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ECONOMIC CRISIS (an extract from The Radar)

To the layman, production and consumption of goods are natural processes which keep up without verifying the needful, whether in quantity or quality, so long as the goods are readily available. But for the experts, it is perceived from the economic point of view which is the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods, services and supply of money. Nigerians have lately been inundated with the term “economic recession”, which may be confusing to the ordinary man on the street, hence the need for a bisection and dissection of the term.

Economic recession comes about as a result of a decline in gross domestic products (GDP), which in itself is referred to as the market value of all goods and services produced within a given period of time, for two or more consecutive quarters. An economic downturn is as related to recession as a twin, and it suggests that the rate of economic growth is slowing down and possibly entering into a danger zone otherwise known as recession. This is why we have to jettison the term“recession” because in all, downturn and recession form a junk of crisis. Why should we then not address the nation’s present state as firmly in the ugly embrace of economic crisis? The economic crisis currently facing Nigeria goes beyond politics. The intervention of economic experts is needed to put a lasting rest to what has come to bring slavery back in the form of foreign assistance. A widely known and accepted fact is that Nigeria is one of the most endowed countries in the world in terms of natural resources, yet this has not proven the country to be one of the best policy executors in the world. From a critical angle, politics has sunk deeper into the country that attention has gradually drifted away from addressing economic matters to worries about who created the crisis scenario and under whose administration it escalated.

The Nigerian leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, is currently agitating for emergency power to falsify the rise of economic crisis, but some policy makers elected as National Assembly legislators opine that it is an avenue for the president to become a dictator by usurping their powers and taking the country back to military era where democracy will no longer have its place. The request for the emergency power is partly linked to the Emergency Power Act of 1961, but in this case, the economy is affected as against the political motive of 1961. On the other hand, could it be that the fears of some legislators that are delaying the passing of the bill could be likened to fear of guilt as most will be denied unnecessary gains that come out of projects awarded? The president has powers in his own right to make policies, so long as he passes through the right procedure as enunciated by some National Assembly members, and hence the cause of their worries over the recent agitation.

In all of these fiasco, citizens are equally tainted to have ignored their line of duty as they form part of the alliance that constantly sabotages the economy of the country. We all know that oil forms the strongest part of Nigeria’s livelihood, and it has drastically degenerated in value as a matter of lack of maintenance and vandalism of pipelines by some citizens.

In actuality, where are the farms that produced agricultural products in the days of yore? The farms that produced our cotton, grains, and other farm products, all gone and farmers have become urban settlers. Even mechanized farming is of a low range. Oil spillage has caused a decrease in fishes in the rivers, and deforestation has gained prominence like a king in the jungle.

At this juncture, we all know that Nigeria can rise again if we are all ready to dip our hands in the economy to loosen and tighten some bolts that are necessary. From a policy perspective, we need economic development which is an effort to improve the economic well being and quality of life for our country by creating and retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and tax base. Our gross domestic products must rise, by avoiding monopoly, monopsony and oligopoly. Increase in production of locally made products must skyrocket so that prices of goods and services are moderated though not totally deflated, but dissimulated in a bid to increase the value of the Nigerian currency. 

The National Assembly should work towards passing the Emergency Power Bill if it is considered as the only way to make standing policies, and if not, the National Assembly should not hesitate to grant any bill that intends to improve the economic state of the country. Above all, corruption must be made to die a natural death. It must stop!

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