Stop palliative, boost local production for Naira/Dollars parity (by Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong)

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In Africa and as a tradition in Nigeria and in almost all echelons of governance, leaders always come to power with fire brigade approaches.

More often than not, their fireworks policies in rainbow decor lifespan are never strong enough to be sustained in successive administrations.

In Nigeria, respective Presidents’ governance policies survive for at most three years and gradually fade away when the appeal for second term mandate comes calling.

The failure of Nigerian Presidents always lies on their deliberate ignorance of the realities of their local economy and their tradition of going to the international trading floor bare hands to buy goods and services produced with another country’s currency which they don’t have any control whatsoever.

To make it somewhat pedestrian for all to understand this Naira/Dollars incompatibility, let’s look at it this way: Nigeria has enough crude oil to refine locally to extract all sorts of petroleum products and gas. But Nigeria exports all her crudes at 100% to be refined across her shores and it’s sent back to her(Nigeria) to buy at a cost in US Dollars including all productions charges.

The Dollars is far far stronger than the Naira. Thus, when the refined Nigerian petroleum products ( refined in US Dollars) returns to Nigeria, why wouldn’t it be outrageous for Nigerian to afford?

Of course the pump price ought to be exorbitant because the cost of production was in Dollars all through. Meanwhile it could as well be refined in our country’s own refineries and sold to citizens at Naira value.

This generational economy thinking deficit (buying what we have at home from the West after they have finished processing our products and sold to us in Dollars currency ) is not only in oil and gas subsector, but in all other household consumables and daily life needs of Nigerians at home.

The only solution to this national economy quagmire is to boost local production and enable local investors boost local service delivery too.

Let Tinubu’s government stop giving handout to sustain citizens for one or two days. Let FG liberalize access to bank loans. Bank loans should not be only for importers. The present administration should relax terms and conditions for local industries, local service providers to get loans to finance production and service delivery within the country.

If local industries can produce 70% of goods and services for Nigerians, imported goods will have no choice than to lower their prices to get patronage. But where we all depends on imported goods to survive, life will still continue to be unbearable for Nigerians.

The wrestling floor for all currencies is the production market where producers sell their goods and services to buyers on their currency (producer’s currency) considering their cost of production.
Advanced economies go to the production market with several hundred of their locally manufactured products and services. Those who buy these products or services are countries who don’t produce them like Nigeria. Some countries buy few of the products and services brought to the production market because they themselves produce most of them in their homes countries. But when Nigerians are in the production market, they buy all, because they don’t produce any of those products at home. This has been a generational economic problem where successive Nigerian Presidents have refused to solve.

Sharing money and foodstuffs to Nigerians to survive for few days is not the solution. The way out is to encourage local manufacturers, small, medium scale enterpreneurs to boost their production.

Now considering the FG disbursement of N5 billion per State to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, how much would a citizen be given?

This method or governance policies of Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is just like someone borrowing money to buy food while he is not working or doing any business.
If you borrow to eat today, what, where would you eat tomorrow? Can someone survive only by borrowing to survive throughout his life time?

No, no, no Federal Government of Nigeria. This your method of rescue can only be formidable if Nigeria was at war and citizens were refugees and all means and resources of livelihood were destroyed by war.

Even if we were to settle with this short sleeve lifeline, how much of the N5 billion would the Governor of Lagos State share to 14 million people?
How much would 15 million Nigerian in Kano States take home?

Akwa Ibom State for instance has a population of 4,979,400 according to the National Population Commission projection 2022.

Let’s even assume that by now Akwa Ibom is 5.5 million people as at today

Assuming that the palliative is for all. Let’s share N5 billion to 5.5 million people.
N5 billion divided by 5.5 million people is approximately N905 per person.

If N905 is giving to everybody, then which problem has the Federal Government solved?

Let’s even say Akwa Ibom State government will decide to give the palliative to the poorest of the poor in the state.
If the poorest of the poor in Akwa Ibom State are three million of the entire population of the state, they will all get N1650 each. That does not still solve the problem of the poor in that part of the country in a day.

We are even told that the FG will also accompany the N5 billion with some trucks of rice to all the States of the Federation and the FCT.

But would the few cups of rice they will receive and the paltry sum of money the solution to this life threatening economy hangman noose Nigerians are facing today?

The President earlier planned to give N8000 to 12 million poorest poor households and that was highly criticized, thus it caused the FG to switch on semantics damage control by replacing N8000 per household of 12 million poor Nigerians to N5 billion palliative for each of the 36 State and the FCT to let it look bogus.

Sharing N8000 even N10, 000 to every Nigerian is not salvation enough in the present governance quagmire this administration has put Nigerians.

Aspiring presidents and governors should stop coming near governance with no well researched, planned strategies to quench the fire burning Nigeria at 60 plus.

Nigeria is blessed with all sorts of minerals. The country land in the North and in the South is arable enough for government to provide the large population of unemployed youths subtancial industrial start up packs to embark on an aggressive farming that will create commensurate economic value chain.

At the moment we are exporting all our raw materials to western economy without adding value to them.

And more over, when our raw materials (crude oil, groundnut, cocoa, palm oil, rubber, cassava, flour, cotton, etc) get to the West they create jobs to all those working in those production companies who extract many consumable items from them and sent them back to us on the cost we can’t afford.

Rubber harvested in Nigeria plantations is what is used to manufacture tyres. From rubber plantation to the manufacturing of tyres to their exportation to countries who may need Nigeria brand if the tyre was produced in Nigeria,can generate several thousands of jobs in its long stretch of value chain if industralists were allowed to have access to loans to finance the industry and boost production.

But sadly it’s not so. Here, few people have access to federal reserve and those few can get huge loans for purpose to finance an industry which does not exist anywhere.

Let commercial banks give loans to investors with realistic, feasible business ventures or at best giving them to ongoing/existence businesses that are struggling to break even.

If the Federal Government can declared a state of emergency on industrial revolution targeted at massive local manufacturing the Naira/Dollar parity struggle will be over.

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About Samuel Abasiekong 999 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Public Relations/Advertising Expert, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, Nigerian Red Cross Society Volunteer, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria

1 Comment

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