The contemporary economy of Nigeria, when juxtaposed with pocket economy of her citizens, is too appalling. Average stakeholder skips lunch on a daily basis while some, observably, eat once a day for sustenance till the next day. What is actually responsible for the abysmal stomach sociology? The bastions are subjective to insecurity that engenders shortfall in supply of commodities to the groceries, decrepit road infrastructure, rising cost of trucks maintenance, corruption at the doorpost of highway security agencies and street urchins collecting ‘toll’ from truck drivers conveying perishable goods and other commodities, upward review in service tariffs; and ultimately the local currency that chequeredly loses value at the foreign exchange market.
To stem the ugly tide and let the masses begin to experience universal living standards, the Muhammadu Buhari administration should reinvigorate its security architecture with a view to putting paid to farmers and herders clashes, the corollary of which will see the former returning to the farms in the upbeat of harvesting bountifully sooner than later. The avalanche of road constructions by the Federal Ministry of Works & Housing Is noticeable and commendable, but their timely completion is admonished to forestall loss of gestation period for turn-around-maintenance of trucks in use for conveyance of both perishable/unperishable consignments, thus ensuring 24 hours delivery thereof, to their destinations. Further atropine is, stern orientation should be handed down to law enforcers to ‘detoll’ vehicles on the road with food items. Not doing so, is bound to have a price multiplier effect on the final consumers (families of law enforcers, inclusive). It is expedient for government also, to line their pockets with handsome salaries and hazard allowances as, and, when due, failing which, they become susceptible to take bribe from motorists to keep body/soul together. Quite frankly, it is not too tasking for Mr. President to postulate either monthly or termly forensic anecdote on the welfare of both military and paramilitary officers manning the borders, expressways and highways. In other climes, street urchins are pariah to daily economic activities! Why should Nigeria be an exception? It behooves on the three arms of government to take a serious appraisal of ‘agbero’ genre of redistributing the nation’s wealth if such is the justification of government for looking the other side while the said urchins hold sway, fleecing motorists and marketmen/women.
Service providers (electricity, telecommunications, water, custom & excise, institutions, public agencies etc.) need to consider the minimum wage as a determinant for upward review in tariff; less of this consideration would at best be consequential to infringement on income of their customers, that is, the good people of Nigeria whose fulcrum is the downtrodden that constitutes over 80 per cent of the population.
Now the biggest four-legged cirrhosis that bewilders financial pundits: Persistent currency devaluation! It is of utmost necessity for the CBN to radically revalue the Naira to reflect a value before 1987, the year of devaluation, dictated by IMF., then boost productivity afterwards. In any case, there was no justification whatsoever for such dictate other than a radical ploy by the Bretton Woods institution to stultify and renewably subjugate the most populous black nation to the whims and caprices of the West and far-east states, pushing all sorts of disused items and materials to indigent Nigerians because, brand new ones are far beyond their reach as a result of the grossly emasculated currency without concomitant adjustment in wages/salary. So, the purchasing power parity to people’s income was nonexistent. If the radical approach to sublime the local currency is undermined, it is doubtful Nigerians and foreign direct investors won’t exchange a pound sterling at N1’000 rate before the close of year 2021. The apex bank, suggestively, should not treat this currency value with levity. The bank would also do well to reorder some macroeconomic indices such as exchange rate, interest rate, taxes, levies, inflationary rate, investment portfolio, full scale utilization of human resource/human capital etc., to prism the ease of doing business.
The population of the youth should be exploited to best advantage, inasmuch as Nigerian youths are not lazy but aggressive and sophisticated in modern trends. Very diligent and millennium compliant in all spheres of globalization. Therefore, the country should avail their indefatigability to till the sprawling soil for other precious gold to complement the crude oil. The country should also navigate the continental shelves (deep sea exploration) to fish out money-spinning products at the belly of the sea. Good enough, the country is blessed with a maritime university in Gbaramatu, Delta State, it therefore becomes tasking for its research scholars to come up with a blueprint on aquaculture economy. This done, the maritime citadel would be seen to contribute its widows mite, no matter how infinitesimal, to the fiscal docket of Nigeria.
The sum total of youth exploitations would not only approximate a plus in GDP (having a balance trade), but also create wealth by dint of balance payment in globalized trading. In other words, the net income of the country should be upwardly mobile so as to dovetail a stronger currency that could bullshit IMF and other credit clubs orchestrating to railroad the country on ‘Venezuelanisation’ trajectory. With a stronger currency, cost of producing goods and services tends to be far less prohibitive, this will force down prices on the open markets while the citizens would heave a sigh of relief as they start having their three-triangular meal (1-1-1 paradigm) once again, daily, till thy kingdom come. So shall it be.
Bello, Professor of Financial Management, Pebble Hills University, Delaware, USA., is the Registrar/CEO., Institute of Church Office Management, Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria. (www.thechurchoffices.org) Email: [email protected], [email protected]