There comes a time or period of general economic decline typically accompanied by a drop in the stock market, an increase in unemployment, and a decline in the housing market. It is a period called economic recession; a disease that is first caused by the ruler, head of federal reserve, or the entire administration, but nursed by the entire nation. Nigeria is currently swimming in the murky waters of a decline in gross domestic products for two or more consecutive quarters. The crude oil which is 90.1% in ballpark of the country’s wealth is still in the ground, but the proceeds are lessened, the economy as Africa’s finest is with threatened position, and the blame game is all that matters. This paper will show facts and logic present in Nigeria politics, the state of the Economy, and the choice of the masses.
No educated man talks about “blame” and say it is synonymous to “decision” in literal meaning. The verb “to blame” is one that point fingers to a thing as the cause of a nosedive. It is good for checks and balances in government. In a system where Democracy rules, the “trias politica” which represents the separation of duties, is one that allows for independence, effectiveness, and checks. The check is the apportionment of blames or critics on any derailing arm of government still to foster effectiveness and make room for correction or replacement e.g is impeachment cases. This is to curb arbitrariness and it is one that is considered as good law and within the foyer of commonsense. Decision on the other end, is a conclusion or stand that is subject to change depending on circumstances, or is duly so fixed that a choice to derogate from it is hardly considered except the aftermath is hideous.The nexus between the two terms must be in application. To decide to blame is in itself, a decision. It is not a bad thing to blame the bad decisions that killed an economy, but it is not advisable to persist in such blame that the way out of the pit is omitted. The voice of the people is that Pr. Muhammadu Buhari hurled his people into recession, and the statistics show that 33% have Buhari as Nigeria’s problem as against the 31% that former Pr. Goodluck Jonathan carried. The polls show that blame is now the albatross choking Buhari’s administration despite the popular recession talks. What appears forgotten is that Buhari won on a free and fair basis and that he was not wrong to identify a problem —corruption. The identified problem was never nouvelle but was not considered as worth fighting against as it had flourished in the entire country; a plague that many persons enjoy and would rather it ends them than it being cured. It is argued that corruption cannot be cured. But is that not lame an argument as it is logically unsound to quench cupidity from the mind of a man gunning for fleshy satisfaction? It is safe when the argument questions the feasibility of curbing corruption in Nigeria. Affirmatively, most identifiable problems have a way out, and corruption has a mitigation. If Pr. Buhari is now blamed for inefficiency, what has he decided? To blame another body?
There were policies and actions by Pr. Buhari to “stop” corruption. The actions started from a sluggish step to bringing a ministerial list. He got blames afterwards as the persons he attached to himself (ministers) were not irregular hands. He cut the ropes of attachment between himself and the National Assembly and even from being a tool of the APC, according to many lips; but did he? The corruption or anti-graft fight probably answers this question negatively as evidence showcase that a chunk of those probed are members of the PDP. It is thusly argued that this is merely witch hunting than fighting corruption. Practical scenerios which flowed from Vanguard News a year ago, showed how Elder Godsday Orubebe of the PDP got summoned to appear before the Code of Conduct Trial over allegations of false declaration of assets and acceptance of bribes from contracts awarded while he was Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Interestingly, the pastor alleged to have given him the bribe knew no charge. Exclusive reports showed how Olisa Metuh got away with EFCC’s allegation right after the EFCC’s Boss got invited to Aso-Rock. PDP felt witch hunted as Dasuki had no such favours. But that one adopts the voice of PDP members as enough grounds to quash the anti-corruption agenda, may do well to cause a severe blindness to the good works the administration has put in place. A very crucial instance of some of the good works, is the Single Treasury Account which has ensured for checks on monies going out and coming in. It is sound to say that looting has been reduced to an extent, and the President is not clueless.
