Nigeria’s coming economic meltdown (3) | Dailytrust

Nigeria’s coming economic meltdown (3)

You ask yourself, why has government played deaf and dumb since 2015 at least? When people cried and shouted and complained about the choices our federal and state governments made – their fleets of luxury cars, their frequent luxury travels, and crazy emoluments – this government behaved like it had no ears. Is it not wickedness to sleep through this and then wake us up to this nightmare? This is the expenditure problem I speak about. It has been sheer insanity since we returned to democracy, but more so in these past few years.

What may come

We sit at the precipice. This time it is potentially for real and all we need is a trigger or a rash, not-well-thought-through action and boom! We may see the naira devalue to N1,000 or less. We may also see inflation spiral to over 3-digit numbers. We may not feel much impact apart from moderate addition to inflation if for instance, interest rate levels climb to the 20s or 30 percentage points. Our biggest challenge may be spiraling inflation as a result of price adjustments, price gouging, loss of confidence in government, devaluation, and reaction to a new global economic, financial and/or currency crisis. It could easily be bedlam on Nigeria street as people’s wealth get totally eroded. We need great economic thinking by patriots now more than we ever did. Truth. No jokes anymore. We have winged as many bullets as we may likely be able to. We may potentially be staring at a Wiemar Germany scenario, with crimes spiking on our streets as we need a wheelbarrow load of money to buy bread. We may need our traditional African social capital to kick in at short notice and hold up for us. I think we are the epoch where the world totally hands off Nigeria and sees what we can do with ourselves, especially now that every country is nursing their own wounds.

What to do

Claw-backs through an elite consensus. We have to sell the idea that we all must save our country. We need highly communicative leadership that will:

  1. Mobilize as many people as possible behind the cause of saving our country
  2. Command the respect to get an elite consensus going
  3. Open our people’s eyes to the goodness of our country and the need to save her by all and sundry.
  4. Show that the ways of the past are permanently over, and that government can be trusted with people’s taxes.
  5. Institute some progressive taxes, like luxury taxes, CGT, vehicle taxes, even the petroleum tax and so on, that can attempt income redistribution. We can begin to double revenue with enforcement as well. There is fire on the mountain indeed
  6. Show that government is no longer business as usual
  7. Cause a period of sacrifice – zero pay, zero emolument – for a year or two on behalf of government functionaries. For the USA to exit the Great Depression, they had to lock down the country and ban the production and purchase of cars for 2 years (April 1942 to December 1944). It was wartime and they focused their car manufacturers on the World War 2 efforts. We have always been at war here too. So, why not?
  8. Focus our people on local production. All our needs could also be seen as opportunities for business by our people. Foreigners are welcome. It takes time to set up companies though, but the earlier we get it into our heads that we have been goofing about by thinking we can play the international trade game, the better. We simply have nothing to sell. We are a basket case. Every Nigerian has contributed to this state but more those in government and those who have milked the system to comfort. We can decide to go after those we think are comfortable – which will involve some innocents – or we could roll up our sleeves and produce. Our choice.
  9. Launch zero-waste policy whereby the minds of Nigerians are attuned to the presence of value in many of our endeavours. Cottage industries should be encouraged to ensure we minimize and eradicate post-harvest losses of our main food crops. We should push towards utilizing 80% of our arable land, from the present 35%. We should also strive hard to add value to these primary crops if we intend to get some dollars back from the rest of the world.
  10. Show the required madness in securing this blessed country, whatever it takes. Mock me or not, even the 50 million youths to be recruited into the Army (well not necessarily the army, and not necessarily 50 million). What I heard was the need to TAKE AWAY FROM THE SOURCE OF RECRUITMENT of bandits and terrorists, and the need for Nigerian youths to take their country back by forming a human wall against those who terrorize and horrify and traumatize us on hourly basis. I see very little wiggle room around the need for us to secure our food (agbado, cassava, ewa etc), so that our youths could fill up the security services – military, paramilitary, police, intelligence services, and patriotically defend their country while we also begin to manufacture our own essentials and get off this despair we have found ourselves. Our leaders today appear helpless, clueless, hopeless and pitiable, and so do the rest of us. Yet, without security, we are all dead. Forget about investment and business. God help us.

It is not enough to point fingers. Also pick up a mirror and look at one of the culprits. Only irresponsible people will think that this is another opportunity to destroy the little infrastructure that Nigeria owns. Protests are good. But productivity, and a reordering of our individual priorities is even better. We all should declare a moratorium and focus on the very bare essentials for at least two years. And those who have wantonly stolen what was not even enough, may be hung, drawn and quartered.



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