Swallowed in Our Own Bellies

Nigeria’s failing economy is not a secret. On the other hand, we have economists and policy makers who should be able to design a structure to salvage our dying economy. Many of them have strategies, models and policies which can change the fate of this nation. They have achieved remarkable success in other places where they have used this knowledge to create lasting solutions. We are left to wonder why they can’t do the same here. Before we start a discussion on the lack of patriotism (which is true in most cases), let us talk of the more common issues.

First, economic theories and models are based on information. In Nigeria, the data is either not available or not accurate enough to be considered reliable. In the absence of better information, policies are formulated based on these roughly estimated figures and the result is what we see in the country; policies that are effective on paper but ineffective and rather disruptive in practice.

Secondly, for a policy to work properly there have to be checks and balances put in place to ensure the details are implemented accordingly. The ministries and government bodies that should help implement these policies are lazy, ineffective and usually overstaffed and over paid relative to the amount of work they do! People want to get paid for work they don’t do. They sit in offices all day doing nothing. Falsifying records and using fictitious data to fill reports that would be used to assess the success of these policies.

The last problem lies right here. People like you and I who have seen the way things should be but decide to do nothing but talk and talk. A lot of small talk won’t overturn the work of a lot of big time crooks! If you read messages like this every day but you still go ahead to destroy the system in your own way, what use is all the noise and clamouring? It is hypocrisy in its most healthy form! We are the termites that are eating up the system. The economists can only plan but they can never accurately predict the unsustainable greed and deceit of the common man. The failure of Neoclassical Economics in Nigeria is more of the failure of man’s integrity in the battle against his own greed than a failure of the system itself. This doesn’t mean that the system is flawless. It means that the flaws of the system have been greatly aggravated by greedy, power-drunk and selfish people. The sins of the past have brought us to where we stand today. Tomorrow we may be forgotten, but our greed and corruption will haunt generations yet unborn.

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