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Nigeria as nation in the red

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“We are absolutely uncomfortable that the presidency and the various agents of government are still busy feeding Nigerians with blatant lies when they keep arguing that Nigerians are better off today than they were in 2015 when President Buhari pledged to be a president who will belong to all and yet belong to nobody. That charismatic disposition then was misinterpreted to mean a president on a mission of redeeming the people from the shackles of poverty, insecurity and elevation in social-economic circles where the dignity of the populace will cascade to higher grounds. Eight years after and with the plunging of the nation’s economy and social life cycle into the abyss, Nigeria is in the line of nations which cannot feed her people, an appendage which is not deserving of the country except on the ground that Nigeria is been characterized with leadership failure”

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It is rather discomforting just the much that it is disheartening that President Muhammadu Buhari will be handing over a nation in the reds to a new administration after an eight-year reign which beginning was anchored on high hopes of optimal deliverables on all fronts. The eight years of Buhari’s administration have seen Nigerians celebrate only failed promises and dashed hopes against the backdrop of the high expectations and optimal optimism which marked his ascension to power in 2015.

That President Buhari is leaving Nigeria and indeed Nigerians worse than he met them when he came to a leadership position at the national level for the second time defeated every reason and all arguments put forward then in justifying his election as civilian president considering that the regime as military head of state did not translate to a better life for the citizenry.

We consider it not too pedestrian to judge Buhari’s administration by the standard of living of ordinary Nigerians to which empirical statistics project only negativities. The scariest revelation that Nigerians are not only down but are on the verge of being taken out is the run-away inflation which is now assuming frightening proportions. The 22.22 per cent rate of inflation plastered on Nigeria for April 2023 is abnormal and is indicative of a nation that is on a fast lane to liquidation. When other nations of the world are doing everything possible to stay within the ambit of a single-digit inflation of not above five per cent, Nigeria is fast acquiring the notorious gap of a nation that cannot feed its people.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 22.04%, the third consecutive increase in 2023. The consumer price index (CPI) which measures the rate of change in prices of goods and services rose to 22.04 percent in March 2023, up from 21.91 percent in the previous month.

The annual inflation rate in Nigeria accelerated for the fifth month to 22.22% in April 2023, reaching a nearly 18-year high and following 22.04% in the prior month. Meanwhile, food inflation, which accounts for the bulk of Nigeria’s inflation basket, climbed further to 24.61% in March from 24.45% in February, owing to increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, fish, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fruits, meat, vegetable and spirits. The aforementioned is the index that measures the standard of living of the ordinary Nigerian, the group which constitutes the bulk of the nation’s population. We find it ridiculous and unacceptable for a nation that holds much potential except that it is bereft of discerning leadership.

In Nigeria, the Consumer Price Index measures the change over time in prices of 740 goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living. The index weights are based on expenditures of both urban and rural households in the 36 states. The most important categories in the CPI are Food & Non-alcoholic Beverages (52% of the total weight), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuel (17%), Clothing & Footwear (8%). Transports account for 7% and Furnishings & Household Equipment Maintenance for 5%. Others include Education (4%); Health (3%); Miscellaneous Goods and Services (2%); Restaurants and Hotels (1%); Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco & Kola (1%); Recreation & Culture (1%); and Communications (1%).

We are uncomfortable that the presidency and the various agents of government are still busy feeding Nigerians with blatant lies when they keep arguing that Nigerians are better off today than they were in 2015 when President Buhari pledged to be a president who will belong to all and yet belong to nobody. That charismatic disposition then was misinterpreted to mean a president on a mission of redeeming the people from the shackles of poverty, insecurity and elevation in social-economic circles where the dignity of the populace will cascade to higher grounds. Eight years after and with the plunging of the nation’s economy and social life cycle into the abyss, Nigeria is in the line of nations that cannot feed her people, an appendage which is not deserving of the country except on the ground that Nigeria is been characterized with leadership failure.

There is no gain in saying that the spat of insecurity in the country which has forced farmers to abandon their farms for fear of either being killed or kidnapped is standing out conspicuously as the major cause of Nigeria’s bleeding economy. Nigeria is today labeled a nation that is at war with itself where over 700 citizens are killed per month, a number which is much higher than what obtains in Syria, Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine who are known to be at war. Nigerians are not known to have challenged their political leaders beyond the provision of such necessities and infrastructures as good transportation systems which includes road, rail waterways and air, power supply, security which should be evident in the enthronement of a disciplined and functional police force complemented by the Army, Navy and the Air force, functional healthcare and educational systems, ease of doing business and respect for fundamental rights. These are not much of an expectation in a normal clan as they are usually taken for granted.

We had expected that the FG under the command of President Buhari would have confronted the ugly incidence of insecurity frontally if only to pave the way for the rejuvenation of the nation’s economy but it does appear that the government lacked the capacity abinitio or that there is something that the government knew as been responsible for the insecurity in the land which it would not divulge to the public. The call for the engagement of machinery, although unconventional, remains the commonsensical route to follow in honest efforts to checkmate insecurity considering the apparent inability of indigenous security outfits to stay on top of the situation. But Buhari and his band of cabinet ministers many of who have served for the eight-year duration of his regime ignored that option thus exposing the country to all sorts of discomfort including the inability to feed her population which is what the current high rate of inflation is pointing at.

Unfortunately for us as a nation, the number of people looking for jobs will keep rising as population growth continues to outpace output expansion. Nigeria is expected to be the world’s third-most-populous country by 2050, with over 300 million people, according to the United Nations. Nigeria as a nation must engage the speed gear if only to avoid translating her huge population into a curse as opposed to economic gains. Barely two weeks to the handing over to another administration which is the continuation of Buhari’s failed regime, there appears to be no hope on the horizon for the common man except to resign to faith as they prepare for the worse.

 

 

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