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Recession: A clash between true federalism, clumsy leadership


Lack of true federalism is simply the mother of Nigeria’s many woes, particularly the recession that has affected the economy at the moment. - Author

MANY Nigerians sorrowfully misconstrue the supposed looting spree that characterised the successive Nigerian governments as the epicentre of the economic muddle the country is facing today. Some think that recession set in because Nigeria refused to save during the days of oil boom. 

But lack of true federalism is simply the mother of Nigeria’s many woes, particularly the recession that has affected the economy at the moment. Nonetheless, there are some underlining principles – diagnosis and prognosis – that this essay will suggest to further provoke the country’s economic growth. They are aimed at affecting all facets of our human endeavours, and sustainable GDP surpluses.  Without rhetoric, let’s go straight to the point.

Countries that operate economic freedom mature faster into high rates economic development than those with controlled economies. For instance, in the 19th century, Britain with her open-door policy for free-trade, gained economic supremacy. China started from an incredibly squat base of economic production and by the 18th Century had become a strongest economy. But over the years, poverty is written on majority of Nigerians upon the days of oil boom due to monopolistic economy – lack of true federalism. If we take the USA for an example, Nigeria is not as corrupt as the USA. But an average American is sure of food trudge, which is not less than $150: An amount many Nigerian university graduates without paying jobs do not have the hope of making for months.

The USA subsidized housing, even government, in order for surplus to get to the grassroots. Accommodation, healthcare, feeding and other infinitesimal necessities of life, seen as luxury in Nigeria, are no longer the problems of the poorest American.

Come to think of it, recession is like a long-drawn-out culture living with many Nigerians. Before the countryside economic recession, many Nigerians of age were still living with their parents as a result of poverty. Many of the parents are even poorer. They have not found life easy with themselves, let alone, fending for their wards.

Power Of True Federalism

Few years ago, a governor of Virginia, USA, was investigated for $65 billion dollars corrupt applications. That sum was more than the budget of Nigeria in 2007 and 2008, pooled together.

The entire residents of the USA did not feel the impact of the money. The loot did not affect food supply, housing subsidy, healthcare provision, security, transportation system, and so on.

The reason they didn’t feel the impact was because their livelihood was not depended on the sole management of the USA government. Unlike it obtains in Nigeria where the 36 states across the federation are not given the exclusive right for public liability generation and empowerment.

So, when there is an economic molestation at the federal level in Nigeria, the states have nothing to rely on or back up the system. The states are even reliant on Federation Account. And when any person has an opportunity to pilfer any money from the Federation Account, it affects the supply chain, and the populace will grossly bear the brunt.

Take for instance, when there was an allegation that someone or group stole from the police pension coffer, the money taken away affected the entire country. But if the states had their own police, the money pilferer perhaps could not have had an opportunity to such a large amount. And when he or she does, it will not affect the entire country.

Self-inflicted Economic Recession

The voice of Mr. Tunde Bakare, senior pastor at Latter Rain Assembly, resonated at the 14th anniversary celebration of Foursquare Gospel Church, held on October 22 2016. Bakare was saying that the economic recession that Nigerians are experiencing was fundamentally self-inflicted. Furthermore, he was not far from the truth.

The self-infliction was chiefly and deeply triggered during the six months that the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari stayed in the office without a cabinet knowing or unknowing that the different states depend on the Federation Account to survive.

Buhari had a view that he was preparing for the best for the country, oblivious that his action was for the worse. Six months without a functional cabinet of ministers, ambassadors and so on, were enough to damage the country’s economy than just recession.

If we comprehend recession from economist’s perspective, Nigeria experienced uninterrupted economic deterioration, which was more than a quarterly period that recession expertly sets in and affects authentic gross domestic product (inflation attuned), during the Buhari’s six months sleeping government.

The six months borne decline in economic activities across the country’s economy. There was total collapse in manufacturing invention, employment, real income and wholesale trade. The six months sparked-off dip cut in the fragile leadership in the country, economic-wise.

Impediment Of Power

Buhari centralised power in the presidency when he assumed office and increased his busyness of junketing the world, when he packed into Aso Rock, after spending unfruitful three months at home.

There were no ambassadors to the countries that he was travelling to, which would have helped in chief economic matters or diplomacy. He had neither decision-making towards the economy nor policy performance. Everything stopped at the president’s desk.  

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