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As Nigerians welcome 2016


After a turbulent 2015 with its many apprehensions and cliffhanger moments, Nigerians finally welcomed 2016 with subdued optimism. One does not need any clairvoyance to understand the reason. Such reticence is the result of experiences in the just concluded 2015 that confronted the nation with problems of immense magnitude. Very many Nigerians would readily admit that 2015 left behind scars of poverty, unemployment, restiveness and general insecurity in the land.
This is why Nigerians have every reason to wait for signs and assurances before rushing to embrace the New Year. Of utmost importance is the desire for peace and prosperity for them and the country. Incidentally, wishes are not horses. Therefore, for Nigerians to bring their dreams of good fortune to fruition, they and the government must brace up to the difficult days ahead. But for the country to escape what is predicted to be a gloomy year, the president and the ruling party must work harder towards the fulfillment of their campaign promises. It goes without saying that not much has been done by the present administration in the past eight months to give Nigerians any room for optimism.
There is no gainsaying the fact that partisan politics ended immediately after the general elections in March and April 2015. Unfortunately, the citizens are yet to savour the fruits of victory they laboured for. Every Nigerian is aware of the parlous state of the economy. They also know that government cannot meet their expectations when the economy is in the doldrums. That is why they want an urgent resuscitation of the economy. Incidentally, the continuing fall in oil prices is not helping matters. Due to this, we expect the government to shift emphasis from oil to agriculture and solid minerals.
We have always argued that the revival of agriculture would not only boost revenue for the country, it would also create vast arrays of jobs for the teeming unemployed in the country. No one doubts the fact that Nigerians are a patient and resilient lot. But these attributes must not be taken for granted. Our leaders are in the habit of espousing a search for a new course while pursuing more of the same but giving it a new name.
It bears repeating that the many Nigerians now exist at the margins of society and unless something drastic is done in 2016 to restore their hopes, the country may be in for a long season of dissent. If there is any time to rectify the wrongs of the past that moment is now. Interestingly, Nigerians are not waiting for hand out from their government. Rather, they are seeking for an enabling environment to better their lot. This can only come when the authorities put the requisite infrastructures in place to make life worth living. That is why we advise that the Buhari administration give priority attention to the power sector in 2016. There is no doubt that a functional power sector will have a multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy. In all we look forward to tackling once and for all the irritation of continuing fuel shortage that has been responsible for bringing the economy to its present woeful pass. Indeed, Nigeria expect and look forward to a more prosperous 2016.

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