The current state of the Nigeria Economy is pathetic, the moribund state of the nation financial strength is disheartened. An average Nigerian struggle to eat three times a day, the poverty rate has increased drastically.
High crime rate is what we tackle daily, people are in pain, agony and the country, herself, is in a great economic debacle.
So whose fault? That’s the questions on everyone’s lips, on a more serious note, this problem is our problem. Our leaders are our problem. They are the root of our problems. It doesn’t just started today, it has been lingering since the early discovery of oil. Before the discovery of crude oil, agriculture was the main source of revenue for the nation. The economic activities as at this time was clear from doubt. There was little or no issue of corruption then. But now crude oil, which is supposed to be a source of economic relief , has now become economic threat.
Sometimes ago, David Cameron said at this year’s World economic forum meeting at Davos on January 24th, 2013, that Nigeria earned 100 billion dollars in oil revenue for the year 2012. This is more than all the aids given to the entire Sub-Saharan Africa but due to corruption and lack of transparency of the government, the impact of this huge earning is not felt in our economic life rather we continue to suffer. Funniest thing is that the fund is being squandered even before it reaches the nation. The only thing we hear is the magnitude of the figure but not the actual implementation.
The former prime minister further disclosed the nefarious acts of our so called leaders, he disclosed how the leaders looted over 800 million dollars from oil revenue paid to Nigeria. However, this claims were refuted by the former Presidential spokesman, Reino Omokri.
The revenue generated from oil alone is enough to salvage this country economy without any financial aid from any foreign body. Part of the acts of fraud in the Nigeria oil sector is the selling of oil through intermediaries. This denies the nation of some revenue, this revenue belongs to the intermediaries. Thus, increasing the price of the oil after reselling. Also, do you know the Nigeria oil is marketed through the Switzerland channel, part of it is the multibillion fuel subsidy scam which was supposed to be a measure to alleviate and reduce the Nation’s expenses on oil but reverse is the case, this initiative is a means of extorting the country treasury of about N2 trillion. This was done with full confidence as there was no measure to check mate this. Even if one was available, such case would be kept away from the masses and settled with smile on their faces.
Nigeria’s ex-minister of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had sternly denied that the nation was broke during her days in the office. This is obviously a fallacy, it is just a means to calm our boiling nerves.
From then till now, we are still experiencing the same pain, though the administration has changed but the situation is still the same.
Every hook and cranny of the country is seriously feeling the instability of the nation economy. Everyone is broke due to the mismanagement of the oil revenues.
In 2012, The budget for the fiscal year was 5 trillion naira, this is about 30billion dollars. According to the former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, The total revenue earned from oil sales in the same year was 100 billion naira. Imagine the difference, but today Nigeria still have to borrow money from external financial bodies, like IMF to fund the nation budget. Its displeasing to hear this, where is the excess revenue from the oil, where are they buried? Who are those in charge of the funds.
Funny enough, during this period Nigeria has accumulated greater foreign debts and its 2012 repayment figure was $246,663,000 according to the Index mundi. The total foreign debt stands at $6.7 billion. Unfortunately, the confused government at this time embarked on schemes to tax the aggrieved masses via removal of oil subsidies and other schemes of such to finance capital for the government expenditure. This is what we hear on air on a daily basis, several schemes were initiated but the fact is they are fruitless, there are several loopholes in the administration that usurp the gain of the schemes as they materialized, thus, leaving the nation broke and all efforts waged to make things better are seen useless.
The nation’s domestic debt has increased alarmingly as a result of the struggle of providing basic infrastructure and amenities to ease the life of Nigerians. Contracts were awarded but the payments were withheld because the financial power of the nation is weak, thus, throwing the nation into huge debt complicating the nation financial mishap as a result of the mismanagement of the ministry of petroleum, the insincerity of some Nigerian oil cartels. It has now become a tradition in Nigeria politics where the ruling administration intentionally starve the nation of her Economic dues till the beginning of the next election to aid there campaign, thus, making serious vows and pleads to convince the masses thereby electing them into power for the next term.
The saga of the ex minister of oil, Diezani Alison-Madukwe, was the biggest blow on the Nigeria economy, when she and her “partners” Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko were alleged of illegal transfer of over N58.9 trillion Naira. This fund is enough to sustain Nigeria for almost a decade. Till date, we barely heard about the case. Well am not surprised, the judges are also in the game, who knows whether they have their share in the national cake. This money equals the nation’s total earned oil revenue for four years at the rate of $100bn or 16 trillion/year. These culprits are living in great affluence with luxurious fleet of cars and fly around the world with private jets while the rest of Nigerians, the minors, are made to suffer the consequence.
The case of the Niger Delta is another serious threat to the oil industry. Over there, oil theft is the business of the day, this has caused a lot of hazards; environmental pollution is at it bream over there. All the marine habitants are no where to be found owing to the destructive activities of the dwellers. But are they really to be blamed? Or can we accord their acts to frustration? The top oil officers are not faithful to the masses, the oil benefits should be share among all citizens and not restricted to a family as we have been seeing it.
Even now that the driver of the country is so strict and gives zero tolerance for corruption or any corrupt practices, some individual, even within the government are big menace to the progress of this country, a good example is the case the judges involved in the fire arms saga that made thousands of Nigerian lives kissed the dust untimely. The nation is weeping profusely, in need to great help from her citizens and not add salt to her injury. Several measures have been put in place to rejuvenate the nation economy part of it is the construction of a new refinery to stop the activities of the middle men, the taxes imposed on all the commodities but the its funny to know that the taxes are allow to “have weight” before being looted as a whole.
Enough is enough, the oil is our entity, a national one for that matter and not a family or ancestral one. Other countries like Saudi Arabia basically depends on oil and they are doing pretty well economically. This is possible by the virtue of sincerity and patriotism of her citizens, unlike Nigeria where the reverse is the case.