Witnesses can affirm that our system has been with exposed anus as far as the blame game the politicians call favourites is concerned. Since the Obasanjo v Atiku explosion, to the Dogara v Jibrin unwrapped drama, it is not uncommon for godfathers and sons to try quench the burning dominance of their opposition or those they have a clash of interests with. The activists are now being bought with money, the journalists report news that swells traffic and enrich their pockets — they forget they are the conscience of the Nation, they will be remembered in subsequent articles. A very topical matter is the blame game that Magu is undergoing — Tough times for him, tough calls for Mr. President. That the Senators will reject Magu on grounds of close interaction with one suspect the DSS is prosecuting, may hold some merits. But will it hold merits upon the review of circumstances that led to the entry into ministerial positions of Rotimi Amaechi and Babatunde Fashola despite allegations? It will not hold merit logically for the Senate to drop or refuse Magu on grounds of mere allegations without proof its truth, and uphold the nominees of Mr. President (Amaechi and Fashola) on mere allegations but quashing for untruth. It may be well within the laws for the Senate to refuse Magu, and it may be argued aright Buhari will be on his military attire to stubbornly refuse Magu’s refusal. But questions need to be asked: are APC senators unhappy that they do not have the President on their side fully? Is there ruckus between the APC senators and the APC ministers? Maybe there is bad blood in APC camp as Rotimi Amaechi, who is from the APC camp, stressed that the senate are to be blamed not Buhari — of course he knows that majority of those in the senate are APC; or would one rather opine that he meant no bad blood but just being and independent bulwark of truth? History has revealed that some years behind us, Mr. President had a chat with group of boys in Borno state. Magu, one of the students, was encouraged by the wise and inspiring talks of Mr. President and this lured him to assemble sufficient passion and join the police force. It is also lettered that by mid-day(2016), Magu had secured 143 convictions of corrupt officials after emerging as the EFCC Boss, courtesy the President. This should not be far away in explaining the recalcitrance of Mr President to let Magu go. Also, this may be used to question the hands of the senators rumoured to be chagrin as there is little means of stealing plus tight follow up of the EFCC agents. You would wonder how Sen. Ndume ever got involved.
Hastily, for record purposes, it should be stressed that the Magu saga did not have its genesis just recently. It goes back as four months old albeit relaxed when the President got involved. The blame game shifted then from Magu to sen. Ndume on grounds that he challenged the mode or manner Magu was rejected as it was contrary to their Standing Rules which allowed that the person under severe scrutiny knows no behind-the-door arrival of decision by senators without his complete presence. It is believed by sen. Ndume that his dissenting remark caused him his seat as the Senate Majority Leader. He blames Saraki. Maybe this blame game is very accurate but there should be room anyway to hear another account and choose which to digest. Maybe Saraki(senate president) did not have bad blood towards Ndume; Saraki’s controversial emergence as Senate President necessarily brought a scar in the minds of some persons particularly his contender, sen. Lawan. Ways were sought for to die down the pressure of the certain APC faction and the automatic implication was to remove Ikweremadu(Deputy Senate President) or set aside sen. Ndume from his graceful seat as Majority Leader. Ndume got sacrificed to lessen the number of enemies on Saraki’s shoulders; its truism or falsity is only opening windows for a legion of political debate or more blames. Recent headlines is the Saraki and Dino Melaye scandal even in the dying state of the economy. Ndume again is the lamb to be slain for reporting a news that was on every Newspaper’s front page to the Ethics and Privileges Committee — it was over the NO SCHOOL FOR MELAYE. One might ask “why did it have to be Ndume forwarding such petition?” But then it had to be someone. He is currently suspended for reporting what he saw and not because he was the pioneer behind the scandal issue as he indeed was not. The suspension was after the saga was cleared by evidence although Sowore, from Sahara reporters, keeps bringing further evidence. In a land where paucity of wisdom lies, it is not to be thought that it spreads to the veranda of the law makers — sadly, the decision to suspend, did. Asking that Ndume apologizes to Saraki clears it all; it is indeed a blame game. If it is not a Magu controversy, it is the Comptroller General’s uniform issue. What some persons do not know is, if we keep spending a large chunk of our time writing the wrongs of Nigeria, we may have little or no strength to write its rights and the way forward.
