The other day I fell asleep and dreamt that I woke up in 2027 Nigeria and saw so many beautiful things. The things I saw there were so beautiful that even in the dream I took my journalist’s pen and paper and began to record the things I had seen.This report below chronicles it. Enjoy…
It’s 2027, and Nigeria is really flourishing, to the consternation of those experts that called Nigeria a failed state, predicting that it would balkanize itself in 2015. All their predictions seemed at first to be coming to reality until the April 28, 2015 presidential elections; when the statesmanlike decision of then president Goodluck Jonathan to concede victory to the victorious opposition leader, General MuhammaduBuhari turned whatwould have ended in bloodshed into a picture of peace and possibility that eventually gave Nigeria the fillip she needed to begin fulfilling her destiny.
Nigeria, now a more united blocsince 2015, suddenly threw away political immaturity, and this enabled an astronomic economic rise that caught everybody by surprise. As a result of this, Nigeria became known as ‘the African economic tiger’, becoming the most successful and competitive knowledge-based economy in the African continent and one of the very best beyond it.
Our universities now attract students from all over the world, even the so-called G7 nations. We are blazing trails in software, biotech, law, finance and the audio-visual sector. We now have a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council representing Africa and with veto power. The struggle with South Africa for the seat was fierce but eventually we prevailed.
The world now sees Nigeria as being synonymous with a can-do energy, call it the Nigerian dream or Equianoism if you wish. ‘Proudly Nigerian’ and ‘Aba Made’ are now seen as badges of high quality that people from every country in the world are proud to display in the commodities and gadgets they purchase.
And crucially, in pursuing cooperation in the Global South, we have finally broken the jinx – as Nigeria’s biggest trading partners are African countries. We now export shoes, bags, cement, herbal soap, meat products and even computers and cars to all these countries and have displaced the Global West as the biggest trading partners of several African nations.Woah!
Part of our success rests on the bilateral free-trade agreements we signed with other African countries, as we really began to live the saying that Africa is the centrepiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy and really began to behave like the giant of Africa we have always been.
As a result, several Nigerian multinational companies have emerged, spanning thefields of oil and gas, trade, technology, steel, real estate, finance and manufacturing with operations spanning several continents. Once we embraced the West African Common External Tariff, Nigeria swiftly signed a slew of free-trade agreements with West, Central, Southern and North African countries that enhanced free movement of goods, services and capital between us and those countries. Our companiesembraceda strategy of segmentationas a way to sell high quality products at affordable prices in countries where the populacewould otherwise not have been able to pay.
As a result our ports, which hitherto were mainly import focused have entered a golden age of export.Traffic gridlock and congestion in Apapa ports is athing of the past as the Badagry Port and many other seaports; inland ports, dry portsand cargo airports are operatingacross the country at optimum capacity. And the successful implementation of the Cabotage Act has turned Nigeria’s inland waterways into a world class tourist and sport destination.
The financial sector has been boosted by more efficient implementation of Nigeria’stax policy. There is increased confidence in the nation’s capital market buoyed by the Security and Exchange Commission’s increased vigilance in protecting shareholder rights; and waves of young expat financiers have brought their talents from financial capitals of the world like Frankfurt, Paris and Milan to Lagos, reflecting Nigeria’s increased importance in global finance.
Nigeria,which no longer has a dependence on oil and, is oncemore the world’sleading exporter of palmoil and a leading exporter of cocoa, groundnuts and cotton.Our youths now see the value in the hard work of agriculture and a lot of them are comfortable doingcommercial farming in the rural areas.
Our fisheries are once more a grand renewable resource. Nigeria no longer spends billions importing fishes, instead our coastlines are filled with local trawlers supplying fish to the country.
Nigeria now has coal firedpower plants everywhere and since coal supply is very stable,constant power supply is the norm.
Nigeria has now become a destination of choice for affluent foreigners who no longer see her as just a place to go and drill oil, but also as a place toraisetheir kids, educate them and enjoy themselves.
Innoson now exports cars, with the EU, the United States and China as some of its biggest markets. People who frowned at usinganything manufactured by the black man now have to give him their grudging respect.
Gas flaring in the NigerDelta is now a thing of the past, and erosion in the South East too. The Federal Government’s Rainy Day Fund where a large portion of our crude oil earnings is deposited for savings against the day our oil will run out is now enough to make every single Nigerian a millionaire in US dollar terms if shared. And now we are not just the biggest economy in Africa but also the richest (sorry South Africa).
Now every achievement I have itemised here is possible, but for us to be able to achieve it, it starts here now. If the government and the people of Nigeria can get serious and stay serious, we will begin to see immediate changes. Remember Martin Luther King who had a dream for the US in 1963? Look, dreams can come true if we earnestly work at realizing them.
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