The Nigerian Economy: Where our Government Gets it Wrong

by Emeka Esogbue - Date: 2008-08-27 - Word Count: 1409 Share This!

Firstly we must appreciate the fact that the Nigerian economy is not only facing decline but have brought untold hardship to the citizens of the country, even then the economic situation of the country is fast proving insurmountable to a whole lot of the finest economic brains of the country and even International Organizations such as IMF, World Bank and others alike.

Many ordinary Nigerians wake up today and find nothing to eat, not as a result of laziness but lack of employment is another contributory factor among numerous others. A situation where undergraduates are ready to attend lectures but the financial means are lacking yet school fees keep increasing on yearly basis leaves nothing but terrible situations. Only the average Nigerians can understandably explain their bad situations because we feel it biting us. Worse still, institutions in Nigeria do not work in accordance with the affordability of the people. Prices of goods rise while jobs are lacking.


Here is a country where the government notice its subjects to prepart forhard times ahead. Dates are even given on when such harsh measures will commence. The government of Nigeria did this when when in spite of the the poor purchasing power of the masses, it announced that it was set on increasing the price of petroleum products in the country. Whereas, any caring government would have taken cognisance of the dependency of the Nigerian economy on petroleum, and  ameliorate the sufferings of the people, the NIgerian government will prove to its subjects that its thumb shall be thicker than its waist. With this development already at hand, Nigerians are set to suffer more again. 


Nigerians are living in abject poverty, and it is so worst that it will amount to a common waste of time if this write-up decides to rely on several innumerable statistics often used to justify the economic positions and situations of the country or her citizens. Nigeria is said to be among the poorest nations in the world which so many people are doubtful of but it the situation of the country is far worst than this. Certain of those especially the members of the international community who think Nigeria is somewhat rich hinge their argument on usually the amount of money Nigerian officials often corruptly posses.


This people of the world countries wonder when they read on our newspapers that a certain government official was found with a perhaps about $8 Billion Nigeria, an amount which may hardly be found on any one British official. Again, the members of the international community wonder why most of these officials go unpunished without visible punishments meted to them. "Nigeria is a rich country" they conclude and a country such as Nigeria where anyone can wake and realizes that his small boy-neighbor has suddenly become a million worth about N3 Million cannot be said to be very poor.


But I think one of the points these people miss is that these monies stolen from our treasury are never found in our economy as they are after being stashed put in foreign Banks and invested in this countries never to find their ways into the country again. They are like slaves who are forcefully made to journey their ways out of their places of origin and never made to return. Thus our economy continues to suffer. Brains trooping out in mass into other countries and monies stashed from our economies investing in foreign countries. What then becomes of our economy?


There is also the issue of investing on wrong projects by the Nigeria government. Such projects are named after what are found in foreign countries but are never managed as such and in most occasions have never benefited the downtrodden or wasteful thus compounding the already compounded state of the masses of the country. The governments of Nigeria prove that they can hardly manage the economic affairs of the country. A venture such as the Ajaokuta Steel Company is a failed one because in the first place it was meant to be a white elephant project which may ever remain uncompleted even with the total sum of the budget of USA. In 2006, Ajaokuta Stell Company was valued at $6 billion but was later sold at $525 million by Olusegun Obasanjo before his departure as the president of the country in a questionable circumstance. If however the Ajaokuta Steel Company is safely argued not to be a failed project it cannot survive the remaining argument that unnecessary and unaccountable amount of money was pushed into the project, thus giving the ordinary citizens of the country the bitter pill to swallow. It cost us a lot, almost drained our economy and makes us suffer today.


We should remember that when Obasanjo decided to revive the company built in 1979 to produce flat steel the World Bank angrily kicked against it instead advising the Nigerian government to convert it to a power plant but the government of Obasanjo went ahead and later consenssioning it to Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, an Indian owned firm. What followed this development were strikes by Russian and Ukrainian experts not having been paid their salaries for months.


Again, almost everyone will remember the relocation of the federal capital from Lagos to Abuja. There is no doubt however that nothing whatsoever necessitated the reasons for this idea and the hurry with which Abuja was built with the idea to make it the best and the biggest city in the world today is visiting us with sufferings as every single government structure existing in Lagos was duplicated in Abuja for no reason at all. Today our economy has become drained because situations are fast proving that Nigeria was not ripe economically to shift its capital to hitherto nonexistent city called Abuja. Government workers, personnel, embassies and the rest of them were hurriedly forced to relocate to the city with Julius Berger and other companies benefiting largely from contracts. What is the result on the Nigerian economy?


That Nigeria remains the only country in the world were her coins are not in circulation is not only a slap to the government of the country but also Africa as a whole as her giant does not recognize the use of coins. Even the biggest countries in the world like USA, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, etc. Countries with big economies use coins in their day to day transactions and as payments to goods and services but the reason this is strange to Nigerians is indefinable. Nigeria has some of the best brains in world economy who have at one time or the other headed the financial houses, budget policies and even the financial sectors of the country yet none has taken a serious view on why coins should be in use in the country.


It baffles me when in text books and financial matters on the internet "kobo" is made to appear beside "Naira". When did any one of our numerous Nigerians heard was or ever seen "Kobo" with his/her two eyes? Can a country which forbids the use of coins ever grow big economically, just where are all the coins Obasanjo minted stacked? Do our Government officials use coins when they travel out of the country? Are coins to heavy for Nigerians to convey? Can our government ever realize the importance of coins? These are the questions waiting to be answered by the Nigerian officials.


I still maintain that as our government gives us the understanding that it is prepared to launch the country among the first 20 economies of the world, this can never be achieved if coins are not put in circulation in the nation. Because ordinarily "Kobo" cannot be ceremoniously made to display on computers inside stock market while these coins are practically not in use.


Items like sweets, biscuits, sugar etc that ought to be bought cheaply therefore becomes unaffordable. These will leads to nothing but continued success of inflation in the country. The importance of coins which have since been in use for centuries to the economic development of nations is a well acknowledged fact among nations and international organizations and Nigeria cannot be an exception.


To ensure that the use of coins is achieved the government should at least make compulsory pay of certain percentage of withdrawals made by customers in our Banks compulsory to enable the circulation of possible. I trust Nigerians and know that if we have it in abundance in our possession, surely no one will discard them. Let our government do something today. Our economy needs coins to grow.  





Related Tags: imf, lagos, world bank, abuja, oil in nigeria, nigerian ministry of finance, coins in nigeria, financial sector of nigeria, the nigerian banking sector, nigerian economy, central bank of nigeria, ajaokuta, nigerian citizens, petroleum prices in nigeria

Emeka Esogbue hails from Ibusa, Delta State, Nigeria. He is a Historian and International Relations graduate, and public affairs commentator with lots of tremendous published and unpublished works

Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

© The article above is copyrighted by it's author. You're allowed to distribute this work according to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Recent articles in this category:

Most viewed articles in this category: