Chiemelie Ezeobi, Ayodeji Ake and Sunday Ehigiator, who sampled the opinion of some Nigerians, write that their core expectations and goals for 2019 is for government to provide infrastructural development, basic amenities, ensure violence free elections, as well as create a better business environment for all to thrive in
Year in, year out, the needs of Nigerians practically remain the same; provision of basic amenities by their elected officials, infrastructural development across board, ensuring a favourable business environment and adequate security, amongst others.
The incoming year is no different. As the curtain gradually drops on 2018 to open up to 2019, the clamour across board is for security of people and properties, good governance, fair and violence-free elections, stable economy, vibrant health sector, viable education sector without incessant strike actions and basic amenities- good roads, stable power, adequate housing and potable water.
For the students across tertiary institutions , their sole goal is do the strike action to be called off so they can resume academic activities. For petty traders, their sole desire is for their businesses to thrive , while for the unemployed, it’s no farther than getting good paying jobs.
THISDAY went to town to sample the opinions of Nigerians across board; from security buffs to businessmen and women, to students, bankers, drug abuse activist and politician amongst others. Here are the excerpts:
Patrick Agbambu: President/CEO Security Watch Africa Initiatives
2019 is going to be a deciding year for Nigeria and Nigerians. Security will take front burner in the affair of the nation. Build up to the General Elections will aggravate the current security situations and throw up some new challenging security issues. The insurgency and terrorism issues in the North-east and Zamfara State will continue to be around, there will be kidnap of some high profile personalities, particularly, politically-exposed-persons and kidnap for ransom. These will be sponsored by some disgruntled, unpatriotic and criminally mind politicians aimed at scoring political points and gaining some ground. The governments and Nigerians at all levels must resist this.
Wilson Ighodalo: President, The Drug Salvation Foundation and Focal Person, South-west Zone, Community Intervention Network on Drugs (CIND)
Drug dependency is an increasing problem that cuts across every national, ethnic, religious, gender and socioeconomic divide and carries devastating social and economic consequences through its impacts on crime and health.
Too often, government is quick to develop policies and programs for people who use drugs without first understanding drug use and people who use them. It is time government shows more interest to enlighten people on the use of drugs, misuse, abuse and why human rights violations/ stigma against drug users should be wiped.
Also government should support NGOs championing the cause in Nigeria. I will not relent in creating awareness until people see substance use as a disease that needs early diagnosis and treatment.
The most important determinant for how 2019 will turn out is the election. I expect Nigerians to have sense and not throw away the next four years of their lives. I expect that poverty is reduced to the barest minimum and unemployment will be reduced drastically.
I am also expecting that our leaders begin to fear God and lead with honesty. The fight against insurgency, unknown bandits and insecurity in the nation should be done the right way without ethnic or religious sentiments. The safety of Nigerians should be considered paramount.
Lastly, it is important that people get the reward they deserve for good and for bad. The system should be made to reward hardwork and punish corruption speedily and without favouritism.
Opara Chidinma: Insurer with Prudential Insurance
I expect an improved government with a peaceful election. And a more action, less-worry kind of attitude. A better version of myself towards achieving my set goals. And towards 2019 election, I hope God bless us with a better leader to take us to our destined promise land.
Babatunde Jolaosho: Banker
Politics-wise, nothing will change.
Economy-wise, things will get harder for the unwise, just as our president has said we should expect. And I am hopeful that by 2019, my personal goals will be achieved with discipline and not passion.
Matina Ehizogie: Petty Trader
I used to have provision store in front of my house as a housewife with a husband who is a force man and was never around. But this year has really been a downturn on my business that I had to close down. The prices of everything I sell went outrageously high. I tried to cope but I was running into debt I had to quit. Next year I am hopeful we would have a new government that would show more concern to inflation rate and put in facilities to cub inflation. I hope to be able to come back to business because when you are married to a salary earner, without other means of income for the family, things are always tight and many projects you want to do end up being abandoned or cut to size. Generally I pray for a better Nigeria.
Peter Ehigiator: Student
I am a student of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. It started like a joke when we first heard ASUU strike but It’s about three months now that we have been home doing nothing. The government seems not to care about our future. If we don’t resume back to school as most of us don’t have anything to do, we could take to crime and increase insecurity in the country. I have great expectations for next year 2019. Particularly, I want to concentrate more on a side hustle pending when this strike is called off. I hope to improve in my academics and really hope to be able to hit the studio and record some of my tracks. I’m tired of staying at home doing nothing, I pray government answers ASUU so they can call off this strike because I am tired of hearing about deadlocks after every closed door meeting.
Editor’s Note: The Features Desk hereby wishes Nigerians a Happy New Year! God bless Nigeria!!!