As usual and to fulfil a civic responsibility, the Punch Editorial Board on 10th August, 2022 focused its editorial attention on the perilous states of the national economy of Nigeria. The first paragraph of the editorial opinion titled, ‘Economy Is Collapsing, Rescue lt Now’ says:
“Enfeebled for long by mismanagement, underperformance and sleaze, Nigeria’s economy is exhibiting clear signs of impending distress. … premised on rising debt and repayment obligations, inflation, extensive insecurity, and the foreign exchange crisis, among others.… But something must be done fast to save Africa’s largest economy.”Punch Editorial Board
Reading through the socioeconomic data which support the Punch analysis of the ‘collapsing’ economy and the prescriptions offered as cure, one is left wondering whether this is not a case of foolhardiness or of a denial of reality. One is tempted to ask, Is the Punch Editorial Board merely indulging itself in a wasteful exercise of writing fiction and serving its readers with utter illusion while Nigeria is riotously being burnt down?
The title of the essay, ‘Economy is Collapsing, Rescue it Now’ seems to confirm the suspicion of the case of a denial of reality. Is it right to say that the economy of Nigeria is just collapsing? Or, isn’t it more appropriate to say the economy of Nigeria has already collapsed?
Again, we need to ask, Who exactly in Nigeria is the Editorial Board sending the shopping list of what should be done to rescue the alleged ‘collapsing economy’?
Are we sure if there are still some responsible persons running the political affairs of the country? Are there any competent experts who are directly overseeing the operation of the economy of Nigeria?
Has the Editorial Board done appropriate studies to discover and to understand the covert and overt socioeconomic policies and particularly the spirit or political motives fuelling the direction of Nigeria’s ‘Buharinomics’?
Does the Editorial Board ponder about the possibility that the current state of the economy of Nigeria is in a parlous and deplorable situation because it was covertly planned to be so? And, could it be that the collapsed of the economy is another arm of the complex nefarious political agenda of destabilisation that is aimed at the ethnic conquest of the indigenous nations by President Buhari and his handlers?
The Punch Editorial Board, in the spirit of hope for a better future for Nigeria, put forward the following recommendations as prescriptions for the revitalisation of the ailing or collapsing or collapsed economy of Nigeria:
“Averting disaster requires taking some hard decisions. The six executive orders facilitating the ease of doing business, especially at the seaports and airports, should be implemented. The government should cut costs and stop the borrowing binge. The Ajaokuta Steel Company, uncompleted since 1978, should be denationalised transparently to provide the industrial backbone for the economy.
The government’s increasing resort to ‘Ways and Means’ has unpleasant long-term implications. It should instead plug fiscal leakages, partner with the private sector on petroleum products refining and imports and accord priority to building world-class infrastructure.
Government should effectively collect its taxes. Tax offenders should be prosecuted as in other jurisdictions where government runs on taxes, not commodity sales.
Retooling the security system is essential; the regime should secure international assistance to defeat Islamic terrorism and banditry. It should stamp out oil theft, which costs the economy $1.9 billion monthly, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.”Punch Editorial Board
Every item on this list is supposed to be a statutory responsibility of a functioning democratic government; that this is not the case in Nigeria is what should give everyone in the country some serious concern as an unpalatable food for thought.
The least contribution the economic analysts of the Punch Editorial Board can do and which it has done is to present a holistic political, social, and economic assessments of the dismal performances of the present government in the last 7 years. The results of the objective and nonpartisan findings, if we are willing to read them correctly, could have guided the Board’s conclusion and influenced the nature of the prescriptions that were presented. In other words, what the Board is offering is neither rational nor realistic enough to turn around the already collapsed economy of Nigeria.
To everyone who is wearing a thinking cap and not a tinfoil, it is more than obvious that there is nothing like happen-chance or accidental error in the beggarly state to which the national economy of Nigeria is presently consigned. That the economy of Nigeria is in doldrums is what should be expected because every act of the ‘Federal’ government of Nigeria since 2015 was premeditated and deliberately designed to produce the present socioeconomic outcome.
Hence, Nigerians should no longer ignore the prevailing general sociopolitical upheavals as a development of no relevance to the collapsed economy. Other probable contributing factors that have hastened the downfall of the ‘collapsing’/collapsed economy are: the nepotistic selection and carefree appointment of incompetent kinsmen of Mr President to manage the strategic institutions of government; the despotic hoarding of the ‘commanding heights of the economy’ in the grasping fingers of Mr President Buhari and his kinsmen; and the covert support and the State protection given to the members of the non-state armed Fulani Ethnic nationality to terrorise and to make the environments of Nigeria terribly inhospitable to local and foreign economic investments, farming and manufacturing production and other allied commercial activities.
