6 Major Setbacks Plaguing Nigeria's Economy
April. 23, 2019
The problems we face in Nigeria's economy has always been a core topic that never seems to end.
The conversations continue on social media platforms, business spaces, Newspaper stands, schools and even in the national assembly.
Nigeria has a mixed-economy and has overly expanding departments, like manufacturing, financial, technology, communication and entertainment industries. Despite this, over 200million Nigerians are still in doubt on what the problem is.
The problems facing the countries economy crawls deep in these industries mentioned above.
To tell the truth, everyone has an idea of what is plaguing the economy. Is it because we have citizens and majorly leaders who have always failed to make things right in both rules of governance and laws?
It is evident that this is a major setback, but today we won’t be dwelling on that alone, rather we will be noting 6 major setbacks plaguing the Nigerian economy.
Granted, Corruption is a global menace, but corruption is a potent disease that has mercilessly eaten Nigeria to a state of stupor to the extent that People are starting to see corruption as a culture in this nation.
Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the World, ranking 144 out of 175 countries. Corruption occurs in every sector of our society from the Government to legislative and citizens.
Using the oil sector as an example, Nigeria is the largest exporter of oil in Africa, as we are called the oil giants and we could be characterized as a wealthy nation staying buoyant on oil. However, corruption has disrupted the smooth flow of the system by extorting or getting a form of bribe from the public. The money gotten, do not flow to the people but rather lavished by the leaders.
This affects the economy daily, causing poor investment, the rise of poverty, poor national development and also develops to a national crisis.
2. Over Dependence On Import
In Africa, Nigeria is ranked the second largest producer of tomatoes, and globally the 13th largest producer. Yet we are the largest importer of tomato paste in Africa. How ironic can that be?
Some Nigerians see the use of imported products as a status symbol; you are categorized as high-class when you eat “Uncle Bens Rice”. But if it’s made in Nigeria then it is “ABA” made and definitely not in any class.
Also, due to the collapse of our refineries, Nigeria still imports refined oil in this 21st century. Nigeria has depended solely on importation and closed her eye to exportation.
We import basic things that can be made and used here in Nigeria like thread, matches, toothpick and many other compact products.
3. Lack of Human Capital/Brain Drain
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with approximately 200 million people. With this type of population, human capital is to be viewed as a significant asset to developing the country’s economy.
However, this potential has remained relatively untapped owing to a lack of adequate investments and policies leading to massive unemployment. There are no policies that focus on the urgent needs of people like education, health, skills et al.
The lack of human capital has brought the issue of brain drain, where we find highly and well-trained intellectuals leaving the shores of the country to find greener pastures due to the lack of focus on human capital. citizens are running away from the country each day, and the Government does not seem to be concerned about the loss of intellectual citizens.
For the country to fully enjoy the benefits that are associated with its high population, greater priority needs to be accorded to investment in human capital.
4. Poor Infrastructure
J.F. Kennedy said America has good roads, not because America is rich, but America is rich because it has good roads.
This is not far from the truth as Infrastructure is the foundation of the economy. A well-developed infrastructure is not only essential for attracting foreign investment, but it is also vital for the long-term growth and competitiveness of countries worldwide.
The poor infrastructural situation of Nigeria, without a doubt, has a very severe effect on peoples’ lives. The continuous shortage of electricity, lack of proper water and sanitation infrastructure, housing problems are making Nigerian states unlivable.
Similarly, the inadequacies in the health sector, education, and logistics can be described as a national shame.
5. Low level of Technological Advancement
Science and technology hold the key to Nigeria reaching its full potential. Nigeria has invested little in science and technology in over 3 decades. This lack of investment has handicapped research and development in strategic industries like Agriculture, Health, Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Manufacturing sectors.
Nigeria has gone backwards at a time when countries like China, South Korea have been able to make great strides in science, technology and innovation while at the same time growing their economies.
We are in the 21st century, and technology has taken over. But where are we in Nigeria?
If we are considering competing and expanding our countries economy, it is of importance to address the damage done to Nigerian science, technology and innovation.
6. Over Dependence on Oil Wealth
This situation can’t be ignored. Nigeria is the largest oil and gas producer in Africa, as Crude oil is the main source of the nation’s economy. Due to the selfish gains of our leaders since independence, there has been an overdependence of oil wealth.
There has been a call for diversification, where other sectors like agriculture will not be ignored. But over the years, diversification has rather been slow, as government agencies do not still take into consideration other sectors in the country.
Apart from the involvement of the government, young and private individuals are not fully interested in the agricultural sector, and this can also be a setback in the nation’s economy.
Diversification is our solution but we should keep in mind that the oil sector can’t be sustainable neither can the agricultural sector it is rather important for us as a country to explore other industries and make the economy better
Finally, the problems facing the Nigerian economy are independent and interconnected. It will take a dedicated nation with good leadership and governance to find a solution. Good governance starts with us, we are also responsible for this situation in the country.
Do you think Nigeria will remain stagnant or face the issue crippling our Economy?
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