Is There A Better Nigeria In Sight???
By Victor Odiong
This morning, I saw a picture on Facebook titled ‘How Buhari was disgraced in the UN”. The picture had the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari addressing a scanty United Nations Congress. The writer went on to compare this to a similar picture of the American president, Barrack Obama, on the same podium addressing a packed full audience. I was particularly surprised when the writer insinuated that Buhari got a scanty audience because the world didn’t want to listen to him. How naïve!!!!Do you think Obama got the wide audience because he is Obama? No!!!....he got the attention because of who and what he represented. He represented the American nation. So, when it was Buhari’s turn to give a speech with more than eighty percent of the audience absent, it was a clear message that the world was not interested on what the Nigerian nation had to say.
It is October Ist and Nigeria is 55 years old. Pardon for not particularly leaping with joy. Don’t get me wrong, I am no prophet of doom. I believe in positive speaking and faith declarations. But you must first identify a problem before you speak to it. Only a fool does the same things over and over and expects different results. It is a shame that at 55, the Nigerian nation has no national vision. Without a vision, the people are destroyed (Proverbs 29:18). I dare to ask ten Nigerians what is the national goal for the next ten years and I bet you, I will get ten different answers – which is a clear indication that there is none. This is not a Buhari problem, or a Nigerian congress problem, it is the number one prevailing crisis of the Nigerian state.
Malaysia produce palm oil just like Nigeria. Yet, Malaysia currently accounts for 39% of the world palm oil production and 44% of world exports. I can hear some critic saying, “Please Victor, don’t compare Nigeria with Malaysia, we don’t have to produce palm oil”. To which I will reply, “I totally agree sir, you don’t have to produce palm oil but you must produce something’. What does Nigeria produce that is of economic relevance to the world? What is she producing that the world cannot do without? Her value and relevance is proportional to her input in the global marketplace. Unfortunately the only thing the Nigerian nation currently can offer is oil, which her customers can get somewhere else. People will always listen to you when you have value. The Nigerian economy has solely been dependent from crude oil for national revenue. With the growing decline in price of oil barrel, it is only a matter of time before her economy comes to a standstill. What is the next plan? Until Nigeria consciously develops a vision for her tomorrow, her tomorrow can never be better than her today.
Recently the Chinese leader visited the United States. Oh, my God!!.....Washington stood still. But China a few years ago was nobody. It wasn’t until the introduction of economic reforms in 1978 that China became the world’s fastest growing economy. As at 2014, it is the world’s second largest economy by nominal total GDP and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). China is the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer of goods. Why, all because in 1978 there was a plan in place to make it possible.
Nigeria is 55 years today, but until she begins to plan for her future and have a vision to increase her relevance in the world marketplace, she won’t be any better twenty years from today. People will always listen to a sitting American president because America has made herself relevant in global matters. Nigeria may not have the same impact on global economy as America does, but she needs to start somewhere. I was taught a long time ago that ‘your sense of value determines your flow of virtue”. Meaning, the value you place on a thing determines your attention to it. If the Nigerian nation needs the world to listen to her, then she must do something about her value. At the current UN Summit, the audience didn’t walk out on Buhari, they walked out on the Nigerian nation. It was simply an unconscious message saying, ‘Nigeria has nothing to offer my country’.
I write this, not only to the Nigerian president, or the Nigerian congress or the Nigerian courts but to every living Nigerian. “Have a vision, a sense of purpose. Success is first within. You can win, you can stand. But it all begins with a dream and a conscious effort to attain the impossible. Refuse the limitations of your past and arise to the possibility of a fresh beginning. Have a plan of your future and begin today to pursue it. I SEE A BETTER NIGERIA…………………………. See you @ the top!!!!!