How Did 2019 Treat You?

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By Eddy Odivwri
Hurray, this year is at last rolling away. Oh, what a sigh of relief we can heave now?
Hmmm, I am afraid you are too soon made glad. What makes you think that you can really heave a sigh of relief?

Oh sure! Year 2020 will be damn better. The signs are there and many are they.
The fact that the national budget circle is kicking off with the beginning of the year offers a lot of promise. That will change a lot of thing. Trust me.

Our dear President has also assured that many of the policies and programmes of government will begin to bear measureable fruits in Year 2020. Or did you not notice the scramble for free train ride from Lagos to Ibadan during the Yuletide season? I am telling you that, already, the horizon is clear and bluish. All shall be well.
Hmmmm, I salute your optimism.
But as late Tai Solarin would say, May your road be rough in 2020.

God forbid!. My road will not be rough o.
2019 did not treat us well, 2020 will be markedly different and kinder.
I shudder at your optimism. You talked about a new budget circle. How does that impact on your individual economy? How many per cent of that 2020 budget will be in your control?
Do you relaise that the nation’s land borders are still close? Do you realise the minimum wage has not quite taken effect? Do you realise the rising inflation and the sickening fact of growing unemployment in the country? I wonder where you draw your optimism from. Do you even realise the low GDP of the country? Do you also realise that …..

Enough of this realisation galore! I did not realise anything. I am telling you, by faith, that next year will be great and refreshing. My belief is not dependent on Godwin Emefiele’s mindset of sundry banking charges, or on the Buharinomics of the Nigerian economy.
I know that with God on our side as a people, things will get better whether land boarders are closed or not.

Have you forgotten about the big economic bang the Dangote refinery will trigger in Nigeria? The refinery should come alive later this year. The spin-off on the economy will be supersonic. We cannot even begin to approximate the overall chain benefits it will generate. You see why I am very hopeful?

Look, at the end of next year, we will confidently look back and say to hell with 2019.
I can also tell you that with the concerted effort in improving our infrastructure, and improving on energy supply, the economy will begin a rebound. It will pick up and the many SMEs that have been struggling and gasping, will experience a new lease of life. The unemployed will begin to get fixed up here and there. There is hope in the not-too-distant horizon.

Well, there is no harm in dreaming. I am seeing a cloudy sky, but you are seeing a rainbow. You will soon find out that the reality of this Nigerian economy is beyond the recitation of faith and creed by religious bigots.
We suffered untold hardship and deprivation in 2019. That was how many of you prophesied that the second term of Buhari will be remarkably different. Here we are. Rien Change, as the French would say.

Haba! Be fair to those in government. Did you say nothing changed? Didn’t you realise that the spate of terror attacks in the North East has reduced? Did you not read of the return of the IDPs to their homes and communities?
Ok. Terror attacks have reduced. What about kidnapping? Is Abuja – Kaduna road safer now?

That too has reduced. Abuja-Kaduna road is a lot safer now, so are many highways across the country. When last did you hear of people being kidnapped on Lagos-Benin highway? But Mr President is determined to rein in the terrorists. Remember his Christmas message was to the terrorists. I can tell you that Mr President will do well and finish strong. Nigerians will be happy at the end of his administration.

Well, let’s hope so. But tell him that Nigeria can do better with less nepotism. Tell him to take charge of the government. He cannot be in office and some faceless cabal will be running the country. He was the one Nigerinas voted for and will hold accountable, not those so-called cabal. Every top position cannot be occupied by only northerners and Muslims. That is not how to run a federation. Tell him I said so. I am not Sowore. I am not calling for a revolution now or later. But we are concerned about those nepotistic nuances that have defaced his administration.

Hmmm. It is the man who missed out of the food used in serving idols that will describe it as a cold meal.
And lest I forget, tell them in Aso Rock that they should focus on the things that will grow Nigeria and Nigerians, not on these inane and vexatious pursuits like Social Media Bill that is ultimately meant to gag Nigerians. All those who are pushing such Bills are enemies of Nigeria. And by God’s grace, they will all fail and fall.

Let us focus and unite on those policies and programmes that will change our narrative for the better in the coming year. Let us agree to move on, believing that we have learnt lessons from the mistakes made.

Yes, we will and should focus on the positives, but those in government should and must co-operate. Nigerians cannot be taking one leg forward and those in government will be taking two legs backward.
We must all agree to move in one direction. Then and only then can we harness the advantage of our population for a collective national growth.