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Nigerian Manufacturing: Vision 20:2020, a Failed Mission

 5 min read / 

Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 says that “by 2020, Nigeria will be one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena”.

Known for its extravagant political goals and targets, promises and strategies, Nigeria has caught the attention of the global audience with its inexcusable act of negligence, poor implementation and discontinuity thereby crippling all-round economic growth.

The Problem

Expert opinions at the time Vision 20:2020 was adopted highlighted policy inconsistency, poor implementation and the loyalty of the ruling administration to the oil export sector. The oil boom of the 1970s did more harm than good to the GDP of the country.

The manufacturing sector before the oil boom contributed to approximately 10% of the economic output according to Summary Report but was later on the decrease as a result of the new found “gold mine”, which diverted the attention of the administration due to the increased oil revenues.

The manufacturing sector in Nigeria has the potential to enhance the economic status of the country and also reduce the poverty level. As of 2013, when the results of the rebasing estimates were released, the manufacturing sector had a stunning growth of 29.42% of the economy which translates to 9.03% of the real GDP compared to what it had before the oil boom – that was the highest in decades.

With the enormous availability of human and natural resources, proper implementation of policies, reforms, agendas, and programs, the country’s economy would be a force to reckon with on the global scene. However, the reverse is the case. The availability of natural resources (crude oil) has affected other sectors of the economy negatively considering the Resource Curse Thesis.

Ajaokuta Steel

The Ajaokuta steel project is a total failure despite the massive funds that has been injected into it over time. Steel is regarded as the bedrock of industrialisation in any country that wants to build a sustainable economy.

Nigeria had a “bailout” and a launchpad to a sustainable economic growth but failed to utilize it. This steel project upon completion could have been the forerunner of industrial growth in Nigeria but what we have today is a perfect replica of the government inadequacy in the area of project implementation.

The steel project was at 98% completion in 1994 and even though it was designed to produce 5.2 million tons of various types of steel product per annum across three phases, it was unable to fulfil its potential. This is quite sad for a country that boasts of being the biggest economy in the West African sub-region.

Oil Boom Effects

The oil boom of 1970’s shifted the government’s attention as the increasing oil revenues were too much of an incentive to overlook thereby sidelining other sectors of the economy. This led to a relative decline in the manufacturing sector’s GDP, one that could have been avoided, to say the least. Nigeria’s dependence on the oil sector ever since has crippled the economy to what it is today.

According to 2013 CEIC Data, the oil sector is faced with volatile global oil prices coupled with a decline in the Nigerian mining sector since September 2011, pipeline vandalization, oil theft, and corruption. The Nigerian economy is writhing in agony and the negligence of other sectors of the economy that could ensure sustainable economic growth is increasing by the second.

Policies, programs, and reforms are not the problem in Nigeria. Implementation, continuity and political will are the main problem the Nigerian economy is facing as a whole and not to forget corruption; the universal set.

The Next Election

It is already February 2018 and the conclusion is that the Vision 2020 is a failed mission and that the government is responsible for this. The political will and discipline needed for economic growth are missing, the manufacturing sector amongst others is suffering.

The government only seem to care for the oil ever since it came to be. Other sectors of the economy are left to be “self-managed” by whoever might be interested in taking up the task of nation-building.

Nigeria will be 58 years old this October and the next election is just a few months away. As usual, the media will be littered with various election campaigns. One thing that will be constant throughout will be the lofty promises from political parties and their respective candidates at every level of governance with the presidential candidate at the forefront of the campaign.

Now, the next four years of their tenure will be filled with the electorate constantly reminding elected officials of the promises made throughout the election campaign.


Vision 2020 is a failed mission and a missed target for the country. However, the year 2020 could be the launching pad for building a lasting and sustainable economy. The next general election will take place in 2019. This will be another opportunity for Nigerians to do justice to the ruling administration.

To perform their civic duties as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to this end, Nigerians have been charged to do the needful. Hopefully, their pledge to cause a change will be recognized and accepted. Hopefully, Nigeria will be able to boast of a booming economy 10 years from now.

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