Nze Sylva’s Corner: Now That Year 2017 is Here

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By now the New Year euphoria must have expired or is now at least dying down and we are all settling back to work, business, school and the many other realities of life that year 2017 presents us with.

By now it must have become clear even to the most delusional that not withstanding the prophetic declarations of how year 2017 will be the best ever, at this very moment, the recession is still in top gear and the identity of those managing the economy has not changed. In other words, the change from one calendar year to the next has not changed our circumstances.

As much as I believe in prayers, I am not sure they by themselves, can change a negative GDP growth to Positive, nor make an empty pocket suddenly full. Things must be done, decisions made and actions taken for the situation to change. The question now is, what do you plan to do differently this year? What decisions have you taken to enable you better survive in this harsh environment?

If initial analysis of the year 2017 budget that I have seen are an indication of what the entire document is, then we can all conclude that nothing at least from the government is in the offing to change the situation. We remember all the sloganeering that followed the now infamous 2016 budget which was to rescue us from impending recession. The same drums are sounding yet again, but sadly the drummers have stuck to their old beats.

In simple terms, we are on our own. Your survival has to depend on you. I have read a few suggestions around avoiding foreign goods and earning in forex. There are talks of investing in treasury bills and mutual funds. Some others have advised couples to seek out contraceptive options to keep extra mouths that need to be fed from emerging. I have also read those who feel the easiest way out is to ‘checkout’ for good, with places like Canada offering attractive options.

Whatever you subscribe to, one thing that is clear is that we cannot continue acting the same way and expect a different result. For those prophetic declarations you screamed amen to, to take shape, you must ‘Do Something’.

So stop wishing or planning, and get acting. Write that business plan you’ve been drafting in your head. Attend that pitch. Start learning to code. Register that blog and start blogging. Begin that novel. Ask that girl out. Apply for that role. Read a new book.

It is only by ‘doing’ that we become better, and this year will require all our best efforts for us to survive or come out of it better. I hope you make the most of the opportunity.

Happy New Year!


Fiction writer, op-ed columnist, social commentator. Sylva lives in Lagos Nigeria

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