By Olufemi Fulani
Everything that has a beginning must definitely come to an end. This could be the word to describe the outgone year 2022 which gave way for the new year 2023.
2022, cannot not be forgotten in a hurry as the year was laced with both local and international occurrences. To start with, one of the major occurrences that shook the entire world in 2022 was the death of the longest reigning queen, Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth of England died peacefully at her residence in Scotland at 96 years after ruling the UK for 70 years.
At the home scene, the nation witnessed unprecedented economic and political development and challenges. Policy makers were in the year kept busy with diverse economic confrontations such as the volatile labour market, fragile stamina of the Naira, Inflation, unstable market forces as well as the redesigning of the naira.
On the political front, much energy was expended by the country on the preparation for a “free, fair and creditable election” come 2023. This development has left the nation’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be on their toes to prove to the whole world that Nigeria, being the Giant of Africa can achieve another political feat.
The average man on the Nigerian street could see 2022 differently believing that it was a year where there was a sharp difference between the haves and have nots. The year with graceful sky rocketed economy.
No matter the situation in 2022, 2023 is here. The year that is significant in the annals of Nigeria history, because it does not only signals a change of government, but more fundamentally, a year that Nigeria could get her bearing right, especially in terms of seamless transition from election to governance.
As the curtain of a new dawn is drawn, how can the individual and the entire country tap the potentials inherent in the new year?
First to be examined is the leadership. To say the fact, since independence, Nigeria has been plagued with acute policy failure resulting from the structural gap between policy objectives and development strategies.
This is because, every succeeding government tend to design, implement or execute its own grown policies and programmes not minding what have been put in place by a preceding government. This automatically, over the years, resulted in policy somersault.
Though substantive kudos must be given to the present administration for upholding many projects and programmes inherited from its predecessor. Incoming administration no matter the nomenclature must know that inconsistency in policy formulation is a cog in the wheel of development.
Another area the nation needs to unlock the potential of the new year is in the area of transformed economy. Without mincing words, more needs to be done to reinvigorate the nation’s economy.
Presently, there is dire-economic reality resulting from decades of unfaithful economic policies and implementations, chequered political history marred by military incursion, corruption, occasioned by insecurity, climate change, global pandemic and the Russian Ukraine crisis. With all these, the nation is economically suffocating with high debt profile.
More attention should be given to economic diversification where all natural and human resources of the nation would be harnessed. Going by the saying, Nigeria has no pack with poverty. Not only this.
Most often people share the opinion that governance is all about people at the top, either in executive, legislative or the judiciary. A philosopher once said and I quote “we cannot be mere consumers of good governance, we must be participants, we must be co-creators”. What this means is that Nigerians must work collectively irrespective of the cadre, social life, ethnic and religious differences for the success of the nation.
Any one who is not a good follower can never be a good leader, so to say.
In all, religious bodies and organisations must not dichotomies fate. They should let adherents know the truth, either bitter or sweet. Religion must not be merchandised especially at a period when the nation is preparing for another election where the wolf is mixed with the sheep.
No doubt, Nigeria has been created great and will remain so, but we cannot continue to do things the same way and expect a different result.