Friday, 30 December 2016

7 WAYS TO GET NIGERIA OUT OF ECONOMIC RECESSION



In less than ten years now, Nigeria's economy has twice embarked on recession. The first being in the year 2010; shortly  after  the change in government of United States of America, which saw  the now outgoing president Barack Obama of the Democrats party taking over leadership from president George Bush of the Republicans. Obama's new government brought a lot of unpleasant change that negatively affected almost every sector in US (leading to loss of jobs, hardships, etc). Nigeria and other countries that were dependent on US as well got their share of America's travail. The situation was referred to as a global meltdown.
Soon enough, US got onto her feet again, and so did Nigeria and her like minds but much more later. However, the lessons of that economic recession were hitherto, forgotten by Nigerian government.


The second and current recession in Nigeria, started gradually and intentionally last year until it substantially overtook the new government in power under President Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressive Congress (APC), which took over from President Goodluck Jonathan's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a fiercely contested election, to the detriment of Nigerians.

There is a little gain saying the fact that the suffering orchestrated by the latter recession was and is still far more grievous that the former. For instance, according to BLOOMBERG RANKINGS released last year July, when examining the 30 largest Sub-Saharan African economies in terms of external debt as a percentage of GDP, Mauritius, Mauritania and Zimbabwe stand out at the high end, with readings of 91.5 percent, 70.6 percent and 60.7 percent, respectively. Lowest for the entire region is the Nigeria at 2.7 percent, the only single-digit result for all of Sub-Saharan Africa. Internally, the inflation rate is soaring higher, the state of infrastructures are in very deplorable shape and our dear Naira currency on onward depreciation. As if those were not enough, the prices of commodities are skyrocketing in hundreds of percents; millions of people have lost and are losing their jobs, while many others are being owed arrears in months. Even the once booming small scale industries are suffocating with many already out of life.

It could be recalled that prior to the 2015 General Elections cum subsequent change of government, Nigeria and Nigerians only woes seemed to be Boko Haram and unemployment. Here we are today worrying over nothing but how to survive from severe hunger.

Both the former and the latter recessions were largely man-made, and hence avoidable.
But as it is said, he that failed to plan planned to fail. As big as we claim to be, we still revolve our existence on United States of America and on our oil. Any shaking from either or both of them is a spelling of doom for millions of Nigerians.

The government of former president Jonathan blatantly refused to save for the rainy day despite the influx of money during his administrations. All the monies gotten from the excess crude oil which ran into trillions of Naira were misappropriated and squandered by a handful of politicians. The only investment most of the then governors (Peter Obi of Anambra State exempted) could think of was dashing of cars to their loyalists (to score cheap political points), the rest of the money they saved for themselves,  at the expense of Nigeria's economy.

Apart from not saving, that government was equally heavily corrupt. Money that should have been used for capital projects and revitalization of ailing industries were spent on jamborees. That was why those in entertainment and religious circle were busy counting in billions and buying private jets.

More so, in their quest for taste of power, the bigwits of the then opposition party APC (now ruling) did all they could to frustrate all the good efforts of the previous government through propaganda,  and other antics they employed. For them, everything initiated by Jonathan was bad, hence they fought against it. Now karma is dealing with them.

Can Nigeria climb onto her feet again? Maybe yes, but the hope of doing so sooner is dashing away. The price of oil- "our pride", is still far below. Niger Delta militants are yet to let go of their anger. And worse still, America is having another change of Government soon.

If only Nigerians can forget about politics for once and come together as one to fight this recession the way Ebola was fought, darkness still looms at the end of the tunnel.

But no, Nigeria and Nigerians won't. They only and simply derive pleasure from paying lip service to issue, solutions and of course actions. The President is well obsessed with chasing and catching and to give comeuppance to corrupt individuals who in the past got their hands stained with the nation's financial blood. This in no time or way is bad, but the haphazard and lopsided manner in which the hunt and shoot have taken so far is in all its sense very bad and is not telling good on the nation Nigeria.

