a World Bank report in 2022, the inflation rate in Nigeria stands at 22.79% with a population of over 40% living below the poverty level (2021), and unemployment is at 33.3% (Bloomberg). It is no doubt that Nigeria’s economy encountered gigantic obstacles that impeded its growth and potential wealth. Social vices such as corruption, economic volatility, insurgency, money laundering, political instability, and terrorism, amongst others, are key contributors to the poverty cycle in Nigeria. Needless to say, Nigerian youth despite being assumed to be lazy are among the world’s smartest if given the privilege and opportunity. However, despite the abundance of resources and people, the headquarters of poverty has navigated its voyage to our destination in recent times as the level of hardship and poverty keep skyrocketing while citizens struggle to meet basic needs. This paradox underscores the pressing necessity for creative action and innovative thinking to transform our economy and society.

 We must invest heavily in education, vocational and skill training relevant today, with affordable healthcare to improve our workforce productivity and economic growth

Learning from China’s success story

Nigeria just like China and Singapore were categorised as third world in the 1970s struggling with economic issues and poverty but today, the narrative is different. For instance, China developed a bold blueprint for economic reform, innovation, and self-dependence in 1970 with a vision of their leader focusing on education, infrastructure, and harnessing the strength of the population and resources to inspire sustainable economic growth.

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Nigeria’s path to greatness in now

Nigeria despite all these challenges could set its path to greatness if the below transformative strides could be observed.

Eradicate corruption. To tackle the corruption menace, the anti-corruption policy and agencies must be open to strict audit, transparency, and accountability to Nigerians while strengthening the legal institution to respect the rule of law and social rights. It is an ace to attract foreign investments.

National stability. Government must invest heavily to curtail the activities of insurgency, terrorism, and kidnapping. The environment must be calm and conducive to business and economic growth.

Diversification of our wealth. The overreliance on oil export made us vulnerable and susceptible to oil price fluctuations in the global market. Nigeria must diversify into other untapped sectors such as mining, technology, agriculture, renewable energy, and alternative medicine which could create millions of jobs for Nigerians.

Leveraging on our people-based advantage. Nigeria is blessed with people -a greatest resource. We must invest heavily in education, vocational and skill training relevant today, with affordable healthcare to improve our workforce productivity and economic growth. An increase in local production will make Naira matchable with the dollar and reduce the high exchange rate if export is higher than import (balance of trade).

Public-private partnership. Nigeria must improve collaboration with private organisations on research and innovation, entrepreneurship, youth capacity building, nations building, export advantage, etc. This will improve our economy sporadically.

Sustainable development. We must adopt a culture of sustainable development and responsible business to protect our climate and create more sustainable opportunities in the emerging renewable energy economy.

Universal basic income. Consequent to the poverty level in Nigeria, the government must introduce the UBI to cushion the wide gap between the rich and poor while developing a strategy to create more jobs and improve people’s standard of living.

Let us work collectively with one vision, fortitude, and commitment to rediscover our great nations as the centrepiece of African nations. Together, the legacy of our father must not be in vain! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

 

Bodunrin is a professor of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior at Algoma University, Ontario, Canada.