How can Nigerian leaders move economy forward while looking backwards?
Today’s article at thecable.ng by Magnus Onyibe is a lengthy piece describing his views regarding what it will take for Nigeria to climb out of its current economic hole.
While Obyibe makes some valid points in the article, there are also a few misses that must not be overlooked.
For one, he spends a great deal of time in his article promoting the idea that you cannot move forward by walking backward.
He pauses to consider what he believes to be the only exception he has ever seen when he writes, “Except on one rare occasion, during a tour of the pentagon, when a naval officer who was conducting us round the edifice that houses the USA Department of Defense, DoD,was moving forward while facing us, l have never seen any sane and rational human being walking backwards over a lengthy distance.”
It is a valid point, but it also overlooks another valid point. George Santayana famously stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
We all need to remember this famous dictum.
He also makes his argument against the idea that Nigeria is in recession because the only thing the country exports is oil and gas. He claims that this is not true because the economy did not go into recession, despite only exporting oil and gas. His reasoning is that because Nigeria had “robust savings in its foreign reserve” to see the country through, the argument falls apart.
Unfortunately, his argument is only half accurate, because it ignores the fact that the single export approach can only succeed when there are “robust savings in its foreign reserve”. The problem, of course, is that such a financial state can never be guaranteed. If it could, then Nigeria would not currently be in recession.
The simple truth is that any country that cannot export anything other than a natural resource is a country that is not producing enough to support even its own citizens, let alone create an excess of wealth to be sold abroad.
So no, having a “Donald Trump” in charge won’t do the trick. The solution, regardless of whether such a person in charge, must include restoring economic responsibility by ceasing the process of debasing the money supply while simultaneously enabling people at the micro-level to create wealth at the smallest levels of society. This combination of inflation-free money combined with local industry will do more than any “Donald Trump” could ever accomplish.