Nigeria slips into Recession for the second time

The warning was clear and loud, it was a sharp one as it came from many angles warning the Buhari led administration on the need to take drastic step lest it fails into another economic recession but as always, the Buhari led administration has proven itself as one that lacks the ability to listen or take to advice. It is a common saying that a dog that fails to listen to the hunter’s whistle is destined to get lost. However in this instance, the failure of the incumbent administration to take to warning is just not its loss alone, but that of the whole Nigerian populace. The rich ones within the Nigerian populace might actually have something to fall to, to cushion the effect of the harsh realities, the members of political ruling class might have to resort to the continual looting and sharing of the few national resources left at our disposal, but then we must ask what the fate of the common man in Nigeria is. What does the average or the ones in the lowest ebb of the food chain stands to gain from this charade.

Remember how the World Bank warned the Federal government of Nigeria of the impending danger; they must have thought that the current leadership of the nation is like the old proverbial cripple who takes to early flight when he hears of an impending war.

The signs were loud and clear, the groaning from the could be heard across all the 36 states of the federation, the sharp increase of commodities in the market, the low purchasing power of the people, the death of thousands of small and medium scale enterprise among many other obvious signs and yet like a blind, it refused to see the all clear indications of a looming danger.

The realities of the Covid-19 pandemic was enough pointer to tell the federal government of Nigeria and its economic team the need for it to gird its loins and prepare for the days to come. Figures from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics spoke nothing good about the financial status of the nation.

Yet with all these indications and warning, the Buhari led administration continued to embark on reckless economic decisions which offered no solace to the welfare of the people. Talk about the increase of the petroleum price in four different occasions, the hike in electricity tariff, the continual closure of the nation’s economy and also it absurd perchance for borrowing from other nations. We must not also forget that the nation is still battling a very high case of corruption where our political ruling class have made it a culture of using the position of power to squeeze the nation clean of its resources, robbing the masses the opportunity of having the gains of a true democratic system in Nigeria.

Here we are again, the second economic recession of the country in 5 years, the second under President Buhari, administration. The basic truth to most Nigerians is that this does not come as a surprise to them as they have been living in an abject state of poverty even before this.

It is now a case of renewed efforts at survival for many Nigerians as the implications are bound to be more severe as it had been before this present situation.

More than before, family relationships will be strained as it will take a major hit. Definitely the income of many families will be greatly reduced and many will not be able to meet the needs and wants of their families and this if not well managed by the families will lead to damaged families.

Also, there will be a case of loss of opportunities across the 36 states of the federation. Many small and medium scale enterprises may be shut down as a result of this development, as business owners may find it difficult to finance and sustain their businesses. Adding to this, there is already a high level of employment among the youths, when we come to think about the inevitable death of many small and medium scale enterprise, then we will realize the gravity of the big challenge we have to deal with as many might take to criminal activities to make a living, creating another problem for the country in the process.

Education has now become a luxury, today’s realities has made us to understand the fact that we must wake up from the mentality given to us by the Late Obafemi Awolowo that education is free and is for everyone. Nowadays if you must be educated, then you must be ready to shell out a fortune to ensure that your children gets educated, even though you cannot be well assured that what they get is a qualitative education. Now that we are faced with the big financial hit, it will become another herculean task for many parents and guidance to finance the education of their children and wards.

Coming to the effect of this latest development on the respective 36 states of the federation, these states must be ready for further drop in its monthly federal allocation which will go a long way in ensuring that these states perform it duties. We must also remember that many of these states have a strait jacket economy where majority of its populace are civil the case where state governments are unable to pay the monthly salaries of their workers like some states are already doing, what then becomes the fate of such states.

We cannot turn our eyes away from the harsh realities of the Nigerian nation, we do not need the official declaration that all is not well with the nation’s outlook, we do not need the international community to actually remind us of our woes that we are actually in the deep waters.

Whatever it is, it is the hope of many Nigerians that the present political ruling class will wake up and acknowledge the fact that they have to be proactive in their approach in managing Nigeria. Whatever it is they call national economic plan is not working. An economic plan that does not favor the masses is no plan at all. The failure of the Nigerian government to attend to this and fix it will only bring a worse problem, something more dangerous than recession.

Marcus Amudipe    

November 23, 2020

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