By Tayo Elegbed Jet
If recent reports from Nigeria’s data powerhouse, National Bureau of Statistics, have much to glean from, then, the assertions of a dead economic nation might hold true, a glaring reason you should be worried about Nigeria.
This is certainly not the best of season for the Nigeria’s economic profile and citizen’s welfare. To say the least, Nigeria is way below itsleast, perhaps, worst economic potential as a nation.
Recently, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, released the capital importation report for the first quarter of 2016 stating that the country recorded its lowest investment inflows in nine years at N140 billion.
According to the report, “This represents a decline of 54.34 percent in the final quarter of 2015, and a year-on-year decline of 73.79 percent. Both the quarterly and year-on-year declines were also the lowest recorded since the series began.
“As a result of these changes, total capital importation has fallen by 89.13 percent since its peak level in the third quarter of 2014.”
Literally, no country survives on its fortunes. Trade interaction facilitates expanded financial and non-financial gains for countries. For a consuming nation like Nigeria, the failure to increase investment inflow while outflows in forms of importation, illicit outflow (thanks to the grand corruption and impunity, here) expand, implies that local businesses that require foreign stimulation, ideas that appeal to the international community, and investments that should be propelled for external funds, are all starved to death due to a decline or seizure in investment inflows. This in turn guarantees low profit for businesses, deteriorated lifestyle, poor living conditions and shredded hope of economic welfarism for citizens.
Compounding the economic woes on the home front, the NBS in its 2016 first quarter report, revealed that Nigeria’s annual inflation rose to a near four year high of 12.8 percent in March from 11.4 percent in February, driven by a rise in food prices with a 13.2 percent projection for April. It’s May already and the situations are not any better.
Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis in decades fueled by the collapse in crude prices, which has slashed government revenues, weakened the currency and caused growth to slow. The economy grew 2.8 percent last year, its slowest pace in decades.
The consequences of this economic downturn are apparent. From massive unemployment to social dislocation, Nigerians are groaning.
It is no longer a trending tale that the global oil market is fading, hence, the much felt impact on oil-dependent nations like Nigeria.
The Nigerian government through synergy with relevant stakeholders must with its sense and vigour of urgency think through and implement short-term strategies that will cushion the effect of a dwindling volatile economy on Nigerians whilst working on viable medium and long-term agenda to build a more resilient economy independent of oil.
Beyond rhetorics, this government must show itself capable of innovatively leading Nigeria out of the present economic and social quagmire.