I have always complained that we are a headline, now-now, society. We read the news headline now-now,savour all the salacious details and move on to whatever it is, while awaiting the next headline. Four weeks or so ago, it was all about Jibrin, his intimidating revelations, the more intimidating punishment he got for embarrassing the house and his decision to go back to school. Two weeks later, it was all about full recession, whether it was just a word or not and whether things were really bad or a mere figment in the imagination of some bad-bellelosers. In the past one week, it is all about the thief-in-the-night strategy adopted by the all-powerful and you-can’t-question-me DSS. Whether it is against corruption, against judges or against the judiciary, the most important thing is that it is a WAR! And in any war, there are usually collateral damages and in any case, all is fair in war… This week, it is all about the act of household wickedness committed by the enchanting Aisha (Micah, 7:6; ones enemies are members of his household) and the other room declaration of PMB. I have no comments on that for now but the twin presidential explosions were so loud that it crowded-out the Chibok 21 headline..I started with this preamble so as to apologies upfront, for writing on recession, an issue that has already failed the headline test.
The report in the Daily Trust of 8/9/16 may not attract much attention in Government circles. It was about a man who went naked for a while so as win a N10000 prize. That man, a father, husband, brother, son, colleague and neighbor auctioned his prestige and dignity and pranced naked in streets of Abuja just for N10000! That was hardcore evidence, if any was needed, that we were/are in a serious economic quagmire! Of course, to that will be added increasing number of suicides, parents pledging their children as collateral for food stuff( or selling them outright for as little as 20000- according to Thomson Reuters’ Foundation report), bedroom discord between husband and wife, people stealing pots of soup et al on fire, etc. but these are not new developments. By design or default, all socioeconomic indicators (inflation, poverty, unemployment, exchange rate, security, misery index) have been on a negative slope since 29/5/15. I don’t know whether it was because, according to GEJ, we chose ‘going backwards’ with our votes. Government’s reaction has been mixed and at times unserious. We have been promised several times that several billions in Naira and Dollars would be injected to reflate the economy (N350bn, 24/6/16; 100bn, 16/8/16; $1.1bn, 16/9/16); Femi Adesina declared that there was no suffering in Nigeria while BayoOnanuga declared that the so called suffering was a figment in the imagination of disgruntled, failed politicians because he ate a plate of food for N700 in a Bauchi hotel. Lai Mohammed declared that subsidy withdrawal would create 200000 jobs and that masquerade dressing would generate thousands of job while Ngige threatened to close banks for sacking workers or create employment by sacking 16000 striking doctors and employing another 16000.The Government eventually admitted that we were in technical recession and later that we were in full recession. Well, it is good that we have admitted where we are though the truth does not cease to exist because it is denied. But even then, the smiley Minister of Finance has also said that recession was just a word. It is indeed, a word, but a very serious word.
A sustainable solution to this grim economic situation should ordinarily start with a sincere preview of how it came to become, an analysis the sitrep and a pragmatic policy mixture to restore economic normalcy. However, there is not much need for any serious analysis because, the President, his government and his party has found the cause: it is Jonathan or when he wants to be charitable, it is PDP and Jonathan or when the spirit directs otherwise, it is OBJ, UMYA and GEJ combined. QED, QEF; there is no need to look further. We don’t need to interrogate the crude and ancient economic management strategies, half-hearted floating of the naira coupled with the presidential revolt, communication collision amongst operatives over tactical and strategic issues, open and scandalous disagreement between the Ministeress of Finance and CBN governor,demarketing of Nigeria by PMB, its chief marketing officer( Just as Sanusi nothing-nised our banks and thereafter called for foreign buyers), flip flop policies, the never-ending 2016 budget fiasco, media-based war against corrupt people without any steps to improve anti-corruptions systems, institutions and policies, processes and framework, unparalleled level of hypocrisy at the highest level, the confusion caused by the body-language strategy, and the invi sibility of the ministers who hear nothing and say nothing.
Dr. Ik Muo, PhD, FCIB; Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye