Nigeria: The Unplanned Economy (Part 13)

By Ikenga Chronicles January 2, 2018

Nigeria: The Unplanned Economy (Part 13)

— Baron Roy

The Production of Zero (1)

Folks, let us carry out a little exercise together. Carry out an inventory on your person exactly where you are at this moment; the clothes you wear, the jewelry you adorn, your wigs, shoes, bags, gadgets. What’s the cost of your appearance? Please write it down. How many items in your inventory were manufactured in Nigeria? Write down the results.

Then take a look at your living room; the plasma, sound system, the Persians, upholstery, then the kitchen refrigerator, gas cooker, microwave, electric barbecue, blender, extractor, sink, dishwasher, the vacuum cleaner. Then walk to the bathroom and see the bathtub, the jacuzzi, the hair drier, the cooling units, fans, security doors, and many others. Please, put down the costs. How many were manufactured here?

Then step outside and observe your cars, the trucks, machinery, and all and determine the percentage of manufactured products in-country! The little exercise would reveal that less than 1% of used goods in Nigeria, are produced in Nigeria!

We might not know the implication of this and the direct effect on our everyday lives. With every item we purchase but manufactured beyond the shores of this country, we EXPORT the jobs and import inflation! For every $1.00 spent on an imported product, there is a Multiplier Effect of a factor of 4 in favour of the country getting the $1.00 and against the importing country (Nigeria). Thus, for every dollar spent on a Chinese or German product, the economies of those countries outstrips ours by x16! And this has been ongoing for almost a century! We are light years behind!

Nigeria spends $20 billion Naira per annum on importations. We import everything from toothpicks to handkerchiefs! With the massive importation culture, we export our jobs and increase unemployment rate to dizzying heights! We reduce our competitiveness (we are not even competing) and export our future and those of our forebears. With our importation culture and lack of economic planning, we ensure the democratic distribution of poverty!

It gets worse. Due to the massive importation, the opportunities for employment are greatly reduced. So educated Nigerians, especially Southerners, emigrate to get better opportunities. Many join the manufacturing companies that produce the goods sent to Nigeria.

Despite the obvious harm, the government strives very hard to destroy the few manufacturers there are, and discourage others from getting up. In these series, we shall explore the implication of the destruction of the industries by the government, by the structure and by us.

We have Ministries of Industries, Planning, and all, but we shall examine how and why they have failed spectacularly, and why their activities or lack of,  help to impoverish us.

The lack of economic planning has all but ruined us; the numerous touts, robbers, commercial sex workers, armed bandits, and partially insane but docile population, is a consequence of the acute lack of opportunities. The lack of opportunities is a consequence of the economic planning, and absence of industries.

(To be continued)