Naira is now Nigeria’s weakest point. Because of it, we are eating today’s breakfast and lunch, and washing our hands to finish the dinner planned for the future. The startup Bamboo now exchanges N492 for USD. Yet, there is no reason to be hopeless. Nigeria is fixable because it has many leverageable factors which could be used to drive economic development.
In FUTO, Owerri, during a Students Union Government (SUG) election manifesto night, many students competed for the presidency. One was elbow-lifted to the podium for his speech. For a speech of less than 10 minutes, one got help from writings on his palms. Another came with his dancers. Another with his blazer-suited friends. Another with his kegites’ brethren. Then, one guy came ALONE. He spoke, and he spoke, the students sent messages to the sky. The next day, Onifade became the Students Union President.
Simply, in a deep Southeastern university, a young man from Oyo state was made to lead. Those students found him better, and voted for him as they wanted a better university – and academic future for themselves!
Imagine that for Nigeria! Imagine how Naira will be doing if we operate on that playbook for our economy. Possibly, you wish the Chinese can help as they continue to clean the growth medals – and nothing can stop it by merely looking at the recently unveiled plan: “For example, basic R&D expenditure is set to grow over 7 percent during the new five-year period, outpacing anticipated economic growth, and the environmental protection sector is set to reach a trillion yuan, officials said.” Interestingly, there are good operators like the Chinese, but we cannot make them the Onifades of FUTO at the national and regional levels.
China is aiming to lift its economic, technological and national strength to a new, higher stage in the next five years, under a sweeping blueprint that has put heavy emphasis on improving domestic economic conditions, boosting technological innovation and national security, while leaving sufficient room to cope with mounting risks and challenges, officials said on Monday.
In a break from a decades-long tradition, China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) did not set a specific GDP growth target – for the first time in the country’s history of making up five-year plans – but instead stresses goals in other indicators, including unemployment rate, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, in line with a mission to improve people’s livelihood and quality of development
Of course, the real skill now, for most governors, is no more having economic plans, but mastering how to negotiate with bandits and kidnappers in Nigeria. That keeps them busy when China and the world are leaping well into the future. Painful.
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