Inasmuch as the Punch Editorial Board and other relevant authorities are refusing to take the above factors into consideration, any Shopping List of Dos and Don’ts to Rescue the “Collapsing Economy” that are being presented for the attention of a non-existing and non-listening government of Nigeria, is simply a share waste of time.
The True Reality of Nigeria
As at this moment, the true reality of Nigeria is obvious — Nigeria is a Failed State. We can quibble all day long about the extent of the collapse but there is no longer any iota of doubt that the economy of Nigeria has been fatally damaged and it has since collapsed irreparably. And all the indicators of social, political and economic underdevelopment are already pointing in the direction of a dangerous anticlimax that will likely end in existential ruin for the country.
For the umpteenth times, Nigeria State is in a confused, disorganised and extremely bad condition due to the ill-constructed foundation of the social, economic and political structures of the country. As a result of these impossible structures, all the institutions of governance are now irreparably unhinged and completely in disarray. In such a situation as afore described, the only sensible option left for the indigenous people of Nigeria is to strenuously, and quickly too, embark on the processes of a control demolition and dismemberment of the moribund political foundation of the Nigeria State.
This is the time, without any further delay, when the indigenous nations of Nigeria ought to apply the common sense and to do the needful by creatively setting into motion the machinery for the demolition and the rebuilding of the hopelessly faulty political foundations and socioeconomic structures of Nigeria.
If ‘Nigerians’ and the overburdened indigenous peoples of Nigeria failed to see the urgency of the calamitous situation and if they refused to act accordingly, then the natural and the divine forces — the impartial arbiter and the restorer of divine balance — will take control and do what it does best. Hence, it is imperative to admonish ‘Nigerians’ that for once in their lives, they should be sincere and should face the truth of the existential reality facing the country. With the available information in the open space, Nigerians should no longer continue to wait helplessly for the inevitable sociopolitical implosion of the godforsaken, oppressive and dehumanising economic structures of the Nigeria State to unravel tragically. For, now is the time to act.
With the rate of incessant genocidal destruction, banditry, kidnapping of citizens for ransom, ruthless and cold blooded killing of the innocents, insecurity of lives and properties, etc., that are going on all over the country, the alarm bell of an inevitable mega political disaster should be ringing in every ear. It is obvious to everyone, except the powers-that-be in Nigeria, that the centre of Nigeria is no longer holding up.
In essence, Nigeria has since passed the stage when the political elites who know and who understand the depth of the damages already caused by the mismanagement of the country can afford to be silent or to be politically correct in offering tiresome opinions. It is too late for any honest patriot to avoid telling the truth of the situation as it is in reality.
Frankly speaking and without mincing words, it is unfortunate that the whole lot of the motley crowd in the corridors of political power in Nigeria haven’t got the foggiest idea about what to do to turn around the national economy; to provide internal security; to safeguard a conducive environment; to initiate and encourage economic development; to promote peace and unity among the indigenous nations; and to assure trust and confidence in the people for a prosperous commonwealth.
It is sad to say that the Nigeria State, under the present fraudulent 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and the ill-conceived socioeconomic and political structures, is existing on a borrowed time. However, as long as those who know how close the country is to the Doomsday are ignoring the warning signs; and those who have the political means and the will to do something about it are refusing to act in the most beneficial and rational direction for the commonwealth, then the people have no one else to blame but those holding the reins of political and economic powers in Nigeria.
In all honesty and having considered the deplorable state of the human affairs in the length and breadth of the geographical space called Nigeria, the most rational and pragmatic option left for the indigenous people of Nigeria is to find legal ways and means to creatively and safely detonate the already primed political bombs that have been craftily set up across the country.
To all the friends and well wishers of the indigenous people of Nigeria anywhere in the world, this is the time to raise the alarm and more loudly too that there are terrible fires on the hills and mountains of Nigeria. This is the time to appeal to the supposed movers and shakers of political life in Nigeria to reconsider their intransigent hubris and reckless political games of conquest of land and people. The world should no longer look away or watch without empathy as ‘Nigerians’ are being deliberately marched to the slaughterhouse for ethnic cleansing in their millions. The world has a moral duty and the humanitarian concerns to urge the MisLeaders of Nigeria to wake up, to rise up and to do the needful even at this late hour about Nigeria.
If the political elites of Nigeria are unable to take immediate, practical and relevant political actions to abort the impending Doomsday of Nigeria, then ‘Nigerians’ and the world should be prepared to face the worst case of Extinction Level Event in West Africa.
In The Spirit of Truth
SAM ABBD ISRAEL