Does Nigeria have a plan in place to support 400 million people by 2050?

We don’t. Its frankly one of the things that irritates me about the form of ‘democracy’ we run now. The senators talk about our potential population growth all the time, they’re actually proud of it. They don’t make plans to keep it sustainable though.

The reason can be traced to 1986. That was our paradigm shift, away from our Latin American inspired import substitution/central planning days to what my Economic history professor calls the “neo-liberal imposition of the Washington consensus”. Now personally I tend to find ideological labels hilarious, but he does have a point. The closest thing to a plan we have the Sustainable Development Goals aside is the Vision 2020. Which isn’t a plan, but a vision which has been partly fulfilled.

We are likely to be a top-twenty economy by 2020 (already are by some metrics). Now personally, I can see and admire the intellectual argument for trade, I have read about its historical benefits, but as somebody who tries to coral my ideological tendencies, I do not understand why laissez faire precludes planning.

We are a top twenty economy yet 80% of our growing population lives below $1 per day: Laissez Faire.

We are a top twenty economy, yet struggle to maintain 5,000MW power generation: Laissez Faire.

We are a top twenty economy, yet face a demographic time-bomb in our agricultural lands as more young people emigrate to the city or out of the country: Laissez Faire.

We are a top twenty economy but cannot guarantee security throughout the nation: Laissez Faire.

By 2050, we will have a population nearing 400 million: Laissez Faire. Laissez Faaire we’re too focused on ‘growth’, to hell with development and the planning that it entails.

However compounding matters is that the civil service is largely filled with incompetents and political cronies, I (and possibly most of my fellow citizens) wouldn’t trust them to carry out a plan with anything approaching competence. How do they say it: “between the devil and the red sea”, that pretty much sums up Nigeria.


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