To every Nigerian, there is an adjective that seems to have the highest number of mentions lately when we talk of the current state of the nation’s economy…RECESSION. Companies have used it as a sale option, comedians have created various jokes about it, religious Institutions have made prayer points out of it, politicians have turned it to a weapon against their opponents, and the masses?
The masses suffer the unfortunate circumstances of it. The ‘Giant of Africa’ is being plagued by a situation, and it is not going to go down in history as our greatest period.
So what do we know about the recession?
According to The National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which is one of the standards used to measure the economic size of a country, dropped every quarter in 2016, and our oil production which makes up for most of our revenue dropped from 2.1million barrels of crude oil per day to 1.8 million per day. It is unfortunate that our non-oil sector, which since the oil boom, has not been given much attention is also in decline.
Gloomy I know, but there is a good side to the recession that came to mind while I was listening to Jay Z 4:44 album (that is for another day)
Say What? I will explain,
Do you remember there was a time, when Privatization was really a big deal in Nigeria? It really got massive appeal during the Obasanjo regime, the second one, we were no longer under military rule, and Nigerians were getting their first taste of capitalism. We were steadily attracting foreign investors, we had the oil, we had population and the economic environment that was ripe for the picking. It was all good it seemed, but even then, I could not help, but believe that we were living in a façade. We were developing, and expanding economically, but we were enriching foreign companies; we were just a branch.
Nigeria is an independent country, but economically dependent, and that was when I coined the word ‘Economical Colonialism.’
Nigeria’s current recession might have just saved us. The recession made Nigeria unconducive to many foreign investors, and forced many to leave; they left a vacuum, which could be filled by local companies.
Nigerians are forced to strategize, and step right into those shoes.
The foreign exchange calamity forced Nigerians to finally look inwards, creatively and innovatively, forcing job seekers to turn entrepreneurs overnight.
The Grow the Naira Hashtag, became a campaign that made Nigerians realise that it is time to begin to export rather than import. Maybe we should massively focus on rebranding ‘Made in Nigeria’ goods, especially Aba made products. Women wear prints, popularly known as Ankara, I never thought I would ever love Ankara styled fashion from great fashion designers, which are affordable, though most of them are imported. We should wake up our textile mills to provide quality print fabrics.
For the first time since Democracy, Nigerians are taking charge of its economy and seeing it for what it has been ‘a glorified façade,’ which we had little stake in.
In a harsh way, this recession was sort of a blessing.
The Recession still bites hard, but Nigerians are fighters and survivors, we will survive this storm. Keep pushing, collaborating, creating, innovating and so on. We should not give up.
So let me know what you think, what is the good you see?
What do you think Nigerians can gain from the Recession?
I Cannot wait to see what you think in the comment box below.
My Name is Faith Nte for Street Hawker, and this is my impression.