As a popular saying goes, “If wishes were horses then beggars could ride”, but wishes are not horses. Yet we cannot stop wishing. If only what we wish for will come to pass then 2017 will be a better year.
2016 prove to be a difficult year to many Nigerians, while to some, it was their best year ever. We all have our different expectations from the Government in terms of health, education, employment and reduction in the prices goods and services among others. So, if the quality of life of many Nigerians was affected in 2016, then what will be their expectations in 2017? Tozali crew went to town to sample opinions on expectations come 2017; responses below.
Keziah Koni Sambo
The thing is that prices of goods everyday is on the increase. For example, a bag of rice has doubled its price. Also palm oil, groundnut oil, indomie, beans, in short name it, all have increased. Everything is expensive and the income is still the same, without any increment. I am pleading with the government to look on the masses and create ways for the prices of goods and services to come down; and they should regulate the prices in the market. I also expect the government to look into the issue of security in 2017, because the rate at which people are being killed and kidnapped is getting out of hand. Therefore, I plead again with the government to employ and train more security personnel.
The prices of goods today in the market have more than doubled, everything has increased; even chewing gum is now #10, matches now sell for #10 and so many others. Even though we still have hope in this government, even with the hardship in 2016, we expect that 2017 should be better. Meanwhile as Nigerians, we always have high expectations when it comes to federal government, neglecting the common fact that the issue of bribery and corruption, sabotage of government efforts, abuse of government offices, and lack of patriotism can influence our expectations. This 2017 from the mental point of view, one can say there will be improvement in agriculture sector, increase in job opportunities for the over populated unemployed youths, improvement in education sector as many programs are being implemented to correct the crippled value of education system in Nigeria. Nigerians are very good in creativity and productivity, but what we lack is the facilities needed to boost local production. In line with this, come 2017, government should equip our industries with the needed equipment so that other neighboring countries can buy from us, instead of us always buying from them.
Another pressing issue government should look into is unemployment, with the Npower program in play we should be looking at a step forward in reducing the number of unemployed graduates in the country.
The greatness of this country does not only depend upon the above mentioned facts, but rather our patriotic attitude towards sacrificing our selfish decisions, judgments and desires to support the federal government of Nigeria in its fight for a better and greater Nigeria. He who fights and run lives to fight another day, change begins from you and me; changing your personal attitude and negativity towards Nigeria will have a great influence in Nigeria come 2017.
What I think is needed to be done by government in 2017, is to focus solely on infrastructural development, this is the basics for development and growth. There are many factors which affect or hinder productions and services. Inadequate infrastructure e.g. hospitals, road network and power etc in a country can limit the growth of many company. For a country like Nigeria, infrastructures need to be made available in the coming year; it will go a long way in reducing the running cost of production and services in most firms, leading to manufacturing of goods and services at cheaper rates. Another point is youth empowerment program that is N power currently going on. Then, Buhari should reshuffle his cabinet.
What Nigerians really wish to see improve to move the country forward in 2017 is progressive development like our economy, education, health, agriculture, social welfare and security. These need to be given proper consideration in order to ensure that the elusive well being of our people is achieved. I will keep and never get tired of reiterating this fact; Nigeria will never make substantial progress until we upgrade our educational sector. Just imagine how many billions of dollars Nigeria would save on foreign education if we can improve the quality at home drastically. Federal government owes a duty to see the proper educational advancement and development of its children. Health they say is wealth, Nigeria would do extremely well if we can return to the days of old when medical facilities were world class. The government should be able to complete teaching hospitals projects, provide new hospital beds, distribute enough facilities; with this one our country will fully and gloriously work for improvement of the lives of its people. On the contrary, our airports remain horrible; where there is work in progress like the extension at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja and Murtala Mohammed International airport Lagos, the work has been so slow. This is not good enough for our country; something must be done in 2017 to stop this disgrace. The airport is always the first point of contact with most countries for visitors and investors. In my own view I’m sure the federal government can achieve this in 2017 if they put into consideration, because I know Nigeria has enough resources to achieve this.
I want the value of naira to be restored. And government should provide all the necessary incentives and support needed to consolidate farming to thrive in the country. To me, the greatest achievement of the Buhari administration is the fact that people have come to terms with the reality that our latent and hidden treasures are in agriculture not oil. In my community for instance, some of our millionaire friends at present virtually relocated to their farms in the village for dry season farming. This is indeed unprecedented. The story is virtually the same all over. Many more are interested to key into agriculture hence; government should remain focused and consistent.
BY: MERCY KUKAH