2016 is going to be a challenging year. The challenges can be surmounted with the right planning; openness, so that the people of Nigeria are prepared for those challenges; and political will, in order to steer the country through the trying times.
While the legal system is speedily reformed to ensure redress of the perceived massive looting and stealing of the past (President Jonathan led) government, the President Buhari led government should quickly quit the blame game as the 180 million citizens and daily population additions will become impatient once Year 2016 bills start coming up. With the exposure to social media and ghost radio stations, a one-man riot will quickly turn to a one million-man riot.
2016 is a promising year for Nigeria despite these challenges. The economic challenges are global and Nigeria has a young population which creates great opportunity for labour. With the right policies and quick implementation, we can easily witness a surge in local production and the reopening of small scale manufacturing centres, greater emphasis on food processing and industrial farming.
Agriculture is not the new oil. However, self sufficiency in more areas will save us a lot of foreign exchange. While our lawmakers take their lessons in FaceBook, the APC led Government should encourage and support real technological achievements that will encourage local manufacturing.
The government also must find money to invest in education in order to prepare our growing population for the challenges of the 21st century.
Making predictions of the future is easy. The problem is those predictions actually coming to pass. Not many would have a year ago predicted the tsunami-like proportions by which the APC won elections in the North-Central. As a matter of fact, even the ‘best’ prophet would have been quite surprised by the APC’s wins in Benue, Kogi and Plateau states, hitherto core PDP territory. It was on the back of these victories that the APC won the Presidency, these, and just over half the votes from the South-West.
Over the next one year, it can be expected that the following will happen:
- Consistent and sustainable efforts at resettling 2.5 million people displaced across Nigeria.
- Boko Haram will be dislodged from all their bases in the North-East.
- More Boko Haram attacks, most of them hit and run, will originate from Chad and the Diffa region of Niger Republic.
- There will be an escalation of the conflict in the Middle Belt.
- The Shi’a problem will escalate, but will not get to become a full blown insurgency.
- There will be a renewal of militancy in the Niger Delta which will lead to an increase in piracy off of the Gulf of Guinea, and kidnapping in South-Eastern Nigeria.
- The economy will affect the police, leading to a worse security situation.
- Crude oil prices will not rise, and Iran’s re-entry into the market will mean a reduction in Nigeria’s earnings.
- The FG will end fuel subsidies and increase taxation. This will lead to a backlash from Nigerians.
- The Naira will be devalued officially. It will fall at least 20% in Q1.
- State revenues will take a hit, and the states will find it harder to borrow from the capital market.
- More states will owe more salaries, and will eventually be forced to reduce their workforces.
- The states will come into conflict with organised labour. 2016 will be a year of industrial action.
- There will be more high profile corruption cases, but in 2016, corruption will fight back.
- There will be judicial reform, leading to quicker convictions, but most accused members of the APC will not face trial.
- Fashola will be the administration’s White Knight, and will complete some hitherto “uncompletable” projects.
- Power generation will improve, average 5,500 MW over 2016, and more investment will come into the power sector.
- Lagos, Abuja, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe and Kano will absorb more migrants, and become more crowded.
- President Buhari’s popularity will take a big hit in all the geo-political zones except the North-West.
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