Since the inception of the current government, the Nigerian economy has been battling to survive. Inflation is still hovering around 17.24, unemployment has risen to 24% all in the last quarter, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics. Production is crippled as industries are closing up.
According to Punchng.com, since last year, not less than 272 firms had been forced out of business, 50 of which were from the manufacturing sector of the economy and the external sector is not spared as the dollar at one point touched its all-time high of #500 naira to Dollar!
But the country is not supposed to bleed like this if only there could be some sort of better implantation of policies. According to the Emir of Kano and Former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Sansui Lamido, the Nigerian economy is ran like a car driven by a man who doesn’t know how to drive. He stressed that inconsistency on the part of the current government is responsible for the economic woes of the nation.
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Beside this however, one thing that stood out from the inception of this government was its clamp on corruption and corrupt politicians who have looted the treasury for so long.
The Government was bent on exposing looting politicians and make them face the drum beat of the law. But this could have been done using better strategies to help get the monies and channel them to productive sectors instead of the popular approach it took which has resulted to bury of cash in farmlands by looters.
Nigeria does not have economic problems; what the country has is a policy problem with economic consequences. And this happened because what I call “free money” (looted fund) has powered the Nigerian economy for such a long time that sudden withdrawal of it from the system could cause some sort of economic panic which is what I believe that the Nigerian economy is currently facing.
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The present economic recession of the country could be termed a “political recession” because the leaders don’t understand “street economics” and the power of “free money” in driving the African economy.
When a proper means of recovering and directing loots into the main stream of the economy is discovered, looters could be more corporative in bringing out their loots.
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, recently expressed shock over the wicked manner in which some political thieves have looted the treasury and resulted to burying their loots in farmlands for fear of being caught by the government.
Most recently, the Economic and Financial Crimes commission recovered about 1.5 billion naira in a farmland in Abuja, the capital territory. Sometime in February this year, The Economic and Financial crimes Commission also recovered about 9.7 million Dollars from Former Nigerian National Petroleum commission (NNPC) MD, Andrew Yakubu buried in a remote Village in Kaduna State. Early this month, about 43. 4 Million dollars and 23.2 million naira were recovered in an abandoned building in Lagos Nigeria. This money is allegedly owned by Peter Odilli, the former governor of Rivers State. The question then begging for answer is: how many of these money pits are yet unknown and how many will remain unknown forever?
The government could use soft landing measures or proper negotiation systems to make money bags willfully surrender their loots to government instead of burying it due to fear of punishment or outright ceasure.
Street sense is more important than book sense! This is why the government should settle down and use more tactical approach to going after these looters. “Voodoo economics” and “by force by fire” approach to fight corruption will not help in this case. If better strategies are not employed by this present administration, the Nigeria economic woes will linger as the amount of money buried away in bushes and farmlands might just be enough to save the economy and put it back to shape.