Unlucky the land whose king is a young pup,
And whose princes party all night.
Lucky the land whose king is mature,
Where the princes behave themselves
And don’t drink themselves silly……..Eccc 10:16-17 (MSG)
Am sure Josiah Gilbert Holland must have had this scriptures in mind when he penned the poem, God Give Us Men!
In our nation Nigeria, ever since we returned to democracy in 1999, i would say, the last 3 years has been the most miserable, and heart-rending so far. Before you start to take pocket shots, lets sit back and do a reflection, from Obasanjo’s 8 years to Yar’Adua’s 2-3 year sojourn and to Ebele’s current dispensation.
Each time i had the opportunity to sit with my Brother to talk heart to heart, his one major line is this, “It has never been this bad, but it will get better”. His other line, “this country cannot go on like this, otherwise there will be a total catastrophe”. And i won’t agree less… Here is someone who runs his own business and provides jobs for People. But has been forced to tailor down his operations, lay off people and had to set up a satellite office due in an area with “better” electricity than where the main office is.
Let’s look at the economy, yes we re-based our economy this year to make us the biggest economy in Africa, but in terms of naira and kobo to the peasant on the streets, what has this translated to? To the young chap and lady just leaving school, what is the job prospects? To the entrepreneur, where is the market, the financing, the wherewithal to successfully establish and run a business.
According to the Economist, ” Of course, Nigerians are no richer than they were……. The majority of the country’s 170m people live on less than a dollar a day. What the revised GDP figures show is that its economy is far more than just an oil enclave, exporting crude to pay for imported goods from richer countries. The oil industry’s share of GDP is now put at just 14%, compared with 33% according to the old figures. Manufacturing is much larger than previously thought. Services are booming. It is still a tough place in which to do business. – See more at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/04/economist-explains-2#sthash.WqXrim3L.dpuf”
With Oil accounting for 75% of Budgetted revenue, it is becoming increasingly a stark reality that the country needs to change its source of revenue from predominantly oil to other alternate source. Oil revenues has been on a steady decline in the last couple of years with the resultant effect on government budgeting, weaker oil prices, fall in capital project funding, fall in revenue sharing and all the works.
To be continued….