Thought Leadership

Have you heard about "Vision 2020"?

If not please listen to our friends at NTA Network news every night!

This is one of the illusions (some say delusions) of grandeur that our government occasional emerges with. We “the people” ask no questions, as we are ourselves carried away with the hype. We start believing that we are actually the “giants” of Africa, and that by some waving of a magic wand we can actually emerge as one of the leading 20 economies in the world by the year 2020.

So the office of the Vice President puts together groups of eminent Nigerians, organises them in thematic groups and asks them to come up with a blue print to achieve this vision more than half way into the tenure of the government of the day. They set up a website, make long speeches, and bring our colleagues to Abuja to draw up the vision.

The website of OUR vision says “The Vision 2020 is a grand agenda, which the federal government has adopted as the main thrust of what it is out to accomplish between now and the year 2020. It is a 13-year plan of dramatic socio-economic transformation of the country. The goal of the vision is to transform the Nigerian economy to be in the league of the 20 most industrialized countries of the world,”

The thematic group on health was led by eminent colleagues; Dr Shima Gyoh and Dr Mike Mbanefo Ogbalu.

The forward of their report illuminates the seriousness this governments places on policy development.

“The Health Thematic Groups did not get all the documents it needed, and many came rather late. The version of the National Health Bill described as authentic, and which we understood had gone through all the stages of legislation was obviously very important for our work, but it arrived only after we had completed our report….

….The group would have probably worked more efficiently if it had a secretariat with computers, printers and photocopying capabilities. Members were however, very resilient, using their own machines, flash drives and individual internet access to fill the gaps.”


Their report makes extremely interesting reading. The eminent colleagues that worked on this for weeks obviously took this task on with energy, passion and obvious competence. I recommend it unreservedly to fellow Nigerians. We hope that this government that chooses to ignore two consecutive UN assemblies, does not ignore the work it has commisioned itself…..but I am sadly not optimistic. I hope to eat my words in the year 2020.

The year 2020 might seem very far away….but it is not really. By the year 2020, it is the Vision of the Thematic group on health that every household in each town in Nigeria should havea running pipe borne water supply!

Wow….maybe thats why its called a “Vision”!

2020 …here we come!

Read the full report here….afterall its OUR government  therefore OUR vision …

Report of the Vision 2020 Technical working group on Health.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

By Chikwe Ihekweazu

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

3 replies on “Have you heard about "Vision 2020"?”

Interesting! This Health Thematic Group report of the Vision 20-20 committee seems to have been drawn up under the National Planing Commission under the Vice Presidents office and it has been released about two months after the Federal Ministry of Health released its National Strategic Policy and Workplan 2009-2015 and has engaged and distributed consultants to all 36 states and FCT to domesticate the policy and plan in their territory.
Did these committees talk to themselves? If not why when they are both tasked to elevate Nigeria’s Health care to greater heights of performance.
Why have two committees under different Federal Ministries working concurrently on the same assignment?
Which policy / plan will be implemented. And what a waste of resources – material and money!
When will our dear country eliminate such wasteful duplication?
BUT truly, which plan /policy should Nigerians and other stakeholders follow. Or is the plan to ensure that we are denied the right to monitor the progress of either plan?

Long Live Nigeria.

Joseph Ana

And while we are still planning north of Nigeria suffers epidemics of diseases such as cholera, measles and meningitis. News flash, 25 September 2009, This Day News, Cholera – 76 Killed, 840 Hospitalised in Adamawa State. Vision 2020 Hurray

Again, Vision 2020 my left foot, a UN News service reported, KANO, 25 September 2009 (IRIN) – A health worker strike in northern Nigeria’s Adamawa state has paralysed public hospitals, forcing patients to forgo medical treatment.

What is wrong with our people? Celebrating mediocre while the real work is left undone? How much effort does it take to resolve this rather than pushing dirt under the carpet?

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