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Nigeria development crisis: A way forward

There are series of news making headlines on hardship, poverty, and citizens breaking into government storage facilities and hijacking trailers loaded with food supplies in…

There are series of news making headlines on hardship, poverty, and citizens breaking into government storage facilities and hijacking trailers loaded with food supplies in search of food. If not properly managed, it will result in a state of anarchy once the approach is adopted across the country.

I think, to approach matters of this calibre, we need first to identify the root cause, and the present state of the situation and forecast the future outcome. Using the military or the police to chase or apprehend hungry/angry people will only push them to apply advanced or researched techniques to achieve their objectives of a better life through criminal means. Let us recall that this was how banditry, militancy and other forms of outlawed social groups started. Although their approach is outlawed, the Confederation of APC Support Groups recommends that the government should deploy economic strategies to adverse the ripple effects of forceful actions.

There is food in Nigeria, however, Nigerians lack the financial means to acquire it and the geometrical escalation of the prices of goods and services is not helping matters. Mr President, please remember that you have to make Nigerians happy and better their lives. Thus, after carefully analysing the current situation of the country, the Confederation of APC Support Groups recommends the following:

Nigerians should consume Nigeria

  1. Nigeria should subsidise all agricultural output cultivated in Nigeria, particularly food crops, by 50%.
  2. Nigeria should regulate the amount of food/cash crops to be exported and they should not be subsidised.
  3. Nigeria should promote the consumption of Nigeria-made textiles by subsidising local produce textiles by 30% and promoting their use as government office dresses within government agencies and parastatals.
  4. The government should subsidise electronic items produced or assembled in Nigeria by 40% and impose 200% taxes on imported electronics.
  5. The government should also impose 200% taxes on imported vehicles; new or fairly used and subsidise locally made or assembled vehicles, locomotives and mechanical devices by 40%.
  6. Export as a means of generating revenue and balancing the exchange is a Western model taught in economics to ensure that countries export their food, natural resources and essential goods to the Western world so that they can sustain their economies. Thus, the government must develop a new import model, particularly in food and other essential goods that will transform Nigeria into Africa’s food and essential goods hub. For example: According to OEC Economic Complexity Indicators: –

(a) Jordan’s import is twice its export at $31.5B to $15.9 as of 2022 respectively and 1 Jordan Dinar is equivalent to 1.41 US Dollars.

(b) Iceland’s imports stood at 9.39B while their exports was 7.31 B as of 2022 and 1 Iceland Krona is equivalent to 0.0073 US Dollars.

(c) According to Statista, as of the second quarter of 2023, Scotland’s exports stood at 27B while imports amounted to 32.83 B. It is 1.27 US Dollars to 1 Pound Sterling.

The analysis can go on and on. The United States is the world’s largest importer of goods, followed by China and Germany. Overall, out of the world’s 10 largest importers, 4 are from Europe, 4 in Asia, and 2 in the Americas. Yet Africa still suffers the most in terms of exchange rate.

Based on the OEC Economic Complexity Indicators, in 2022, the top importers of food were the United States of America ($97.3B), Germany (45.3B), the UK ($36.3B), the Netherlands ($32,3B) and France (32.1B). When the exchange rate goes up, it simply means that they would be importing more food at a cheaper rate. What a rip-off.

The Director-General and the Director of Administration of the Confederation of APC Support Groups will be sharing our blueprint with the government on how this can be achieved in my next press release” (we are currently modelling the situation and developing the blueprint).

  1. To reemphasise, Nigeria has lost a lot of revenue to exports because more mineral resources, food and essential goods are exported annually and they are bought at a cheaper rate due to the exchange rate. He who controls the exchange rate will always have it to their advantage (a word is enough for the wise). Nigeria should look inward.
  2. Nigeria should use its position in the ECOWAS and AU to strengthen trade among African countries by making fellow African countries their priority in terms of exports and imports.
  3. Nigeria should impose 300% taxes on imported food and essential goods that are locally and can be locally produced.

These actions will eliminate the food crisis, create employment, and promote agriculture and infrastructural development in Nigeria. It will reduce Nigeria’s dependence on foreign consumption, impacting the exchange rate positively. There are developed countries around the world (Asia and Europe) whose economies are majorly import-dependent, however, their exchange rate weighs better than ours. Also, the life of the average Western citizen is subsidised from food to essential goods, vehicles to housing, etc.

Subsidies stimulate internal development if implemented properly.

A secondary solution will be for the government to set up a committee that will continuously draw up sensitisation programmes that will engage and continuously enlighten Nigerians on the challenges of the economy, the Renewed Hope Agenda (RHA) and the progress of RHA. Nigerians would be happy to see those responsible for what we are going through today prosecuted in the court of law.

Although the Confederation of APC Support Groups is currently developing two development schemes that will unite our country empower millions of Nigerians and promote the business communities, I still think that every Nigerian has a role to play in the realisation of the RHA. The Confederation of APC Support Groups hereby pleads with traditional, religious and community leaders to stop preaching hate and separatism, what Nigeria needs at this point is time and patience as the realisation of the RHA is at hand. The government should not take it lightly with political and religious leaders and individuals that preach negativities calling it the truth. It is a treasonable offence to preach disunity and negativities.

On the part of the government, it seems the SMEDAN and other humanitarian schemes are only making the news, fallacious and propaganda that leads to distrust. The RHA can turn around and transform Nigeria from a developing country to a developed one. There is a lot of untapped potential in Nigeria that only needs to be activated and they will sustain themselves, create employment and generate revenue for the government.

I will stop here due to time; the Confederation of APC Support Groups will generously give its time in your stations to further discuss all these issues in detail, proffer solutions and unveil our recommended blueprint.

Also, the Confederation of APC Support Groups is working on two projects in which we intend to collaborate with the government to create millions of employment and empowerment.

Thank you.

By  Oboh Jerry Sankay (PhD), Director of Administration, APC Supports Groups (CASG)

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