MEANING AND OBJECTIVES OF VISION 2020. It is stated in the document ‘Vision 20:2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint’ (2009) at by the year 2020, Nigeria will have a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents id energies of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee i high standard of living and quality of life to its citizens. In order to achieve this, according to ie same vision statement, a Gross Domestic product (GDP) of not less than $900 billion is required. This translates to a National per capita income of not less than $4000 annually by the year 2020. It is also stated that another implication of the Vision 20:2020 is that Nigeria’s economy must grow at an average rate of 13.8 percent during the period. Another expectation is that by 2020 Nigeria will generate 60,000 I megawatts of electricity.
Objectives of Vision 2020
The objectives of Vision 2020 have social, economic, institutional and environmental dimensions.
- The social dimension envisions an equal society that can sustain a life expectancy of at least 70 years.
- The economic dimension envisages a vibrant economy whose manufacturing sector can contribute at least 25 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- The institutional dimension expects a stable democracy.
- While the environmental dimension envisions effective management of our natural environments. It is pretty clear, from the objectives, that the Vision 20:2020 is a grandiose adventure. The question is: Is it achievable?
The Present Situation of Things in Nigeria
A good question to ask is: Where is Nigeria this year 2010? The list of countries by GDP shows that Nigeria occupies the 41st position, with GDP of $207,116 million by 2008 International Monetary Fund ranking; 38th position with GDP of $212,080 million by 2008 World Bank ranking; and 44th position with GDP of $165,400 million by 2009 CIA World Fact book ranking. It is very easy to see the yawning gap between the GDP of $900 billion required by 2020 and the present situation.
From recent Nigerian Television Authority news, it is known that Nigeria at present generates about 3,700 MW of electricity. The nation had a target of6,000 MW by December 2009, and came abysmally short of that. One can also see the gap that exists between the projected requirement of 60,000 MW of electricity required by 2020 and the current capacity of 3,700MW. It was stated earlier that the social dimension of Vision 20:2020 envisions life expectancy of at least 70 years for Nigerians. The Human Development Index Report 2007/ 2008, presented in the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Economic Blueprint (2009), shows that life expectancy in Nigeria at birth was 46.5 years in 2005. With almost 70.8 percent and 92.4 percent of Nigerians living below income poverty line of one dollar and two dollars a day respectively, one may suggest that life expectancy is likely to drop rather than go higher than the present level.
At present, the growth rate of Nigeria’s economy is 7. 4%; and the industrial sector contributes only 4% to the GDP.
The Precursors of Vision 2020
In order to get a more comprehensive idea of the present economic situation in Nigeria, we need to have a quick look at what might be described as the precursors of the Vision 20:2020; namely, the Seven Point Agenda and The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Seven Point Agenda:
The Seven Point Agenda encompasses the following areas:
- Power and energy
- Food security and agriculture
- Wealth creation and employment
- Mass transportation
- Land reform
- Qualitative and functional education
- Power and energy: Everybody in Nigeria knows that the situation of power and energy is very worrisome, to state the least. The Federal government of Nigeria promised that by December 2009, electricity generation would go up to 6,000 MW. Today the Power Holding Company of Nigeria is struggling to maintain the 3,700 MW currently generated. It is already stated that for the Vision 20:2020 to be achieved, the target is 60,000 MW. It is clear that with the present power and energy situation, the expected industrial development is a bad dream.
2. Food Security and agriculture: The Seven Point Agenda expects a “5-10 fold increase in yield and production”; which would result “in massive domestic and commercial outputs and technological knowledge transfer to farmers” The writer knows that this is an empty promise. The likely thing to happen is that food prices will continue to rise. Many more Nigerians will go hungry. Thus, the idea of food security is a farce
3. One can observe some efforts here and there to help the teeming unemployed and unemployable youths in Nigeria to acquire some skills and become useful to themselves and society. However, to the best of our knowledge and judgment, the efforts do not amount to more than a few drops of water in the ocean. As regards wealth creation, Nigeria’s economy is hopelessly dependent on crude petroleum exports. Abject poverty stairs over 70 percent of Nigerians on the face. Nigeria is still ranked among the poorest countries in the world.
4. Mass transportation: Efforts in this area are a far cry from the objectives of the agenda. Most Nigerian roads are in a very bad state of repair. Water transport is yet to become a reality. Only God knows when the dredging of the River Niger will be completed. Air transportation is faltering to the extent that the Central Bank of Nigeria had to work out a rescue package for it. Rail transport is still virtually in the pipeline. Thus reliable, sustainable c mass transportation is still a dream in Nigeria.
- Land reform: There is ongoing discussion of land reform in Nigeria. To the best of our knowledge, it is all talking and no action yet.
The first term of the present federal government remains about six months; and lane reform is still at the discussion stage. The question is: Will the next four years see anything concrete in land reform?
- Security: When the State and Federal governments of Nigeria talk of security, it is only their lips and minds. With each day passes, insecurity of lives and property increases. There are the religious and tribal conflicts which usually leave hundreds of people dead and hundreds of others maimed. I do not think that you have already forgotten the recurring Jos crises, the recurring Boko Haram onslaught on the nation, and so on. Violence seems to be part of the political culture in Nigeria.
Let us watch and see what will happen between now and May 2015, and in fact thereafter. Crimes such as armed robberies, kidnappings, judicial murder, ritual killings, and so on, are increasing at an alarming rate. Corruption, of course, is an incurable cancer in Nigeria. The latest addition to insecurity in Nigeria is the bombing that have taken place on October 1st, 2010 till date. Thus, forgive me to state the truth that what the Seven Point Agenda has achieved in the area of security is to make the country, more or less, a haven for criminals.
- Qualitative and functional education: In the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s education in Nigeria was at its best level. Even primary, secondary school and teacher training graduates were persons who contributed to the development of society. They effectively manned the schools, government offices, company and industrial positions. Of course, university graduates were very highly skilled persons who attracted respect all over the world. From the mid 1980s, things fell apart. Rapid decline set in as“a result of bad political, economic and national development policies”.
Today, when we talk of quality and functionality of education in Nigeria, we are talking of illiterate primary school leavers, semi illiterate and disoriented secondary school leavers, unemployable university graduates, inefficient and disoriented teachers at all three levels of education, over-crowded classrooms also at all three levels of education, and poor educational infrastructure. One can go on and on enumerating various types of decay in the education sector.
From the foregoing analysis, it is clear even to the untutored mind that the Seven Point Agenda is nothing but political music meant to keep Nigerians singing Federal government praises while things go from bad to worse. As a precursor of the Vision 20:2020, the Seven Point Agenda is, more or less, a dream. We shall now turn our attention to another precursor of the Vision.
The Millennium Development Goals:
It is already stated above that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is a precursor of the Vision 20:2020
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organization have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include reducing extreme poverty reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development (United Nations Development Goals website).
The goals are:
- Eradicate extreme poverty.
- Achieve universal primary education.
- Promote gender equality and empower women.
- Reduce child mortality rate.
- Improve mental health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development.