By Tony Navah Okonmah
Nigeria will be 62 years as an independent country on 1 October 2022, and it will be 62 years of failed experiment. Admittedly sadly so, is the fact that the up coming generations are in far worse situation as mayhem is already unleashed on the country that has lost its compass of civilisation, law and order. No one knows what to do and little do anyone care anymore it seems, and in Nigeria of today, anything goes. It is sad, painfully sad.
The political class is increasingly becoming sovereign citizens than other Nigerians, uncontrollable with brazen lootings of public treasuries, impunities at high crescendos while the poor masses, watch haplessly. There is complete break down of institutional norms and ethics, and the principles of checks and balances are non-existence in any preface of the Nigerian society.
I watch with utter disgust and pains of how a supposed great country like Nigeria is confined to almost near irrelevance in the fallout of the events of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s a shame that Nigeria could not capitalise on the gains and opportunities provided by this Ukraine war to reset its economic growth that could usher in stability and expansion (growing new markets), and most importantly use the window of opportunity of a weak dollar to seek new debt refinancing and debt reduction. What about the opportunity provided by the spikes in energy production – increased oil and gas prices? America and Europe are frantically looking for oil producing countries that will be abridges to the near collapse and chaos hovering over the energy industry, spooking the world economies to near comatose, sending inflation spiralling uncontrollably, food prices almost beyond the reach of ordinary citizens, but these nations have scoffed Nigeria and have not looked in our direction. Saudi Arabia is the darling toast of these nations and America will rather consider lifting its oil sanction on Venezuela than look in the direction of Nigeria. That is how unimportant and insignificant they regard Nigeria, a country that is the number one major oil producer in Africa in 2020. We can’t blame these Western countries. We have ourselves to blame. We have not been able for 62 years proved we are a serious country in the committee of nations. Every space they view in Nigeria, is chaos and anarchy, irresponsible governments and politicians, disjointed civil service, and unorganised private sectors. You really can’t find a space for soft landing and the problem of Nigeria is so frightening, it is huge and daunting.
Election bell is ringing everywhere now in Nigeria. All the talks now is about election 2023, and the politicians are having real games, floundering incoherent manifestoes that the electorates are not even interested in, than the money these politicians are throwing about. No one is paying attention at the looming economic tsunami that is ahead, the crisis created by the Ukraine war coming at the heels of an already ailing world economy, the effect of a gruelling COVID-19 pandemic. I fear for the worse for Nigeria and I have real pity for the coming political regime. They are going to have a real tough time and anyone thinking that Nigeria’s salvation is at the exit of President Buhari in 2023, must be living in coocoo land. It is not going to happen. No, not with this present kind of politicians in Nigeria. This is the more reason we need visionary leaders and technocrats with clear visions and directions that will save Nigeria in the coming economic apocalypse that is facing Nigeria in the years ahead and the first two years after the 2023 election are very crucial to Nigeria’s existence.
This is why the idiocy that was exhibited by the Central Bank Governor, Emefiele who valued his personal ambition far greater than the national interest is unimaginable. In a time like this, when the nation needs his total dedication to the people of Nigeria in crafting policies and directions to save the country and the economy from collapse as a result of the impact of a struggling world economy, and prevailing rising inflation, Emefiele chose to test the terrains of politics. Let’s be clear, Emefiele has the right like every other Nigerian to aspire for any public office he may wish, but did he need to be goaded to do the right thing? It’s a shame he had to be schooled about “conflict of interest”. However, this is not about Emefiele, it is about a failed country and a disjointed society. It is about 62 years of failed experiment. Nigeria is a failed experiment.
Tony Navah Okonmah, Finance and Business Development Consultant, Economics Analyst, Writer and Author, resides in United Kingdom.
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