Bloomberg has reported that Nigeria’s economy has overtaken that of South Africa.
That’s good news from Nigeria’s perspective. But if you compare Nigeria’s current economy to that of Rwanda, you will find large sad gaps.
1. Insecurity Of Life And Property
Nigeria’s economy is plagued by insecurity. Violence has forced farmers out of their farms; has displaced many from their homes; has made people avoid important business trips that would have oiled the cogs of the economy; has made property rights a joke in many parts of the country.
Compare that to Kigali, capital of Rwanda, where women can walk safely on the streets even at night. Government needs to do more to make the country more secure. The buck stops clearly in front of Government.
2. Over-dependence on crude oil
This means that the next slump in the price of oil could send the economy crashing back down to the debts of recession. The Government needs to induce economic expansion through areas like export of beef and dairy products, cars, Aba-made apparels, solid minerals and other exportables. Otherwise, Nigeria’s economic fortunes will remain at the mercy of the price of one commodity.
Corruption is another bottleneck. Take the housing deficit in the country for instance: often when Government attempts to solve it by building cheap housing, the scheme is hijacked by rich politicians who buy up the cheap houses and then sell same to people at break neck prices. Their needs to be stricter enforcement of anti-corruption laws.
4. Not Enough Social Welfare Packages
The monies collected from successful anti-corruption efforts are not being used to stimulate the economy in the areas of social welfare. Unless that is done, the money held by the average Nigerian may remain just enough to eat the next meal, and not to build capital needed for opening and expanding business enterprises.
Nigeria, might be Africa’s biggest economy. But most Nigerians are not feeling the impact, and the economy remains terribly stunted.