Nigeria is a wonderful country I can tell you. It is a country where people believe that mountains can move through some magical interventions. We are in a system where simple logic doesn’t work. If you have been following this blog, you wouldn’t be surprised at the current economic meltdown. It is a meltdown we all know but pretend not to be aware of its coming.
Let me state it again: Nigeria economy was never based on any economic magic by any egghead(s) in government. Nigeria economy, in the last 40 years, has never been based on any economic formulation by any “smart economic guru” somewhere. Our economy has always been based on selling and sharing crude oil money. It is simple! This crude oil money is shared, distributed and in many cases outrightly stolen. This circulating money runs the economy. Why this is difficult to understand baffles me.
Now, the crude oil money has crumbled. Mind you, Jonathan had troubles running the system with crude selling at over US$115/barrel, how do you expect the system to run perfectly with crude selling at about US$44/barrel? What kind of economics would help that analysis? I still don’t get it. The situation is gloomy and that is a fact. It is gloomy because of crude oil price. Like I have been saying for months; if the crude oil price doesn’t improve significantly, we are going to be in deeper mess. I don’t need an economist to tell me anything. It is a simple accounting fact of income and expenditure.
Like I have always said, agriculture is good. It would help us in no small measure. However, the truth is this: we were never running our “imperfect system” with agriculture. We never created the useless and money consuming states and local governments based on agriculture. We never decided that all 36 states must have ministers in the federal government based on agriculture, taxes and customs duties. The scale of monumental stealing of our funds was never based on agriculture. There is a difference between the stolen amount that could be pilfered in an agric sector and that of the oil sector. It would have been difficult for the system to absorb billions of stolen money if we were running on agriculture, it would have collapsed. The oil boom could easily absorb billions of stolen funds and there would still be stability in the system.
We live with oil and unfortunately we are gradually collapsing because of it. The problem I have with government is the inability or unwillingness of government to continually tell and show Nigerians that the basis of our economy is down. When government starts given a rebate of N197-US$1 in favour of hajj people, then, it creates a misnomer in the system. Why give out a rebate in forex when you don’t have the capacity to fully do so? Why spend your scarce forex on something that would not help you. What you just did was dashing bankers money. It creates a different impression to people. You give people the impression that you have when in actual fact you are struggling. This doesn’t smell nice at all.
However, the bottom line remains crude oil. People can hold as many seminars that they want to. Economists can say whatever they feel like. Buhari is helpless in this case because he needs the crude oil money the way we do. I have been praying fervently that the crude oil price rises significantly to at least up to US$75/barrel. I have also been praying that the Niger delta militants stop blowing the pipelines. I pray that these can be achieved so that we can pay off the thousands of civil servants being owed all over the country. I pray that these would help in the completion of so many abandoned projects around. I pray for these so that contractors would easily be paid. I also pray that, with enough of crude oil money, enough forex can flow into the system. This can step up the agricultural revolution we all crave for. Please God, we are at your feet begging…
For now, the problem is crude oil. However, Buhari is in the hot seat because he must get the money somehow without more austerity on our part. This is not the best of times for Buhari….Ewolewoo!!