First and foremost, what do I mean by 21st century Nigeria?
The word 21st century is now ubiquitous and superfluous in any political and economic dialogue but its significance have not diminished nor become pliable.
21st century has been called the century of possibilities and at one point it has been called the African century. The 21st century is anticipated to be a century that Africa will put her house in order and take her place under the sun. Nigeria being the largest economy and most populous in Africa is expected to be in the vanguard.
The antecedent century was marked with African humiliation of conquest by European invaders, swiveled around slavery and colonialism. Therefore with the emerging 21st century, Africans in general and Nigeria in particular must assert themselves with innovative breakthroughs and scientific ideas in high technology, modern education and high standard of living to achieve sustainable freedom and true independent.
All things being equal, it is necessary, if not indispensable that the 21st century Nigeria must be a century of possibilities and political rebirth consolidated with enlightenment and optimum economic development. So, whatever happens in Nigeria politically could determine the sustainability of the country’s progress in 21st century,
Nigeria is gearing and getting ready for an important 2015 election in February. The two rivalry parties, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its major opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC) have finally produced their presidential candidates. The incumbent Nigerian President Jonathan of PDP will be challenged by retired General Buhari of APC.
This is a serious election due to the circumstances that Nigeria found herself. Nigeria has surprise both her friends and foes on her economic and political sustainability especially on her continue existence as a corporate entity. Contrary to the proposition forwarded and propounded by naysayers Nigeria must continue to exist as a united country beyond their 2015 prediction of disillusion and meltdown. That is where the question of leadership comes in; Nigeria needs an intelligent, prudent, reliable, patriot, peaceful and unity conscious leader.
President Jonathan or General Buhari: who is the best candidate suited to be called the leader of 21st century Nigeria and who can lead Nigeria to the promise land. As I have aforementioned Nigeria is in a unique position. Economically speaking and despite the falling oil price, Nigeria has achieved an affirmative and quantifiable macroeconomics stability. Nigeria at the moment is the largest economy in Africa, no matter how you look at it, it is a great achievement. The economy is projected to grow at above 5 percent and inflation rate is below 9 percent and attraction of foreign investments conyinues.
Although, the nosedive of oil price is nibbling on the strength and value of naira due to overvalue US dollar and fervent aggressive currency speculators, the streams of foreign investments have not waned. Nigeria continues to have its low debt ratios which make it attractive to investors and inducement to leverage capital.
On the other side, Nigeria has some traceable and intractable problems with poverty and unemployment. The huge issue of Boko Haram and its destructive tendencies are threat to political stability especially in the north east of Nigeria in particular and the entire northern Nigeria in general.
The triumph over corruption must be comprehensive and long term. The defeat of corruption becomes sustainable when the political and social infrastructures are set up and effectively managed. The civic institutions including the security apparatus, courts and media must be independent and incorruptible. The citizens must be empowered to participate in creating a corrupt free society. The clergy, schools and moral leaders must be employed in the eradicating corruption. Our children and next generation of Nigerian leaders must be taught in schools on how corruption annihilates and minimize the wealth and wellbeing of a nation.
Nigeria needs a leader that understands and formulates economic policy that can be effectively communicate to investors and can be able to speak the language of economics to capitalists and potential investors. Nigeria needs a leader of purpose that can unite the country’s diverse population for the greater good of our country. Nigeria needs a visionary leader that comprehends how the 21st century world works and understands that a local action and decision have an international implication.