Nigeria is a country of 167 million people by the current population estimate. Just as the population is fast growing, so are the ideas of how to grow the economy. Just as every Nigerian is a football coach, so is every Nigerian a development economist. Each person has his/her own idea and whether they are motor park economists or classroom economists, whichever group gets the ears of the powers-that-be has its way.
At the end of the 2013 Spring Meetings of World Bank Group/IMF, world financial leaders avowed to two specific global agenda. First, a historic opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation, the global target of reducing extreme poverty rate, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to three per cent by 2030.
In an article on this column on May 30, 2012, titled “The proverbial rains are here,” many Nigerians including the Federal Government, did not take the warning seriously. In Washington DC on Thursday, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonzo-Iweala, called an emergency press conference to warn the nation of the impending drop in the nation’s finances as a result of falling oil prices and the continued vandalisation of pipelines by oil thieves.
William Shakespeare in his book, Julius Caesar wrote centuries ago that “There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”
In recent times, there has been growing concern over the genuineness of Chinese involvement in Africa and Nigeria in particular. The concern is borne out of the fact that China in its appetite for oil, in particular, to fuel its growing economy, is busy buying oil blocks and mineral resources from existing investments at any cost.
Two weeks ago on this column, I wrote on why Nigerians should not blame the colonial masters for the problems facing the nation, but Nigerian leaders, who have failed the nation because of their class interest. Up till last week, readers were still sending their reactions. One of such is this article below.
Last week, the Federal Airports Authority ordered operators of Bureaux de Change out of the premises of the nation’s international airports. The reason is that armed robbers attacked and robbed one of the money changers at the airport.
As Nigeria prepares for its centenary celebrations, many are raising issues on the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorate of Nigeria, by Lord Luggard, blaming the country’s woes on that singular act. Many Nigerians are still fatigued with the coming together of Northern and Southern Nigeria to become one Nigeria.
Nigeria for all intents and purposes is a very funny country. It is a country typified by the famous Animal Farm drama. The pigs were the top rated animals that profess to be equal to all others, but were sleeping on beds while others were outside on ground in the cold. The truth is that whatever any one says, Nigerians are not all equal.
Last week, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, came out with a statement that it is working out an out of court settlement between it and Babalakin, whom the corporation had accused of owing it some huge amount of money and was unable to pay. Hence it took over its choice property in Victoria Island. AMCON had told Nigerians that it secured a court injunction on the property. Babalakin had countered that the property in question was not mortgaged as claimed by AMCON and that he did not owe. Rather, it is government that owes him.
Last week, the Minister of State for Finance disclosed that the Federal Government uncovered 45,000 ghost workers from 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies under the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS).
Nigeria is a country of paradoxes and contradictions. These contradictions are being inflicted on the nation by politicians in uniform and those in flowing gowns through half-baked policies. Most of these policies, once they favour the ruling class, become self perpetuating.
Nigeria is fast becoming a laughing stock. No thanks to the Peoples Democratic Party members who have held top political positions in the past and now. They have a way of passing the buck to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians to divert attention from the way and manner they pillage the resources of the country.
Nigerians whose pastime is bickering over oil resources may soon find out that what they consider as the goose that lays the golden eggs will no longer give them the resources to steal from. Oil may soon be selling for far below the 1982 price level. No thanks to President Barack Obama who, during his first term inauguration urged Americans to find a solution to the country’s continued dependence on external oil. Five years down the line, America is almost self- sufficient in oil production and is now turning down offers from traditional suppliers.
Recently, the media was awash with the news of the revocation of the concession granted to Bi-Courtney to reconstruct the Lagos-Ibadan road which has been in a deplorable state. The decision to revoke the concession sparked off a lot of debate as to the seriousness of government to the whole idea of Public-Private Partnership.
Two weeks ago when I wrote about the cement manufacturers in the country and the need to encourage them, one of the responses was in the form of a question. The reader asked how to tackle the glut in the industry as of today. It is rather unfortunate that both the government and the private sector in Nigeria are not forward looking. At the moment the construction and housing sector of the economy which make use of cement are depressed.
Thank you for the hatchet job you did on behalf of Dangote and the other cement cartels. Personally, I do not believe Dangote is an ideal business man to look up to. He is a monopolist and believes he alone can meet the needs of all Nigerians in terms of the product he produces.
I was going through the famous Harvard Business review of November 28 on my ipad on a British Airways flight from London. In one of the articles written by Jonathan Berman, titled “American CEOs should Stop Complaining about Uncertainty” one thing struck me. It was the writer’s mention of how uncertainty has not deterred Dangote from investing in Nigeria and across Africa.
Access to credit by investors is a critical factor for economic development of any nation. A country like Nigeria that says it is in a hurry to catch up with others can not but make policies that gives local, as well as foreign investors access to credit. President Goodluck Jonathan’s core economic policy is transformation of the Nigerian economy. Transformation agenda is critically dependent on the quality of investment climate.
Recently the media was awash with the news of the revocation of the concession granted to Bi-Courtney to reconstruct the Lagos/Ibadan road which has been in a deplorable state. The decision to revoke the concession sparked off a lot of debate as to the seriousness of government to the whole idea of Public Private Partnership.
Nigeria is a difficult country to understand. It is a country where leaders’ actions are based on greed and personal interest than that of the nation at large. The Petroleum Industry Bill has been in the National Assembly for a while now begging for passage. Legislators are reluctant to pass the bill because most of the oil companies do not favour the legislation as if laws made in the country are to be determined by those who operate in the sector for which the laws are made.
Recently while in Tokyo at the conclusion of the 2012 IMF/World Bank Group Annual meetings, the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, decried the dollarisation of the Nigeria economy. He said the President, the CBN and everybody is worried about the development. In Economics parlance, dollarisation of an economy occurs when the inhabitants of a country use foreign currency in parallel to or instead of the domestic currency as a store of value, unit of account, and/or medium of exchange within the domestic economy.
Aso Rock, the seat of federal government,has become a fortress of all sorts. There, you have political power, position, influence and dishing out of largess to the favoured. One of the easiest ways of dishing out largess in Nigeria is through contract award. Food for instance can be supplied by anybody; so to help the girls who are close to the power that be, fruits and other food ingredients are supplied on contract.
Blame games either in a family, corporate world or community is a sign of failure of leadership. Leadership is about taking responsibility and action where necessary no matter who is involved. In situations where people are not ready to accept responsibility for their actions or inactions, they blame their failures on subordinates or opponents.
Every American knows there is an American dream. Party affiliations are made along this dream. Every so often the America Presidents remind the people of the American dream. The dream is people centered and people oriented. This over the years has fired every American to hope for the best and be assured that the government is there to cater for his best interest.
It is a known fact that cities across the world are confronted with diverse and complex problems which have socio-economic and physical implications for city dwellers. These problems as experienced by cities of less developed countries, are enormous and multidimensional in nature.
Two weeks ago while in Tokyo at the conclusion of the 2012 IMF/World Bank Group Annual meetings, the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, decried the dollarisation of the Nigerian economy. He said the President, the CBN and everybody is worried about the development.
At the just-concluded International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group Annual Meetings, all the finance ministers of the world and the governors of central banks met to assess the state of the world’s economy and finances so that each country will get to know what is happening and take adequate measures to either protect its economy or adopt measures to foster its economic growth in the content of trends and developments around the world.
The news broken by the National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Mr Benjamin Okewu, last week that the Federal Government might float a national carrier by December, came as a surprise to those who are well informed of the fate of Nigeria Airways.