10 Ways Nigeria’s Economy Can Be Improved. The Nigerian economy, it is no hidden fact, has been dancing on the edge of a very a very slippery quagmire. Today, it is almost standing, tomorrow, it is face down in the mud. Many have come up with solutions to these economic woes, although they persist. Nigeria is, surprisingly, (that’s’ when you understand the situation it finds it self) a very wealthy nation. Our presidents are some of the highest paid in the world, our legislators are among the highest earners, the oil and gas sector is worried by “too much” resources, the Abacha loots could buy a country, even snakes have been 36 million naira rich. It is certainly not in a poor country that these sort of financial miracles display.
In fact, some years back I heard from and international media organization that Nigeria is the country in which millions/ billions are mentioned most in financial discourses. And, if you ask me, I believe them. But why is the economy, as large as the largest in Africa still shows no sign of improvement? How could Nigeria’s economy be improved? It’s better to look into the latter than the former because doing otherwise always leaves any reasonable Nigerian wish for ignoble things due to the magnitude of the preposterous and terrible decisions which have brought us this low.
But we have been in the mix of the largest economies in Africa for so many years now. What does this tell us?
Nigeria has been building a people –alienating economy, and to improve the state of the Nigeria’s economy in a way that will translate into concrete economic improvements on the states of the majority of Nigerians rather than the selected few who have been monopolizing the country’s treasury since independence. Therefore, the first thing that should be done to truly improve the Nigerian economy is by intensifying efforts towards developing the massive human capital in the country. This would go a long way in energizing the private sector by encouraging entrepreneurial ventures, creating jobs, and so on. It is a known fact that small and medium scale Enterprises (Smiles) are the bed rock of many economies even on a macro level.
Nigeria’s Economy Would Benefit Greatly from a Purpose
Second, the Nigeria’s economy would benefit greatly from a purpose, rather than a tribal/ sentiment driven diversification. Nigeria has been depending on its natural resources, crude oil specifically, for too long. This has, as much as it has sustained the country this far, also limited the needed evolution of its economy. It has also destabilized the economy on several occasions like what we have currently. Nigeria’s budget is majorly funded by earnings from the oil exports. The current situation in the oil market has gravely endangered the country’s development plan for the year. So, it is obviously clear that with an economy built on many pillars, a single factor not working according to plan would not result in what we currently experience in the country.
Patronage of Locally Made Products
Third, patronage of locally made products. The Nigerian economy would stand to benefit from greater patronage of made in Nigeria products. Aside leading to a massive reduction in the already high trade deficits, it would ensure the circulation of Nigeria’s wealth among Nigerians thereby enriching Nigerians and Nigeria as well.
Fourth, trust local technology and workforce: There is bound to be an improvement in the Nigerian economy if most Nigerians, the elite specifically, begin to trust more in the ability of Nigerians. We are still far from boasting of a world class technology, but every country starts from somewhere. And when one realizes that the confidence on him is much, he has no choice than to strife not to disappoint. The staggering amount of money spent by Nigerians yearly on medical checkups would be more than enough to make at least one hospital in the country of international standard.
Fifth, investing in the local economy: The Nigeria’s economy has suffered from years of gross negligence. The very fact that the on-going construction of the Dangote refinery is the first attempt at a private refinery in the country is shocking enough and it is testament to this negligence. Even on the part of the government, the fact that Nigeria after over 60 years still cannot refine crude oil for a tenth of its population is an embarrassment.
What has the government been doing? What have all the money been spent on? I would not be surprised to know that Nigerians own refineries in other countries. It is therefore my own conviction that if Nigerians begin to invest on Nigeria, Nigeria’s economy would considerably improve.
Accountability on the Part of Government
Furthermore, accountability on the part of government: Nigeria’s economy would be better-off with more accountability from public office holders. This would ensure that funds are spent on the development of the society and for the benefit of the common wealth. The effect of this on the economy cannot be overemphasized. The Nigerian economy is basically government and if the government at all levels expend state resources as they should on the state, Nigeria would certainly not remain the same.
Also, eradication of corruption: The amount of money which have been embezzled in this country is unprecedented. And more worrying is that in most cases, the culprits get away with it. A governor got caught on camera collecting bribe and what happened? The next election came and he was off to the senate. The effect of this runs all the way down to the private sector. When firms are aware the government is corrupt enough to impoverish its citizens without remorse, they follow suit. This is a worrying trend in Nigeria and now we hear of corruption charges against foreign and domestic companies and this is just a scratch on the surface. A corruption free Nigeria would be a very economically viable one.
Improvement in the Education Sector
Improvement in the education sector: This does not require much emphasis. It is common knowledge that education is the bedrock of any developed economy. The low standard of education in the country has resulted in a quality-depleted work force. Nigerians now find it more prudent to spend exorbitantly on overseas education. The financial costs of these foreign education is alarming for a country whose education sector has been suffering from under-funding. An improvement in the education sector would lead to same in the quality of work force and the effect goes all the way up to to the economy.
Provision of Steady Electricity
Provision of steady electricity: It is said, most at times by gamblers, that you use money to find money. The cost of providing steady electricity, according to successive governments, is too high for them. Whatever they mean by that. But if they are sincere about this sector of the economy, then they would not need to be told that it is equally profitable to improve it, much more than not doing so. The electricity bill debts, most times, arise from the insuffiency of light and the improportionate charges. Let Nigerians be assured of 24hours electric power supply and let us see how they would not happily pay for it.
Greater Local Government Autonomy
Greater Local Government autonomy: It was late last year that the issue of local government autonomy was brought to rest. Local governments had been granted financial autonomy, although in truth, it has not been the case. But the essence of this is to ensure that the local settlements are economically viable owing to the injection of funds into them. This would reduce the overpopulation of the urban areas while ensuring the development of the rural ones. One cannot say these are all the ways in which Nigeria’s economy could be improved, but these would be not a bad place to start.