10 goals Nigeria must set herself of achieving over the next 60 years

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Building an economy that is at least worth $2trn, placing her among the top six economies globally as her population dictates.

Establishing an automobile brand that is synonymous with the country like say Volvo and Sweden, Fiat and Italy, Toyota and Japan, Lada and Russia, Citroen and France, Daewoo and South Korea or Proton and Malaysia.

Leveraging on the fact that she has 853km of Atlantic coastline and becoming a maritime power. This means getting a thriving shipbuilding industry up and running.

Exploiting the fact that she is the world’s largest black nation with about 20% of Africa’s population. We travel more than any other black people so should have one of the busiest national airlines that dominates the African market.

To have an effective aviation industry, you simply have to manufacture your aircraft locally. Brazil has a national aircraft manufacturer in Embraer, so Nigeria has to follow suit.

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Any nation that is serious about its security has to be self-reliant when it comes to armament production. Every Nigerian should find it hugely embarrassing that we have to go and purchase assault rifles, battle tanks, attack helicopters, armoured personnel carriers, military trucks, etc on the open market to fight Boko Haram.

Lagos is the largest city in the world without an underground metro. This again should be a huge source of embarrassment to 200m Nigerians. Over the next 60 years, we should have a policy of building a metro in any city with a population in excess of 1m people.

By 2080, every single one of our 774 local governments must be linked into a national rail network, must have its own micro power distribution grid and should be self-reliant in terms of revenue generation.

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West Africa has too many nation-states, many of which are simply not economically viable. When I look at how Garibaldi masterminded the unification of Italy and how Bismarck masterminded the unification of Germany, I look forward to a Nigerian hero masterminding the unification of West Africa. Build a global economic giant that will rival the likes of China and India with their populations that are in excess of 1bn people.

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By 2080, Nigeria has to become the global research centre for tropical diseases, offering unparalleled access to treatment for ailments like malaria, yellow fever, ebola, polio, etc. If anyone in the world needs treatment for any of these diseases, Nigeria should be the place to come.

We are 60 now, so this will be my last 10-pointer. As Karl Marx once said: “Philosophers have interpreted the world, the point now is to change it.” I believe I have given Nigerians enough to chew on over the next 60 years.

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We will be debating some of these issues at the Nigeria Independence Annual Day Lecture today on Yanga TV. Please tune in to Sky Channel 186, Freeview 264 or Freesat 171 to join us.

Written by Ayo Akinfe

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Ayo Akinfe, born in Salford, Manchester, is a London-based journalist who has worked as a magazine and newspaper editor for the last 20 years. Ayo attended Federal Government College Kaduna and obtained his first degree in history from the University of Ibadan.

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