Barely 12 months into the Babangida regime, the duo of International Monetary Fund and World Bank penetrated the government
Author: Ola Emmanuel
If you are having a greenfield production project and you are thinking that a bank in Nigeria will listen to you, you have another thing coming your way.
The poor economic denominators identified above, as witnessed also in other countries with weaker currencies, will always give birth to thriving parallel markets as a result of excess demands where supplies are lacking. Especially in an economy where local production is practically non-existent, exchange rates affect costs of goods and services; and where a country relies so much on goods and services produced in other countries, and such a country floats its currency, it is certain that the currency value will move about in response to supply and demand factors. Also, where supply of forex cannot meet legitimate demands, it will lead to a boost in parallel market activities. In addition, unpredictable exchange rates will give market players undue opportunities to profit from trading in foreign currencies because it is certain that a floated currency without sustainable supply windows will turn the country’s currency to a speculative currency. In the piece titled ‘What Is Money’, written by Irena Asmundson and Ceyda Oner and published by International Monetary Fund, Finance and Development, the duo declared: “If people start expecting that prices will continue to rise, they may increase their own prices even faster. Unless the government acts to rein in expectations, trust in money will be eroded, and it may eventually become worthless”. When trust is eroded, it means a loss of confidence.
The costs of governance in Nigeria, compared to some selected countries is very instructive
Greater percentage of Nigerians are far behind when it comes to seeking knowledge and applying the right knowledge. These significant lot love noise making and mediocrity, and they gleefully celebrate this patchiness in ignorance and world of fantasy.
On Thursday, September 28, 2023 at the Ministry of Works and Housing, a spectacle was beamed to the entire world. An employee, the spokesperson, in the Ministry took the microphone to school the Minister, the representative of Mr President. The minister’s infraction? He was accused of locking the entrance gate against late comers at about 9.30am that day. The late-comer employees, after amassing to a sizeable number, turned soberness to protest. The civil servants’ spokesperson goes thus: “In civil service, Honourable Minister, there are laid down principles. There are guidelines.” He paused to turn to his fellow co-travelers and bellowed, “can you hear me? of which they shouted their rancorous response. He then turned to the Minister who stood at attention like a child summoned for reprimand by his father, and continued the schooling. “There are guidelines and principles in running the civil service. No one is a sole administrator. It doesn’t happen in civil service (listen very well, another interjected from the crowd of employees to which he received “please calm down” from the man with microphone). “We were surprised, he continued, “for us to come to office this morning and we found that, the security personnel told us that you gave instruction for them to lock the gate. Sir, to us you have actually placed the cart before the horse. Since you came in, have we had any issue with you? No. And you have never deemed it fit to call us as stakeholders to address us. If you have challenges, rather than all these things, we see you on media castigating us as civil servants (“yes, yes” from the crowd). It is uncalled for. Whether you like it or not, civil servants are the most respected citizens in this country. Without civil service, this country cannot move forward (“yes, yes” from the crowd). Sir, you are saddled with the responsibility of an administrator to fix Nigeria’s roads. But sir, it is quite unfortunate you have been here for months now. We want you to swing into action. We have not seen even a kilometer of a road being laid. Rather, you kept on going around and castigating us, intimidating us. Sir, we are not like that and we cannot take that. Sir you see what we want? We are civil servants, you need to respect us in the first place. It is a must that you respect us. It is a must. Now secondly, you need to carry us along. You cannot do this work alone. And you cannot import workers from outside to do the work for us. It is not possible. So what we want is total respect.”
During the period of the Great Depression, farmers were asked not to produce and they were paid for not producing. This intervention was carried out to stop food prices from falling; and to protect smallholder farmers. The two American presidents (Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt) both set price floors on agricultural products so that farm produce would not become tons-a-kobo. In 2005, Indonesia more than doubled fuel prices; while in 2008, the country increased fuel product prices by 25-33 per cent. What was realised through this measure were used to finance a cash compensation program to 15.5 million poor families. Jordan also adopted and implemented this mechanism that same time. It was a huge success for the two countries that shows how government can effectively use social safety nets as part of measures to reduce impacts of shocks when carrying out economic reforms.
Cameroon was the world’s most productive country in 2022 with an average employee productivity of 94.1%; while Nigeria was the third least productive country (47.7%). This was the outcome of a research carried out and published by DeskTime. As revealed in the published research work, the most productive country in Europe was Spain with average productivity of 89.8% (in 8th position globally) while the USA was the 15th most productive country in the world (87.3%). On the down side, Nigeria chose ranks with Iran (the least productive, (38.6%) and Mongolia (41.9%). No one should be surprised by this revelation; not with the kind of Nigeria’s public sector that is characterized by poor work ethics, inflated contracts, employment scams and other social ills that are now as rampant as invading locusts and grasshoppers in dried savannah.
“Having reviewed the relevant texts of the resolution concerning statistics of the economically active population, employment, unemployment and underemployment (and) recognising the need to revise and broaden the existing standards in order to enable better statistical measurement of participation of all persons in all forms of work and in all sectors of the economy; of labour underutilization; and of interactions between different forms of work; as well as to provide guidelines on a wider set of measures than previously defined internationally, thereby calling attention to the usefulness of these standards to enhance the international comparability of the statistics, to their contribution to the measurement of decent work and of well-being of households and society in general, thereby supporting and facilitating the post-2015 development agenda, as well as to the achievement of gender justice, acknowledging that the relevance of measures of work in a given country will depend on the nature of its society, labour markets and all user needs, and that their implementation will therefore, to a certain extent, be determined by national circumstances, (hereby) adopts the following resolution in substitution for the resolutions of 1982 and of 2008.”
The brutal truth is that Nigeria and her people can no longer afford payment of lip-service or struggle to achieve production projects