Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JJ Omojuwa — The bitter truth about Nigeria’s future

Nigeria, as it is presently set up, has no chance of thriving. The idea of certain countries today as “emerging economies” instead of “developing countries” as it was just years ago is proof of the fact that while political realities continue to define economic realities, the outlook of countries will first be defined by their economic realities before anything else.

I believe that one cannot appreciate the cost of Nigeria’s structural set-up without looking at it from the economic angle. Politics makes certain structural realities look essential but the economics of these realities reflect the bitter truth without the emotional appeal of political exigencies. A business that goes from having four executive leaders; as we had the leader of the national government and the elected Premiers of the four regions between 1960 and 1966, to now having 37 executive leaders in the President and the 36 elected governors, has no chance of thriving without a corresponding increase in its productivity. This alone would have dented an entity’s chances of profitability and survival but this was the least of the structural changes that cost our children their future. Those children are the adults who are today poorer than their parents were.

We are that country where the system of governance more or less demands that virtually all its revenue, including borrowings be spent on running government while whatever pittance is left can be spent on building infrastructure and providing health services. Nigerians like to ask, “Where is this country going?” It may look like a tough question but it is quite easy; if Nigeria continues with its current political structure and the same type of politicians running the structure, we will have it worse in the 2030s and 2040s than we do today.