Slowly and systematically, the year 2015 has come to its eventual end. And going with it is the many remarkable features that dotted its revolution. Gradually and with couching expectations and fanning hope, we are on hand to receive 2016- the New Year.
No doubt, the year 2015, while it lasted, left so many impressions that quickly are becoming memories. It’s subsistence impinged on many psyches, albeit differently.
And whilst it’s goodwill could not, in fairness, be utterly denied, it without doubt, left many hearts emotionally bruised, many feet financially crumbling and many nations economically and politically straddling.
The befuddlement it raised was obvious that many still bleed at its remembering. By and large, 2015 left, and in such an ostensibly unceremonious manner- as would nothing but inspire imminent looks of hope for better tomorrow.
Now, we are into 2016. We are into the New Year; the indication of hope! However, in Nigeria, it is a new year that has come upon a people clouted with foreboding and riling anxiety. The year 2016 is coming at a time when Nigerians are gripped by fear of assuming retrenchment.
This is one phenomenon whose picture has clearly been painted by the dreary echoes of the past year. By the downward slides in oil prices, it’s ordinary that government spending will fall drastically due mainly to inadequate funds.
The effect of poor income and slump in revenue allocation give impetus to this. Worst still, is the cumulative effect of this woeful cyclic motion, in the hike in cost of living- whose fear has gripped the masses. From transportation to feeding, it is envisaged that it would be turbulent.
Consequently, instead of the liveliness and the inspiration that ordinarily comes with each dawn of the year, Nigerians are this time around entering into what should excite them with mixed feelings. Nevertheless, as has been the norm, we cannot- in the face of the dilemma- hide the fact about the surreal excitement and gleefulness that the privilege of a New Year evokes.
They are evident, regardless. Yes, as humans, Nigerians are happy to be witnessing the incoming year. But yet, as humans, we are anxious too; we still have our fears and reservations. These are emotions clearly stirred by the unsettling realities of the outgoing year.
It is nonetheless to say that it is a ‘mood swing’- a national mood swings. It is not an unexpected instantaneous eruption; it’s a clear consequence of the universal exigencies of the year ended. The obvious realities that mostly bedeviled the year 2015- more preponderantly, economically- especially at its tail-end are the vagaries that formed the threshold of this emotive hang-on.
Very well, the year 2016 has cut through the barricade that left it trailing behind to stage and eventful take-over. It has made an obvious take-over; a take-over which is sprightly trusting on what has become habitual: the excitement of the masses at each new revolution.
But it is, as well, take-over that must meet up with the great great yearnings of the populace that verily seek for placation. The year 2016 must prove itself very competent to reassuring the dwindling faith of the many who have almost given up in fear of unknown.
Indeed, Nigerians are anxious; they are visibly grappling with an observed yet unclear fear; they are seized with a palpable anxiety as to what the New year holds forth. And this is understandable going by world’s prevailing economic situations and the suggestive scenarios that are billed to play out if the trend continues.
Going by handful of postulations by analysts, the negative glide in global oil prices is likely to linger until 2020! This is a disturbing projection that could keep any government at very low ebbs-especially those heavily reliant on this commodity.
For a country like Nigeria, whose major income is oil, this is clear indication to tougher times in the year 2016. It’s a reality that would get each Nigerian wondering in uneasiness- of the fear of the unknown. The year in review, going by the instigations of economic factors, would spur political, social and personal inconveniences.
At 32 dollars per barrel! When revenue generation can no longer meet up budgetary projections, there would be more allocative shake-ups-and incensed reactionary responses too.
True as the foregoing might be, that could only be an imposing practicality if the frightful projections that the dwindling oil prices portend do not provoke our sense of national creativity. These are predicted shames that would awfully befall us if we fail to learn from it; if we fail to act accordingly in line with the proffering for the alternative ventures that the trends scrapes off.
Faced with this threat from consequential economic comatose that is ostensibly orchestrated by lingering crumbling oil prices, what, however, does the year 2016 offers the Nigerian nation and people? The New Year, aside the grappling fear, provides and even more with the privilege to take inward look and think introspectively on the way out of the indicated conundrum.
One such area that requires our immediate saunter to introspection is on the need to devise affordable and more efficient avenues to cushion the impending economic summersaults.
Hence, in the very spirit of the traditional New Year resolution, Nigerians must consciously see the urgent need to work on the demands of dotting reality to effuse-quickly and dexterously- the courage, passion, and commitment needed in creating viable and more reliable alternatives. We must begin to tear away from the clout of the petrodollar that has left us indolent, unproductive- and now- insolvent and begin the much needed economic diversification.
Yes, in 2016, if we must find therein the succour we’ve looked forth in it, we must, as a nation, seek to invest more on our areas of comparative advantages-agriculture and solid minerals. But then, as a people, we must in individual commitment, seek also to create the enabling environment for these alternatives to thrive.
This we can do by being dedicated and living responsively in the light of this. Verily every one of us must use this opportunity to bring our individual productive acumen to bear.
Oh yes! Just below the highfalutin fluff of unsettling fears the year 2016 seemingly holds forth lies the wonderful avenues to create a better and more lasting economic fount for us and our nation. Let’s scratch it; let’s take its opportunities!
This piece was written and compiled by Ahanonu Kingsley from Owerri, Imo state.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.