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Economic/ethical recession & mental health – by Emma Onwubiko

We must combat the economic and Ethical recession afflicting us. Nigeria is sick may sound grotesque, since it is no longer a newly discovered fact.

Nigeria is sick may sound grotesque, since it is no longer a newly discovered fact.

Nigeria due to the ineptitude of both the political governors and the docility of the governed has jumped into recession in economic terms contrary to the shouting headline by one of Nigeria’s newspapers that Nigeria slipped into recession.

Recession is a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industry activities are reduced generally identified by a fall in Gross Domestic Product in two successive quarters.

The National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria has confirmed that Nigeria is in economic recession and that hundreds- of -thousands of people are out of jobs.

The economic downturn has been long in coming when government fails to develop the productive and real sector and has often always issued import waivers to their cronies to import all manner of goods into Nigeria. Most Nigerians engaged in trade of industrial scales are portfolio carrying importers.

Those who claims to be industrial giants have no factory to back up these fake statuses they are known for.

The current administration took this ridiculous practice of encouraging lazy billionaires  to a dramatic level when it generously subsidized Foreign Exchange for Moslem Pilgrims when the manufacturers can’t get foreign Exchange for their production and some rogues are capitalising on this policy faux pas to enrich themselves at the detriment of the National economy.

The aforementioned has become clearer with the  erstwhile Central Bank of Nigeria governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who is now an Emir in Kano the second largest Hausa/Fulani traditional and Islamic throne after Sokoto disclosing that friends of the current government are mopping up foreign Exchange at subsidized rates and reselling in the black market at black market price thereby smiling to their banks with huge turn overs even without working.

The few genuine manufacturers who can’t access FOREX are closing shops resulting in massive job losses.

This too contributed and quickened the emergence of economic recession.

 The state of infrastructures is one of the fundamental cause of Nigeria’s quadrupled jump into economic recession because in any economy whereby the real sector isn’t afforded functional infrastructures to power their productive lines the cost of production would be so high that the end products may be way too high that the greatest percentage of the citizens who are too poor and therefore can’t afford to patronize these locally manufactured goods.

It is because of this missing link that Countries like India and China have resorted to dumping substandard goods into the Nigerian markets thus creating jobs for their people and killing local manufacturers that are struggling to survive in places like Lagos, Nnewi in Anambra State;  Aba in Abia State and Kano in the North West of Nigeria.

First and foremost, Nigeria is sick economically, ethically and morally speaking.

Added to the aforementioned is the mental health challenges that this economic recession poses to the Nigerian populace who are so poor that World Bank stated that nearly 75 percent of the citizenry can’t afford $2 USD per day meaning that these category of Nigerians are absolutely poor.

Any wonder then that suicide rate has shot up.

 Now here is the shocking reason for the economic downturn: It was because of the presence of ethically challenged thieving public officials in all segments of the public service over the past few decades that Nigeria has now officially entered economic doldrums and an imminent depression is on its way to our country.

It is for the collective epidemic of corruption that pervades our public service that has led to the steady depletion of the nation’s foreign reserves even as there is a total absence of saving and maintenance culture in both the public and civil service segments of Nigeria. 

The budgeting system and mechanisms are fraught with systemic and organized crime of paddings and over inflation with the concomitant drying up of the National treasury by government officials and their collaborators in the private sector. 

All Arms of government have fallen short of the glory of transparency and accountability. 

 These budgets drawn every year and the projects for which cash backings were received are either done half way by the contractors who bribe to obtain the jobs or altogether abandoned.

State governments are badly administered resulting in the near economic collapse of almost 30 out of the 36 States.

It may also sound very simplistic but  because of the urgent need to suggest ways of emancipating this country from her many problems it is still relevant to remind us that Nigeria is sick.

At this stage of Nigeria’s development, what we need is not pessimistic conclusions about the Nigerian situation.

 This writer is an optimist. Muhammadu Buhari’s government is peopled by very optimistic persons. President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the economy will rebounce in no time.

What Nigerians need now is to embark on a period of sober reflection, stock-taking, examination of conscience, analysis of historical events and trends, and how they are advantageous or adversely affecting all of us as Nigerians (apologies to Acha Ndubisi).

Nigerians who are citizens out of government (followers) must wake up and ask questions and demand accountability. 

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