by Nasir Suwaid
The basic fundamental problem though is the fact that valid projections should always be premised on certain tangible factors of realism, conceptualism and a glaring self belief in the potentials of a nation striving to attain greatness in material wealth
One of the universally accepted characteristic norms that is unique to every job, art, craft, vocation or occupational activity is the fact that it is premised on certain basic ideals of trade, that are the principles upon which an individual and the group practices or performs the social trait as a means of livelihood, which are that it is guarded and guided by an agreed and sanctioned code of professional ethics that protects and preserves practices within the trade, projects confidence and trust about the occupation and perfects the image of the vocation as an organized system of rendering service to the humanity and the community within the legitimate bounds of law. Indeed, one of the most fundamental ethics and need I say etiquette required of any vocational field of human endeavor is honesty of purpose, in performing a trade as well as in all acts, positions, postulations, projections and policy formulations dealing with the occupational activity of rendering services to the general mass of the population and most importantly, to the individual customer who sustains the business through patronage.
It is within this context and the reality of earning a living being the backbone of any social development, that I find the world economic projections highly disappointing, because most of its presumptions are not based on any safe assumptions neither rational logic nor even valid speculations, but rather, a romanticized and unproven gesticulations, where monumental and need I say life impacting proposals are projected as sacred facts, which must happen in a given time within the range of a lifetime. Most notably is the fact that these opinions about the economic wellbeing of millions of the global citizenry, were usually made from distance quite a far from the abode of discussion but more importantly, it is made only after due consultation with high state officials, in an obvious case of glaring conflict of interest, as those appointed or elected office holders are nothing but smart politicians and most probably, would most likely proselytize to embellish a vested political interest of absolute economic performance, which at the very least, goes to serve electoral purposes and general voter empathy.
Thus, you could understand my unconcealed excitement and fearful foreboding with the recent international economic projections on Nigeria, where specifically, Jim O’neill a former Goldman Sachs executive, who coined the term and cobbled a group of emerging developing economy’s’ called BRICS, which are a congregation of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, also made another economic projection, on the next set of countries that likely to emerge in economic terms. This time he proposed a different group named MINT that is composing of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, which is a gathering of large populated nations, with a diverse but young population and most interestingly, the indices for such emergence is premised on the geographical peculiarity of the countries as strategically placed in terms of easy access to market through the capacity and the capability to absorb a great mass of produced goods, as well as the fact that apart from Turkey, the other three nations are primary commodity producers.
The projections also celebrated the fact and the age old adage that knowing a problem is having half of it solved, contextually, the report stated that seemingly, Turkey but most specifically, Nigeria’s problems are known, as such, what is needed is just a reform minded leadership and administration ready to examine and solve the governance issue bedeviling the country. It is instructive to note, that the formulators of the projection deem the presence of persons having links with global financial institution, as the panacea and a type of prophetic presence, which could tilt the balance of scale in good financial management, a basic minimum requirement for economic growth, after all, they could not have spent a lifetime of preaching visionary financial ideals and now that they are having the opportunity to serve, they would be so disingenuous as to falter in the task entrusted to them by fate, destiny and having the luck of onetime working for organizations who excel in granting unsustainable loans and unproductive aid.
The basic fundamental problem though is the fact that valid projections should always be premised on certain tangible factors of realism, conceptualism and a glaring self belief in the potentials of a nation striving to attain greatness in material wealth. A reality that is evidently non-existent in the context of Nigerian economy, because for any economy to ever achieve an equilibrium of success, both the fiscal and monetary policies but most especially, the formulating managerial mind of the two key policy sectors of the economy, must be working in tandem with each other to peddle the canoe of economic success and this is not just a personal belief, Jim O’neill himself in foretelling the future economic prospect of the country, principally sermonized on the positive presence of the two individuals shepherding the Nigerian economy, who are the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Unfortunately, this two economic policy engineers, seemingly, do not see eye to eye in the most basic of economic fundamentals, which is the collected revenue receipt of the government, as seen in the recent letter by the latter to the Nigeria presidency, questioning fiscal receipt of remittances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Within the premises of conceptualization of policy choices with the current economic management team, it has been a reign of policy summersaults, as Nigeria started with the clearing of huge debts, though it is now striving fast to acquire more unsustainable loans, a re-decimalization policy that was quickly dropped, while as of now the country is exploring the concept Gross Domestic Product Rebasing, as if wealth is only measured on paper and not in the reality of having a population with strong purchasing power and a privatization program that is partially a success, what with its conclusion in the key financial services sector with the re-nationalization of some banks.
In the area of self believe, no investor and certainly no sane, sober and rational business man and need I say woman, would invest in a country organizing a national conference, which is called to examine the basis of its existence as a nation, to remain together as a united entity or fritter away in fractious conflicts. Surely for projections to achieve acceptance and reliability, they must at the very least factor credibility and reality on the ground.