NIGERIA: LIMPING BACKWARD….




It’s a  deeply entrenched Nigerian phenomena to live in denial, to accept as natural various obvious utter perversities. Take, for instance, the fact that there are very very few government doctors for over 180 million people in this country. If one doctor leaves the government system for a private (even if poor service) or leaves the country as they do daily in droves, or dies, that is a national disaster! Majority of Nigerians, including me and my family, do not have health insurance and if you get diseases like Cancer, Kidney disease or Cardio-vascular disease you WILL  DEFINITELY die. There are not enough doctors, there are not enough resources and there is not enough money allocated to the healthcare sector. When they or those close to them fall sick, they are flown abroad, their bills paid for from our purse, without accountability. Repeatedly we are told that the sector is been heavily financed, and by financing you know they mean the painting and repainting of the buildings housing the clinics, for they are hardly hospitals, and this in turn translates to the hard bitter fact that our healthcare system, like the Educational and Agricultural sector is on its dying bed. I think it’s already dead and buried.


And yet, this is the same country where politicians will promise millions of jobs and hatch a scheme called Vision 20: 2020. This is the same country that will have fancy new railways, but can’t fix the existing pre colonial ones and plans to build new power stations to generate 60, 000 MW, but it cant maintain existing ones or generate a stable 3000 MW, Has crude, but keeps importing fuel and cant revive its dead refineries; a joke of a vision program. One wonders how a nation can be anything other than a complete failure when the humanitarian factors of governance are so desperately ignored in favor of prebendal, hollow and futuristic industry. Rather than increase expenditure on healthcare, Education, with a slat towards technology, high tech and research, and Agriculture our governments has consistently reduced expenditure and budgetary allocations for healthcare, education, and agriculture over the last 5 years. These are the absurdities; that our government will not spend money on social amenities like hospitals but will build phoney projects amounting to castles in the sky.


The overall vision is to make Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies by 20:2020. And to accomplish this, the vision targets a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $900 billion; National Per Capita Income of $4, 000; and 60, 000MW of electricity, while anticipating that the country’s population would then have risen to 200 million. At the moment Nigeria’s GDP is about $315 billion, which makes it the 41st largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity; National Per Capita Income is less than $1, 400; the country generates less than 2, 800MW of electricity; and, has a population of about 149 million. Perhaps, it is because of its current status that many have already concluded that Vision 20:2020 is either a government political slogan or at best an awesome ambition. Again, this is against the backdrop of the country’s woeful performance in the implementation of past policies, including National Rolling Plans, National Development Plans and National Budgets.


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