Now the awaited 2020 is here with us. To my humble mind, development should be our desideratum this year. Although development has eluded us in the past, tide must be arrested. Development is a normative concept referring to a multidimensional process, according to Mclean and Macmillan.
According to them, it is the increasing satisfaction of basic needs such as food, shelter, employment, education, social infrastructure, life expectancy, gross domestic product and the likes. It is apparent that most Nigerians are not satisfied with our present development.
Like most other developing nations, we are faced with corruption, poverty, insurgence, hunger, healthcare deficit, education deficit, insecurity, unemployment, infrastructural deficit, injustice and ethnicity.
Our development agenda for 2020 should take cognizance of these issues and it is only apposite that we elucidate on each, no matter how brief.
The current administration has been ‘fighting’ corruption to the best of its ability. However, we need to go beyond the fight. We need to address those factors breeding corruption, while the anti-corruption agency and the judiciary must effectively partner to ensure quick dispensation of justice.
Justice delayed is justice denied. It is unacceptable that many high profile corruption cases linger on for up to fifteen years. We need to find out how successful nations expeditiously prosecute corruption cases. The judiciary must also rise up to the challenge.
Poverty is a scourge and until we are able to eradicate poverty from our land, development would be a mirage. Although some have argued that the closure of our land borders is an indication of the failure of agencies charged with the responsibility of manning our borders, yet this writer is of the opinion that it was and still, a desperate situation warranting a desperate remedy.
The administration should in 2020, capitalise on the border closure to further pursue aggressive agricultural revolution, to embark on advocacy for patronising made in Nigeria goods, and ensuring turnaround of the manufacturing sector.
Importantly, government must use the period of border closure to rejig the various agencies manning our borders. Corruption and lack of patriotism are behind smuggling of goods into the country. We must stop blaming our neighbours. The fault is in us for allowing smuggled goods to come into our country.
Insurgence has taken its toll on Nigeria. We have had of the decimation of Boko Haram group, proscription of IPOB and others. But the reality is that fighting or arresting these groups have not been a tea party for the nation.
Can we have a better strategy to combat or engage these groups in 2020? The resources being expended on these groups can be better utilised to move the nation forward.
We must not delude ourselves. Our present educational system cannot take us to the Promised Land. Our institutions are turning out half-baked products.
The facilities in our institutions are outdated, most of our students are not willing to learn, those that manage to learn have no employment and indeed, many of them are unemployable, and entrepreneurial spirit is absent. Government must declare an emergency in this sector in 2020.
Our nation is passing through unimaginable insecurity. There is pervasive threat to lives and property. Kidnappings, armed robberies, internecine conflicts, brigandage, sabotaging of our critical infrastructures, etc. are unabated. Until peace, safety of lives and property and sanity are restored, local and foreign investments would continue to be problematic.
No organisation would be willing to invest in an atmosphere bedevilled by insecurity. 2020 should witness a more holistic approach to tackling insecurity.
It is apparent we are confronted with infrastructural deficit especially in housing, the state of our roads, the epileptic power supply, air travels, our waterways, and our rail system despite all the efforts.
Government might say it is trying to reverse the trend, but in 2020, we must further address the amelioration of these situations. It must be a critical development effort.
For example, it is unacceptable that the rehabilitation or reconstruction of Lagos-Ibadan highway is taking years to accomplish despite the critical nature of the road to the economy and social life of the nation.
In 2020, can we think of bringing in the private sector into assisting to solve our infrastructural deficit through partnerships?
Ethnicity has beclouded our sense of reasoning. We read ethnic consideration into everything. Our nation should start living above primordial sentiments and believe in our common good.
While there is some merit in the accusation, those affected hopefully, should be able to address the concerns of agitators by ensuring justice and equity in our polity.
The hallmark of justice is to see that it is not only done but must be seen to be done transparently, expeditiously, satisfactorily and accountably. The hope of Nigerians in our justice system must be rekindled in 2020. The judiciary, executive and legislature must put heads together to ensure that justice and equity reign in our land.
These are my hopes for 2020.