”Nigeria: on the brink of greatness” by Jewel Stephen

Article |      March 22, 2013 – 6:45pm      | By Jewel Stephen    

Nigeria: on the brink of greatness       




Nigeria has been a country riddled with the unknown. Since independence in 1960, the country has staggered trying to gain its footing as a nation to reckon with on the world’s stage. However, in recent times, hope has been given to many with the publication of the recent PwC ‘World in 2050 report’. The report ranks Nigeria as the 13th among the top world economies by 2050. This is a projection that some Nigerians will sneer at, if you ask them.

The PwC World in 2050 report is an annual report that highlights the rapid growth and growing significance of the emerging economies around the world. Compiled by the company’s macroeconomic team, this year’s report projects Nigeria’s GDP at nearly US$4 trillion by 2050 and an annual average real GDP growth rate of around 6%. This, coupled with our youthful and growing working population, puts Nigeria in a position to rank as 13th among the world’s largest economies by 2050, provided that it can realise its full potential.

Analysts state that these projections are just predictions, a harbinger of good things to come. “A sure way of tainting this will be to just sit on our oars and wait for this prophesy to unfold like magic before our very eyes,” said Francis Obaru, a financial analyst. “It is also obvious that all these cannot be achieved in a day. There is a lot of work to be done to make sure that the projection comes to pass. Most importantly, our leaders have to be up and doing and all tiers of the government must cooperate to ensure that change is achieved.”

The development of a Transformation Agenda by the Goodluck Jonathan administration has been described by analysts as a stride that has been made in an attempt to measure up to nations like Libya and Egypt, who also possess the same kind of resources as Nigeria – oil and gas and solid minerals. “This agenda has the potential to generate results that will put us at par with these other African nations if it is carried out in its totality and in a precise manner,” said Obaru.

“Worthy of applause is the fact that this administration realises that we face a very big challenge on the way to accomplishing these goals, foremost of which is corruption in all sectors of the Nigerian economy. As contained in the transformation document: ‘Nigeria’s development efforts have over the years been characterised by lack of continuity, consistency and commitment to agreed policies, programmes and projects as well as an absence of a long-term perspective’.

Upon realisation of these issues, our leaders then need to ensure that every project that is embarked upon is seen through to the final stages of completion, that there is consistency in churning out new projects and that there is a commitment to each and every one of the projects that have been embarked upon. This will enable Nigeria achieve results that will place it in the league of influential nations.

Analysts also advise the government to work towards building the infrastructure of the mind and then translate this into working towards an end product which is economic and social development.

Other indices for growth as estimated by the report are: Growth in the labour force, as proxied by UN projections for working age population; Growth in the quality of labour which is assumed to be related to current and projected average education levels in the workforce; Growth in the physical capital stock, which is determined by new capital investment less depreciation of the existing capital stock; and technological progress, which drives improvements in total factor productivity.

“The fact that we possess some of these indices is our silver lining in this dark cloud,” said Obaru. “We have a youthful and virile population which is increasing daily and an influx of international investors and capital investments which is germane to the realisation of this economic growth.”

Andrew Nevin, a partner with PwC Nigeria, also advises that “for Nigeria to realise its potential, it is going to require governments at the state and federal levels to play their role in fostering the right type of environment, including improvements in the rule of law, greater transparency, strengthening of the health and education systems, and enabling the development of key sectors, especially the power sector. Many strides have been made in this regard and they need to keep coming”.

Nevin furthermore envisaged that Nigeria could embrace steady progress with a good dose of strategic thinking, management and execution. While being optimistic and somewhat confident about Nigeria’s chances, he’s also realistic and aware of the fact that: “We are buffeted by many challenges and are developing in real-time, with real-time issues and real-time leaders facing real-time challenges. Economists, strategists and analysts are just as aware of our economic and political realities as we all are.”

He also believes in Nigeria’s potential and opines that recent experience with economic growth, despite the known challenges, “leads us to believe that this is a reasonable aspiration for Nigeria’s economy”.

“The PwC World in 2050 report is optimistic and has shown us all that we are on the brink of greatness but the question that is pertinent to us as Nigerians and one we need to ask ourselves is what do we need to do to push ourselves to drink the from this well of prosperity?”

Answers to this question are imperative now more than ever if we must achieve results that the PwC report projects for Nigeria.

(Daily Times NG)

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