Thusly, in the event that we choose to dwell on the way out, it is safe to look at the economy of Nigeria, and the way other great nations survived recession, deep recession, depression, and the likes — comparing presidents and catapulting blames to ministerial heads will only leave us going in circles but knowing growth not. Why are we in recession? Let us be practical here. Crude oil is our strength but refineries is our weakness. It is a financial term “SWOT” that a man knows his weaknesses and improves on it. Imagine we had refineries in Nigeria, there would have been room for employment rather than the current state where our crude oil needs to travel to foreign countries to have it refined and exported back as finished products. When it is to be transported, the exchange rate becomes way too baffling as the global currency for trade is dollars. If it goes this way, the price of the oil must fall if it must attract Nigerians to buy. It becomes a cooking recession when the oil reserve suffers drought due to less importation of oil as a result of exchange rate — it must cook because the available petrol for supply is lower than the demand and once a country inevitably embraces inflation, it unreservedly kicks not against recession. This is no sin of Buhari as earlier governments established no refineries, neither did they boom other sectors of the economy. If there was a boost in Agriculture, there would have been more jobs hence securing economic growth. This does not go to mean that Buhari should assume the title of a saint as “they” have contributed in this grave recklessness. Dollar is not the problem — a country properly industrialized with every sector functioning fine should normally have their currency witnessing appreciation. Ours suffer, and it has its ignominious tale known in the trade market. Pointing out the problem is pointing out over population, meagre locally made goods, high rate of unemployment. It is interesting that despite the state of the economy, some banking institutions hoard dollars to increase the taste of in-need-of-dollar citizens. They then inflate the price of dollar for personal gain, and making things unbearable is the killer rate parallel markets sold to citizens. Inflation and unemployment are considered as key tools to making a country remain subterranean but maybe it should be known that, contrary to accusations from Gbadamosi(a business man), CBN has intervened by pumping dollars to many banks, engaging in workable policies to cater for business travel allowances, tuition and medical bills. The problem identified by the CBN Governor was that of SPECULATION OF THE MARKET. Commendable was how it engaged in spot sales and realized appreciation of Naira in bits; it is advised that CBN looks out for greedy banks hoarding cash for personal gain and bloody politicians wallet enjoying the skyrocket of their every dollar note. Security and transparency is key, policies and check on the operation of parallel market is also good measure. From $1-N500 to $1-N350 more or less, shows improvement.
In furtherance, employment issue is currently being tackled as the Osinbajo’s SME‘s initiative in Abuja which is to be imbibed in all 36 states should do perfectly fine to have people busy — the logic is, the less unemployed, the head out of recession. One might be meteoric to utter that our country should consider being properly industrialized. This is not an untruth generally, but maybe looking at China will evince its shortcomings. China has industries but this does not mean they have a lot of persons employed as machines take the place of man. It is not incorrect an assertion that China is part of the world powers but still battle with gender discrimination job-wise. It is well within wits that keeping people out of jobs on discriminatory grounds, sends the National Income into an a hot pot of sufferance though the GDP be affected slightly. As a matter of fact, Investopedia and other economic analysis show that China is close to a recession and right now, they stand as the highest importer of oil which does not reflect in their GDP as it is not extracted from her soil. Point therefore is, industrialization will work fine for an economy but policies should be put in place to ensure job opportunities and job securities. In addition, working on other sectors of the economy should be pursued aggressively. The question is usually HOW? Pleasing to the ears will be the reminder to all that the second biggest refinery that Africa will ever know is undergoing construction courtesy Aliko Dangote who has said he would give $7BN in liquidity; CBN, organizations far and within have commenced financial support and add ups for economy rescue as well as being a shareholder to such a benefiting move. Answering HOW? appears self explanatory probably — it is going to be a means of revenue for the government, a move away from importation, encouraging more hands i.e employment, a boost of the GDP, reduction in price, boom of business, chance for competition, and enough money to trek into other sectors of the economy which gladly appreciates Naira. It needs not be deemed that the government have given to folding arms and merely partnering with Dangote’s initiative as the PMB administration is working on railway transport services to reduce cost of transportation of goods available for supply as well as to end the delay in moving goods susceptible to rot.
The blame game is a means the political guns adopt to create bias in the minds of the masses. It is a PDP-APC racket that is just an accepted abnormal culture — the release of Goodluck Jonathan’s Waec result by Reno Omokri, show the mind game PDP be playing on the masses to secure their spot in the apex seat of power. The quick allegation against one of Jonathan’s aid, Dudafa, over a missing N15M believed to rope in Jonathan for corrupt practices, is a neutralizer employed to frustrate PDP camp and ambition. They have their interests to protect first, they are just being politicians — this is understood. We should be no victims of their blame game, with the things on ground there is a bag of hope to be expectedly backed. It is bad that we are suffering but it is one that after a recovery, will make us more meticulous lest another fall. Osinbajo did well in meeting with Niger Deltans. It is good that schemes come their way for peace to reign if the refinery construction must go smoothly — they want to leave impoverishes and they want to witness development, take them out of their pain. Nigeria will bounce back as Africa’s finest and greatest.