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Showing posts from April, 2016

A CASE FOR REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION & DEVELOPMENT

Between 1958-1966, Nigeria's economy was making steady and enviable progress, depending on intense Agricultural production and solid Minerals export to earn foreign exchange which was sufficient to meet its import needs. The North exported mainly Groundnuts, Cotton and Hides & Skin. The West focused largely on Cocoa and Timber. The Mid-West harnessed Rubber. Eastern Nigeria produced and exported mainly Palm Produce (Palm oil & Palm Kernel) and Coal. Within the same period, the seeds for a bludgeoning industrial Base were being laid across the Nation for the production of consumer goods, essentially for the domestic market. Nigeria had no balance of Payment challenges and did not need any loans to meet its budgeted expenditure. Salaries were paid on due dates. All the Schools had teachers and many Students went to School( Home & Abroad) on Scholarships. The Hospitals and Dispensaries had Doctors and Nurses who never went on Strike because of emolument disputes and the o…

WELCOME CHINA, BYE BYE AMERICA!

Three news items dominated the air waves last week. China grants Nigeria, 6 Billion Dollars loan, Nigeria agrees a yuan swap with China and Nigeria shuns IMF loan. All happened last week. That story shows how things have changed rapidly. For long, America seemed to have opposed the growing influence of China in Africa. Is the game lost in Nigeria? May be not. 

President Muhammadu Buhari ( PMB) in continuation of his global travels went to China last week and came back with a basketful of goodnews. Perhaps the best in all his travels. The generous loans are exciting especially at this time. Nigeria is in dire need of funds to meet its large deficit in the 2016 budget. This loan will be applied to infrastructural development and the development of other economic sectors like Agriculture and mining. Some of the facilities were offered to a couple of Nigerian Private sector companies including Dangote industries( Cement) the North-South Power Company Ltd( Power), Granite and Marble Nigeria…

OUR ACTIONS WILL SPEAK FOR US- President Muhammadu Buhari

There is an advert which has been running on Television over the last couple of weeks, sponsored by the Ministry of Information and Culture, I believe. A couple of elderly Nigerians make comments about the country and the the President. The Minister of Foreign affairs said that PMB is the face of the Nigerian Brand and the President himself concludes with the statement quoted above- Our actions will speak for us. Which means that he will be a man of action, not of words. I quickly agreed with the President that His actions will speak for him and his government. And then I tried to listen in my mind, what his actions were speaking.  But I had some problems as I was hearing two voices speaking at the same time. When I tried to discern what these voices were, I found that one voice was speaking for the president which represented his actions. When I interrogated the other voice it said that it was speaking for the inactions of the President . That helped to resolve my confusion. One vo…

BRAZIL'S ECONOMIC DESCENT & POLITICAL CRISIS : PARALLELS & LESSONS FOR NIGERIA

Only a few years ago Brazil was taunted as a rapidly emerging Nation. Growing at over 4% annually, the GDP grew decently and put Brazil on the BRICS categorization. President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and his Workers Party( Partido des Trabalhadores-PT) led the Nation through what was regarded as an impressive growth trajectory to become the toast of Nations, lining it along Russia, India ,China and South Africa as the World's next economic growth frontier. I remember that in Nigeria, we were unhappy that we were not included in this class, prompting us and some of our friends in the West to push for our inclusion and the adjustment of the acronym to read BRINCS- Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria, China and South Africa. After all, Nigeria was growing at a decent 6-7% annually for about a decade.

But in the last two years, things have fallen apart and the centre seems not to be holding. Brazil's hitherto impressive growth stalled in 2014 and contracted by 3.8% in 2015, which is it…