All hope is however not lost as Nigeria can still get herself out of the hulking suck of recession if She:

GOES BACK TO THE PAST
Years back a lot of practices did put Nigeria at the front row seat of economic upsurge and development. One of such is the existence of farms and gardens in Primary and Secondary Schools. Those who schooled in the eighties and nineties will best come to terms with this. Kids basically learn how to farm in the school hence the topic of farming was not only treated on paper. Today the story is enormously different from the negative flank. Schools are built and approved by the government with barely enough space to accommodate classrooms talk more of gardens. Some schools does not even have a playground which is very vital for the mental and physical development of Children. Nigerian government should therefore make it compulsory for every School to have at least two plots of land for practical agricultural activities, animal rearing inclusive. In this way, kids will grow up loving farming and can easily take to mechanized farming which was once Nigeria's source of wealth.

EMBRACES THE RIGHT MONO ECONOMY
Diversification of economy is the language every average Nigerian speaks with regards to ways to chase recession out of their town. They however fail to realize that none of them (for reasons of greed and laziness) will be willing to leave out the "Oil" as they popularly refer to the dealing in crude oil and other petroleum products. With this in view, Nigeria must make less lucrative, the involvement of individuals in Oil and Get and invest heavily in making agriculture more lucrative than the Oil sector. Resuscitation, modernization, mechanization and commercialization of the Northern groundnut pyramids, Palm/Cassava products from the East, Cocoa from the West and Aquacultural South to mention a few, must be the new action line of Nigeria's government. The full implementation of this will not only blossom the economy, but will also make the nation food sufficient.

SINCERELY FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION AND CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS
Nigeria's escape from the clutches of recession is largely dependent on this. The Federal government should sincerely get it's corridors and secret chambers all mopped up. Let Nigeria's President first fight and conquer the enemy within before getting those outside. Almost all members of All Progressive Congress(APC)  and it's stalwarts today who cross-carpeted from the previous government yesterday is in all ramifications guilty of corruption charges hence will do all things to stall the fight against corruption in order not to be implicated and incriminated. Therefore, corruption investigations, trials and convictions should start at the fore of APC's head.

DEEMPHASIZE RELIANCE ON PAPER QUALIFICATIONS
Every Nigerian youth today can seed their blood to gain admission and go through institution of higher learning not that they are willing to acquire knowledge, but because they want to obtain a certificate which the society will use in adjudging them eligible for vital and lucrative opportunities. This however has done more harm than good to the nation as the number of uneducated and ill-educated Nigerian graduates is alarmingly innumerable. The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, NOTAP, had in 2014 stated that of the estimated yearly 1.8 million Nigerian graduates, over 1.5 million are unemployable due to ill-education. It's unfortunate to state that some Nigerian graduates cannot spell their names; a good number of others can barely make a correct sentence while a greater more know nothing about their chosen field of study.

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Certificate qualifications therefore should be given less attention as graduates should be graded and employed only when they exhibit a high level of Practical proficiency.

TRAIN AND EMPOWER SKILLED YOUTHS 
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is a thing known to even the unborn. This is as a result of unavailability of jobs. Nigerian government should encourage and train her youths on skill acquisition. Upon certification, such youths should be empowered to employ and train others. The one year National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) should be used to actualize this for young graduates.

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FIGHT THE MENTALITY OF GET RICH QUICK SYNDROME 

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Needless to say, almost every Nigerian youth is desirous of making money and becoming super rich without working for it. To actualize this, they take to all kinds of illegal life style including internet fraud, ritual killing, stealing, jumping into Politics, establishment of churches etc. A regulatory body that takes record of means of livelihood and sources of income of individuals when put in place, will compel Nigerian to labour with dignity and by so doing add value to the economy.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMITMENT TO THE WELFARE OF NIGERIA 

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The biggest problem of Nigeria is that her citizens have never been truly and sincerely committed to doing all it takes action wise to ensure that the system works. Most Nigerians simply want the nation to farewell only by words of their mouth, but in action, they are consistently doing everything inimical to the growth and development of the nation.

We can go on and on but we must allow Nigeria's Nigerians to start with putting the above to action.
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