Here is a conversation between a few friends on why Nigeria remains at subsistence level while our National Archives overflow with blueprints, manifestos, visions and policy documents.
Some of these friends feel that we need to learn to crawl properly before attempting to run, while some others believe that you need to envisage what a world class sprinter to motivate you to do more and be more from incubation.
This conversation started when someone posted a Vision 2050 document, and said
I like the slogan “Arise Africa 2050”. He then posted a website articulating the Vision 2050.
And the different perspectives came pouring in.
+++With what we have on ground in Africa, 2050 will be like Vision 2000 and 2020. Another dream. Your future starts with what you do today, not tomorrow. All these interminable lofty visions.. It’s just tiring.
—Just do it is a good slogan. Just that doing IT without a compass that defines what IT really means is not going to take you anywhere. It’s like embarking on a voyage without a map – you’ll be lost in the wilderness
+++Paralytic analyses, or analytical paralyses? Besides, not all journeys require a compass 😉
—That’s what keep people in the subsistence cycle. Every great thing starts with an impossible or unreasonable dream – which someone then wakes up to pursue. That’s what we call Vision. You can’t live (you may exist though) without it!!!
+++I do not think that is why we are at subsistence level. It’s like a child who failed mathematics at elementary level being told to start preparing for advanced calculus. He should he made to build a solid foundation FIRST …by being given tutelage to grasp the elementary properly . That’s what I believe we lack ..why waste time exploring life on Mars if you have not explored the Earth in its totality ?
—The boy failed mathematics because he never had anything driving him to try and understand it in the first place. He would be good in basic maths and advanced calculus once he is prodded by a vision of what difference the skill will bring to his future.
+++You have to be good FIRST before being great. Hence my insistence on doing the pedestrian things properly before those impossible (for us) dreams. A dream would remain a dream unless it is realizable. And obviously, all those grandiose visions have not been working, so maybe we need to address the basics first ….subsistence
—What you are suggesting is what we’ve always done and that’s why we are at the pedestrian level – we patch roads and celebrate on all media, we supply paracetamol to hospitals and claim major achievement, we repaint schools and roll out the drum to celebrate. It has not worked and will not work. Even God’s Prophets start their mission with a vision/dream/calling/revelation.
+++The problem with Nigeria isn’t that we do not understand how to develop a plan and execute it. The problem is that every time we have that opportunity, we choose not to, for reasons that are less than ideal. A former lecturer used to say, trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle. How about we learn to do the simple short term things exceptionally well.? Having imbibed that culture of doing simple things properly, we can then graduate to having long term plans and developing documents to give them flesh, and finally having the will power to breathe life into those.
—One of the big problem of post-colonial Africa is exactly that – embarking on a journey to nowhere. Most of what we call development plans are silly documents that are only good for political sloganeering (Vision 2010, Etc). Examine the documents and you will see the gaps – disjointed vision, mundane₦on-audacious goals, no road map for implementation. Lack of political will comes last. All those that have made progress have started with a VISION – no shortcut for that!!!
So, what exactly is the problem with Africa and Africans ? Why do we seem to lag behind despite all the abundant brilliant human capital, copious natural resources and overflowing mental acuity?.
Someone , pray tell !