2019 ELECTIONS: ARE NIGERIANS ASKING THE CRITICAL QUESTIONS?

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As the elections are approaching , Nigerians are queuing , some antagonising, some planning to boycott while some are moving camps in lieu to the elections! One thing that is certain is that come May 2019, we would have new folks that would be sworn in and they would pilot the affairs of the “Giant” of Africa in the next four years! This would come “willy-nilly”.

But there is a snag is; Nigerians aren’t thinking or as it seems aren’t interested in asking intelligent and logical questions.

Questions that must make the contestants very uncomfortable or looking at the candidates that are contesting the elections and asking them what is in for them in the long run! And Nigerians must demand answer ! We don’t want wasted four years again! The world is moving so fast and we don’t have four years to waste! If Nigerians don’t take this imperative decision, it might take us another two decades to catch up with countries like South Africa or even Ethiopia and Rwanda in terms of technology advancements and non post oil economy strategies.

Emotionality everywhere , logicality has gone extinct! Today, in Nigerian political terrain, distributing stipends and selling tribal leaning isn’t what we should be talking. Politicians , I mean none absolutely has been able to answer the critical questions like; what role and how can Nigeria play a critical role in an emerging green economy or post oil economy?

This question hasn’t been raised or answered sufficiently! What we keep hearing is “Igbo vote for APC so that you can get presidency in 2023″ we also hear that ” 4 +4 is equals to Next Level” then we hear ” and so many “mundane” stuff! None of these parties has been able to address the post oil economy of Nigeria !

Yes we are religious , we go to mosque and churches and pray but we can’t pray this one out! We must think it out! We can’t also wish this out! We have to either act it out or we have explanations to make on future! Our kids would ask us hard questions in future if we don’t take a stand on who we have in power that pilots our affairs! How intelligent he is ! How futuristic he would be ! If we don’t take these stands today; trust me we have lost our future!

Oil prices are failing! That is the fact it would always crash and Nigeria being an oil dependent nation would have itself to blame if the country doesn’t think out of the box! The quality of leadership matters here. We must start electing people that can think beyond oil! Some reasonable oil producing countries like Saudi, Qatar, UAE etc have started changing their conversation and their thinking today is non oil! The narrative of countries like UAE has changed to non oil, while oil account for less than 20% of GDP! This is amazing.

Over the years (2015 – 2018) , crude prices have always been on steady decline due to a whole lot of factors such as demand, technology and others. Many oil majors are understanding this and tilting towards renewable energies! This is the future! Yes Nigeria isn’t seeing it but we must see it or we loose out! Capacity building and diversification are vital here and a leader must understand the urgency required to stir the country away from high dependence on oil and focus on education, technology, start ups and above all capacity building not some lip service!

Technology brought the shale oil! This singular move by the USA crashed the oil prices forever, giving countries like Venezuela and Nigeria economic cardiac arrest. USA by the virtue of being the biggest buyer if crude became one of the biggest producers of crude ! This has given OPEC countries a source of concern while some are gasping for air!

Not yet done , the global Green Activists and Environmentalists aren’t smiling, they have been shouting hoarse that our carbon footprint is high and the planet suffers! This has made many nations to invest massively in renewable energy sources and jettisoning fossil fuel (crude oil) with a whole lot of advancement in these sources , today cars are consuming less fuel then not yet done, cars became hybrid (electric and Fossil) and consume lesser gasoline. Yet, these environmentalists aren’t done, they are pushing for electric cars and Tesla with a couple of others are taking up the responsibility, today we have very efficient cars that consume zero fuel and doesn’t need any crude parts or our crude oil to function ! This means as electric cars are getting more efficient and cheaper! Who would buy your gasoline, grease, brake fluid, ATF oil and other crude oil derivatives? Who ! That is the future and Nigeria isn’t seeing this.

Just like steam and coal, crude oil would go one day and the day is near! As the awareness for renewable energy gets intense and a lot of research and development been done in this area, trust me , crude prices would not exceed $30 USD in near future then to $10 PB.

Yes, this might look as a doomsday prophesy, but that is the reality. As the conversation is changing from non renewable to renewable! From analogue to digital, the need to elect intelligent leaders that must understand that the narrative would always change ! These leaders would start investing in capacity building, infrastructure and Research and Development!

Education upgrade and overhauling should be the key, with R & D taking the centre stage ! Unfortunately, the education today is in limbo with lecturers on strike for months! How do you get it right as a nation when your education is in sorry state? How do you get it right as a nation when your education is being managed by 19th century thinkers ? How do you get it right as a nation when you have 20th century minds trying to come to terms with 21st century challenges? A century of Internet of Things, Machine learning, Cloud Computing , Big Data and automation! It isn’t possible.

In a couple of months , elections would be held and people voted ! The ability to make the right choice is what matters ! The big question is; Are Nigerians ready to take that informed decision by jettisoning tribal and religious leanings?

Anthony Emeka Nwosu

 

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