Thursday, July 15, 2010

Economic Growth Without Development.

Not too long ago, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said Nigeria's economy was projected to grow by six percent! 

I was angry! I was angry because I felt he had lost touch with reality. China's economy is projected by the IMF to grow by 6.2 percent this year. Are we saying that our economy is as healthy,and productive, as the Chinese economy?

China has the unenviable reputation of being the world's greatest polluter. A coal powered power plant opens every two days in China. Our leaders cannot even begin to fathom the scale of development going on in China. It would be like asking a tortise to cross the Sahara,or a blind man to direct traffic!

As China's economy grows, the effect can be seen in the number of people exiting poverty.The man on the street can feel it. I am not saying there are no poor people in China, their lot is improving by the day.

China has also been called the factory of the world because a large percentage of the world's industrial production, takes place in China.

So when the controversial Central Bank of Nigeria's governor says our economy would grow by six  percent, I wonder what he means?

Is he saying that Nigeria's earnings from crude export would increase by six percent? Or is he saying that our manufacturing sector, would improve in efficiency by six percent? Or could it be that we are selling more goods,and services to the rest of the world by six percent?

I am certain that he is not saying that the living standard of Nigerians would increase by six percent!

The man on the street would definitely argue that the economy was not growing.His condition has not changed, his lot has not improved. 
And that there is no hope of improvement.

What is economic growth? What is development.? Economic growth, in lay man's terms, is the aggregate increase in the value of goods, and services produced by an economy. 

Development on the other hand, is the total positive progress in economic well-being made by individuals in an economy.

This is usually as a result of good government policies,and interventions which resulted from economic growth.

Development, ought to follow economic growth, as day follows night.

In our own case, even when our economy is booming,Nigerians are like the children of Israel,building cities for Pharaoh in Egypt.They can see the prosperity around them, but they are shut out from it, and left with only aches,pains,and regrets!

I have always believed, that government statistics in this country, are unreliable,untenable,and tainted! 

The civil servants who compile them are always under pressure to compile what is favourable to their bosses, or department, agency, or ministry. 

So the figures are always positive.

They are only negative,when the government sees that we need to drop below a particular benchmark of poverty,to qualify for some world bank grant!

Where did Mallam Sanusi get his six percent  economic growth from? 

Did he speak to my brother in law, Latunji Aworetan, who spends six thousand naira every week on buying fuel for his generator? 

Did he go to the tailoring section of Area One Shopping Centre in Abuja, where I saw ten tailors one day, sitting at their sewing machines, each one connected to his own generator?

Has he calculated the loss to the economy from factories relocating to Ghana? It is so bad now that last year even some members of the national assembly went to Ghana for a retreat!

Has the Central Bank Governor, calculated how much man hours we loose daily from traffic jams as a result of bad roads? Has he calculated the cost of the routine,normal,much-to-be-expected power failure?

Has he considered the adverse effect the importation of second hand cars, and other products we ought to be producing, but are not, is having on the economy. Or were the forty thousand individuals needlessly sacked from banks, meant to grow the economy?

Has he considered the cost of exporting crude oil from Nigeria, and the importation of refined petroleum products at a higher cost to the economy, due to asinine government policies?

How would that help the economy to grow?

The problem is that Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is a bean counter,he does not live in the real world. He presides over figures that are strange to reality, he oversees a huge organization of very comfortable well paid bean counters. 

These people do not even know that a sixty five centilitre bottle of kerosene costs more than a litre of petrol in Nigeria today.

Nigeria's economy by some fluke, could actually grow by six percent, the tragedy is that our leaders have the abominable habit of not translating growth to development.

And that is what Nigerians want,

That is what they need,

And until they get it,


1 comment:

  1. This piece should be printed in all National dailies. Soludo came out with all the economic jargons, totally confusing the common man. The wind blew and his ass was open for all to see, and then we knew he was a card carrying member of the PDP. The Anambrarians rejected him, thank God, the PDP nigerianized rigging did not work. He told us all lies about the banking sector, and Sanusi came and exposed all and we shouted Urekka! That same Sanusi has consolidated himself in office, and now the face of Soludo is manifesting again. That is Nigeria for you. God will judge them all!