Vision 2020: 10 disturbing negative indicators Nigeria will carryover to next decade – Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had a dream when he was in power, the dream is well articulated as quoted here – “By 2020 Nigeria will be one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena.”
By the end of today, December 31, 2019, the dream will be officially dead as Nigeria has failed to achieve her dreams of becoming the 20 largest economies in the world among other things; instead the countries challenges has been compounded by a lot of negative indicators which have continued to spiral into the land of no return.
At 2020 the country will still be at the bottom of every major indices globally, the following 10 indices tells the story of what Nigeria got as a present for the vision 20:2020.
1. Over population: believe it or not, overpopulation is the biggest threat facing Nigeria at the moment, Population growth have become a severe problem for the country, which has a lack of natural resources to cater to the needs of its inhabitants. As of 2019, the estimated population of the country is over 200.96 million, ranking 7th in the world. Last collected in 2012 by the Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics, the total population of citizens in Nigeria was around 166.2 million people. Lack of government legislation on birth control, illiteracy and ignorance is the major cause of overpopulation.
2. High unemployment rate: One of the consequences of overpopulation is high rate of unemployment. Nigeria’s unemployment rate stands at 23.1 percent of the work force in the third quarter of 2018, up from 18.1 percent a year earlier. By some estimates Nigerian tertiary education institutions produce up to 500,000 graduates every year and there are also Nigerian graduates who study abroad who come home to compete for jobs. These numbers pile up every year which geometrically increase Nigeria’s unemployment rate.
3. Low human development: Nigeria’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.534— which put the country in the low human development category— positioning it at 158 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 2005 and 2018, Nigeria’s HDI value increased from 0.467 to 0.534, an increase of 14.4 percent.
4. Poverty capital of the world: Today, Nigeria is the “poverty capital of the world”. If it is unable to change its current trajectory, it will be home to 110 million people living in extreme poverty by the year 2030. This particular fact scared me especially when I go to google search and impute “Poverty capital of the world” and I see Nigeria boldly written.
5. Life expectancy: I was shocked when I realized that life expectancy in Nigeria is at the lowest bottom in the world, out of 224 countries and territories in the world, Nigeria is at 214 positions. Average life expectancy in Nigeria currently stands at 53yrs compared to Ghana’s 62yrs or 79yrs in America.
6. High Infant mortality rate: Infant mortality rate is the number of infants dying before reaching one year of age, per 1,000 live births in a given year. In 2018, infant mortality rate for Nigeria was 61.27 deaths per thousand live births. Infant mortality rate of Nigeria fell gradually from 155.62 deaths per thousand live births in 1969 to 61.27 deaths per thousand live births in 2018. According to Infant mortality from the United Nations population division, from 2010 to 2015 about 76.31 infants die out of 1,000 live births. Out of 175 countries in the report, Nigeria is ranked 169 – which are at the lowest bottom.
7. High cost of governance: in spite of the fact that Nigeria is bedeviled by high unemployment rate, low human capital development as well as poverty capital of the world, Nigeria ranks very high in cost of governance. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Prof Yemi Osinbajo will receive N26.18 million ($73,000) per annum as take-home pay, according to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission. Cost of governance in Nigeria is further compounded by the duplication of the national assembly, state legislative houses, local government councilors, needless MDAs, SAs, SSAs, and a lot other government appointments which comes with bogus salaries and allowances.
8. High corruption perception index: in a country comfortably positioned as poverty capital of the world, corruption by government officials ranks 144 out of 180 according to transparency international, the report also scores Nigeria 27 on a scale of 100 marks in perceive corruption index in the public sector.
9. Lack of emergency services: The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, recently raised alarm about the absence of any policy to care for Nigerians in emergency situations, where they are unconscious or unidentified. The same can be said about fire services, police emergency response, and other disaster management. Until one get caught up in any situation that requires emergency service an average Nigerian will not fully understand the kind of danger we are all faced with.
10. Press freedom in difficult situation:Nigeria dropped one place on the global press freedom index recently published by Reporters without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres); with the press freedom group tagging Nigeria “a difficult situation”. Of the 180 countries evaluated, Nigeria was ranked 120th; a drop from its 119 spot on the index in 2018.
Nigerians can all agree that these 10 negative indexes are the biggest problems facing the country currently, vision 20:2020 may have failed woefully, but it is not too late to dream again, if care is not taken to address these issues we might as well fold our hands and wait for the inevitable to happen.
No one is safe, not even President Muhammadu Buhari or any other Nigerian politician for that matter, anyone that thinks that he or she is safe from this mess should continue stealing from the public purse, build houses all over the country, stash money all over the world, continue to live in affluence while poverty rate continues to grow, unemployment on a geometric rise, life expectancy falling to 30; just one day the ticking time bomb will explode and no one will escape.
All hands must be on deck as we enter the next decade – if you are an employee do your job well, if you are a job creator keep it up, if you are a politician stop stealing and put the people first, if you are a student study hard, life begins after graduation, everyone have a role and if we all do our best Nigeria will be great at last.