THE ECONOMIC RECESSION IN NIGERIA: ENDURING THE UNSMILING HARDSHIP FOR A PROMISING FUTURE By: Abdulhamid Abdur-Rasheed Shola From Lagos
I am not that in good term with Economics and Financial Management as a course, so I hardly listen or watch anything that has to do with complex financial figures. But after patiently listening to our Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, I was swept off my feet with the economic facts with which she played. I need to thank Engineer Mikail Abdulkabeer for his recommendation. Now I feel like enrolling myself in a Diploma course in either Economics or Financial Management. Be that as it may, the truth has no hiding place.
Being a financial expert like our Honourable Finance Minister does not necessarily translate to having the required capacity to formulate a model or a viable road map at which the current economic recession in Nigeria can be arrested. No doubt she is an eloquent speaker with great diction, appealing accent, and apt economy notion. But far more than that, average Nigerians seem to be more interested in immediate positive results than uncertain future goodies.
In Mrs. Kemi’s presentation, she confidently mentioned how the Nigeria economic direction has been in a clueless situation over the past 7 to 9 years when the crude oil price in international market were still booming and our GDP was smiling and how little attention was given to capital expenditure by the previous administration. This should silent the Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, claim that he met a Nigeria with $270billion GDP (2nd Largest Economy in Africa) and handover a Nigeria with $574billion GDP (1st Largest in Africa and 24th in the World). After all, common sense should inform us that GEJ only manage to achieve that feat due to the booming price of crude oil during his administrative. It was then that I recall a phone conversation I had with a good friend of mine, Mallam Rufai Abdulakeem, a Bayero University trained Economist.
Akeem, in his effort to convince me on how economy works, he carefully explain every relevant economic terms to me in a layman terms before proceeding to the theory therewith. How budget planning, formulation, implementation, and management determines the economic progression of a country. He cited quite number of economic factors that are capable of working against the progress of a nation. And how increase in reoccurrence expenditures and decrease in capital expenditures can harm the infrastructural development of a country, citing Nigeria case as an example. In a simple sentence, he summarised his entire argument: Capital expenditures is the fiscal lever that can guaranty economy growth of any country in the world.
When I watched how Mr. Seun Okinbaloye of Channel Television interviewed Senator Dino Melaye on why the Economic Management Teams which is presently being led by Honourable Minister for Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, should be sacked by President Muhammed Buhari, I was not totally convinced not because Dino was not making some logical sense but because he was not playing with enough economic facts to buttress his view. Maybe because he is not an Economist like the Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and my good friend, Mallam Rufai Akeem.
It is good to have people like Senator Shehu Sani and Senator Dino Melaye who are willing to raise above partisan. Maybe the outburst credited to Edo State Executive Governor, Comrade Adam Oshiomole, would have slept without Senator Shehu Sani’s lashes. Though these 2 Senators have their own weaknesses just like Buhari has his.
Good that I understand our Honourable Finance Minister’s explanation quite well but what about Millions of Nigerians on the street who are illiterate and giving no damn about any economy theorem? How will I explain it to my grandmother in the village that it is the present economy that will hinder me from sending her Sallah goodies today? Among the members of the Economic Management Teams, who will convinced my neighbour’s 4 years old son, Abdus-salaam, that it is this same cruel economy situation of Nigeria that will deny his father from buying Ram this Sallah?
Too bad that the hunger on the streets might even deny some well thinking Nigerians the foresightedness to reason outside the box and give the Federal Government the needed support. Too terrible that my fiance might not listen to the story of how 90% of our expenditures is on reoccurrence and 10% on capital if I refuse to give her money for hairdo this week. Right now, I am still contemplating on how to successfully translate Mrs. Kemi Adeosun’s well presented speech to my younger brother in Ilorin who has been expecting Bank alert on his phone since last week.
Or will you blame me if I suddenly refuse to believe and trust the Federal Government’s sincere plans to reduce the cost of governance when the President himself has Personal Assistant on Videography? I watched Obaseki during the recent Edo State Gubernatorial Debate and how he vowed to give Edo people BroadBand Internet in his manifesto. Oh, did I hear you say what!!!!? He must be the sole owner of MTN, Globacom or ISP for him to promise such. I just hope he is not confirming my recent assertion about the possibility of Edo State suffering from intellectual disability. My apology to Comrade Mathew Omoregie, my articulate friend back in our days in Federal Polytechnic, Offa.
I think I should pause for now before some people will start baptizing me with libelous statements.
Good Bless Nigeria.