According to Nigeria’s current Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki; “The harsh conditions of extreme poverty faced by the people fuels the state of insecurity all over the country. Hunger, lack of education and lack of opportunities push many Nigerians into criminal activities including terrorism. We are failing abysmally to tackle the problems of today, and to prepare for the future.” Based on an analysis carried out by the Campaign Team of Dr Bukola Saraki, below are 5 plausible reasons why Nigeria as a whole is not growing:
Nigeria’s need for competent, purposeful and responsive leadership has reached critical levels, and our inability to reach national potential is a direct result of not meeting this need. Fair, practical and purposeful leadership is capable of engineering our national potential into socio-economic gains that can be enjoyed by all. What we deserve is a progressive government of action, focused on pursuing the growth of Nigeria with doggedness, determination and conviction.
Lack of Defined Economic Policy
The National Bureau of Statistics reports that the Nigerian economy recorded slow growth in the second quarter of 2018. All around, Nigerians continue to feel the harsh effects of this slowing growth as they are faced with rising costs of food prices despite a weakened Naira. An economic expert Mr Opeyemi Agbaje’s view on this is that the Nigerian “economy is not policy driven”; lending credence to the fact that there is an urgent need to create a defined policy to revitalise our economy and stimulate SMEs and businesses that boost the economy, provide jobs and create wealth.
Rising Poverty and Insecurity
Rising poverty and a broken security architecture have led to an infusion of armed criminals who are not bound by traditional conflict resolution methods. The Boko Haram scourge which has continued to plague parts of Northeastern Nigeria has found an evil twin in a new wave of pastoralist-farmer conflicts troubling the Middle Belt of the country. The only way to arrest this situation is by redesigning Nigeria’s national security architecture, while adequately equipping our security agencies to fulfil their primary role of protecting lives and property. This is necessary to aid economic growth by mitigating against the risks that have curbed internal trade in Nigeria and the free movement of goods and persons.
Government Interference in the Private Sector
The primary role of governments who are desirous of economic growth is to create an enabling business environment for private enterprise to create jobs and bring opportunities to citizens. Despite Nigeria’s improved rating on the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking, actions that reduce investor confidence continue to plague our private sector. Arbitrary application of rules and regulations without resorting to best practices threaten firms and business, exposing us to the risk of more job losses in a country with over 15 million unemployed people.
Poor Infrastructure Roadmap
Nigeria’s progress in achieving its potential as an economic and industrial giant of Africa is impeded by various infrastructural challenges which have become a norm. Collapsed and inadequate infrastructure have led to a low level of investment and high cost of goods and services in Nigeria. There is a need for an urgent focus on the growth of the real sector, with emphasis on the private sector is driven initiatives that drive improvement in critical infrastructure such as Power, Roads, Housing etc. Only then can we achieve economic development as a country.
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