No doubt the Nation’s Economic Fortune over the last six decades have been largely made to depend on the price of the Crude Oil. This has been our realties since the day it’s first discovered in Oloibiri, Rivers State in the year 1958 until out present realities where this national fortune has been grossly affected by alarming decline and dropping price of the Crude Oil in the international market.
While the Federal Government of Nigeria have repeatedly made several efforts to ensure the diversification of the nation’s Economy source from one which is largely dependent on the Crude oil to have other source of income streams which will in the long run lead to an increase in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP); it has however failed woefully in this regards to achieve this.
Natural gas till constitute 90% of the nation’s earnings as every other plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria to achieve this have always been one which can be called a surface dressing attempt or a paper attempt with no credibility or intentional efforts aimed to making them come to fruition.
The ravaging effects of the novel virus, Covid-19 has also facilitated the contraction and decline of the Oil Price which has also affected the nation’s economy wit. The inevitable truth arising from the aforementioned is that Nigeria must reimagine it’s Economic Strategy if it has any serious plan and intention to revamp its Economy outlook for better and improved performance.
In doing this, Nigeria must borrow a leaf from China, going back through the pages of history; six decades ago the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of China was lower than that of Nigeria. Coming to the year 1980, Nigeria was far ahead of China with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $884 while that of China was $195.
However this did not last long as the fortune of China began to change for the better in the eighties, a change which was greatly facilitated by the use of new improved Economic reforms and strategies.
The year 2019 saw the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of China reach $10,262 and the daunting truth about this is that it has not only overtaken the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is four times bigger than that of Nigeria.
The aforementioned brings us to one undeniable truth, greatness can be achieved and attained when people or group put themselves on the path of progress; on the path that makes the right decisions and choices which are executed by a firm sense of commitment, dedication and pragmatism which is devoid of ideological rigidity
Much of President Muhammadu Buhari’s national address in the last few months has seen him reiterate his plan to ensure that one hundred million Nigerians are lifted out of poverty within the next ten years.
While this plan seems a good and highly commendable one, the various questions regarding how this can be achieved and attained has not been answered. To pull such a large magnitude of people out of poverty in Nigeria is no days job neither is it one that can be achieved with just a snap of one’s fingers or with a wave of a magical wand.
This plan by the Presidency to achieve the aforementioned is yet to be backed up by any viable plan or economic strategy. The recently submitted National Budget for the year 2021 failed to address the plan of the Federal Government to achieve this.
There’s no indication of any special program by the Presidency to lift 10 million Nigeria out of poverty in the year 2022 and the fact is that the National Budget is the major instrument which is used by the federal government to implement and executive it’s various polices and projects.
While commendations have trailed the plan of the Federal Government to lift 10 million Nigeria out of poverty next year, it must however set up an enabling Economy to facilitate this. There must be a clear cut strategically panned out plan to this effect.
There are several things or reforms which it must set up or bring into play to achieve this. Just as Nigeria did, it must ensured that it has an Economy that is indigenously owned and operated. An Economy whose growth rest of the producing and manufacturing power of the nation rather than a straight jacket Economy where the people in Nigeria spend more on importing than exporting. Where the focus is not on the Crude Oil anymore but on numerous indigenous inspired streams of income.
First, Agriculture must be employed as a veritable tool to achieving this, there wasis a lot to be gained and derived economically from agriculture. The nation has a rich soil and climatic arrangements which can boost the various agricultural practices in the country. There needs to a full shift from the local and traditional way of farming to a highly mechanized farming system which will bring about a fast and easier process as well as a more profitable process.
Through the provisions of soft loans and capitals to farmers and start-ups, the availability of the right and modern agricultural knowledge to understand the new face of agricultural practices around the world. The establishment of industries that will buy from our farmers their produce, process them for consumption, sales and exportation are vital factors which must be employed to achieve this.
Adding to this, the Nation has hundreds of moribund industries which if revamped for effective and immediate work will go a long way in putting our country back on the path of a growing industrial society.
Most states in the Federation are majorly civil servants driven state which is very detriment to the Economic growth of the people and the nation at large.
Each states in Nigeria has various Economically potential products or raw materials which when harnessed properly will see to a rise and growth in their Economic lots.
The Nigerian youth must be actively engaged to this effect, many of them leaves or graduate from the various Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria looking and searching for jobs.
We must set up plans that will look into their immediate engagement in doing profitable ventures.
There’s no two way chances to the plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria to do the aforementioned thus the only viable way for it is to ensure that it truly localize its Economy by giving way to the state of a thriving Economic outlook
By Marcus Amudipe