Economy has been defined as the complex of human activities concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. No government worth its name anywhere in the world will downplay the importance of the economy in planning, projection and management of its people. It is, to a large extent, this ability that determines the success or failure of such an administration. On May 29, Dr Goodluck Jonathan will be sworn-in as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What will be uppermost in the minds of Nigerians at home and abroad is the ability of the new administration to successfully manage the country’s economy – its resources, finance, income and expenditure, business enterprises, among others.
We advise the administration to have a solid economic policy that will encourage the setting up of industries at urban and rural areas, revamp ailing or depleting industries and create an environment that will make such industries flourish. The Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) should be made to work; it should be given the necessary support. Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are the engine room of most developed economies. Government should provide the environment that will support people who are ready to go into small and medium scale investments.
Indeed, the spirit of entrepreneurship should be inculcated in the people, for it is in so doing that self-reliance and productivity will be fully entrenched. One of the steps to be taken here is the halting of the importation of goods that can be easily produced in our country. A situation whereby we import items ranging from toothpick, matches to rice and fuel should be discouraged. When we import goods from abroad, we help the economy of the country where the goods were produced. We use our money to create jobs for their people while our people are roaming the streets in search of jobs.
Similarly, since economy is the relationship between production, trade and supply of money in a particular country or region, our government should see that goods produced in Nigeria have a ready-made market in W/Africa and other parts of the world. It is unfortunate to note that the West African market is currently in the hands of the Chinese, Indians, and Taiwanese. Nigeria must think about production and aggressive exportation of goods to the world. Government should stop paying lip service to the issue of over-dependence on oil. Recent reports by United States agencies have revealed that the big players in African economy, such as Nigeria, have failed to maximally tap into the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) meant to stimulate the continent’s non-oil export trade.
The fixity of any economy is the ability of the nation to control inflation. The government must rise to its responsibility in this regard. Inflation control should be given priority. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should strengthen the Naira by repositioning commercial banks to be catalysts for economic development. Bogus salaries and allowances for politicians and top government officials should be discouraged. This is a time for service. Only a policy that will benefit the people of Nigeria should be endorsed. Any reasonable measure that will help to stabilise our economy should be encouraged.