Support Nigerian govt’s initiatives on COVD-19 …. Produce what we eat, and eat what we produce – President Muhammadu Buhari
This account is provoked by the information that was forwarded to me this morning by a friend, apparently out of concern for what becomes of the Nigerian economy following the seeming intransigence of Coronavirus and the horrible effect on the economy of the United States. Initially, my attitude was going to be: ”If the gold rusts, what shall iron do” a phrase taken from the General Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. It means if even the best things lose value, we shouldn’t expect much from things of lesser value. But the reality and my instincts tell me that our case in Nigeria could be different. Our economies are not the same and we have very different consumption and production patterns.
Somehow, I have always believed that the Third World is luckier than the developed world in this type of aggravating situation in terms of capability and endowments to cope. This is only if the citizenry would be responsible and governments decide to be responsive and accountable. The raw materials are there in Africa, endowed with 65 percent of the world’s arable land. The problem remains to mobilize the continent for development and good governance.
NIGERIA’S SAVING GRACE: If anything, what would be the saving grace for Nigerians at this momentous period in world history is to support the initiatives woven by the Federal Government of Nigeria for both containing the deadly pandemic of Coronavirus and also measures designed to absorb the shocks of the virus on the economy. Where the effect is most likely to be felt is the provision of welfare services, a social investment area that is not adequately developed in the Third World. But there is hope given the fact that the developing world has an advantage of the ability to produce what it consumes, while also pushing forth into the global market excesses particularly for commodity exports.
THE REALITY: Foregoing is one of the reasons why Nigerians must support the Made in Nigeria agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, and more importantly, the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan 2020. And we must start embracing the available options as a matter of importance. It goes beyond patriotism. It is now a matter of life and death. The report states that the very steep decline in revenues available for sharing among governments of the federation will have serious.
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT: The Osinbajo committee reported back that: ”implications for wages, overheads, and capital expenditures at Federal, State, and Local Government levels. ‘’Unemployment rate which was 23.1% (or 20.9m people) at the end of 2018 is expected to rise to 33.6% (or 39.4 million people) at the end of 2020 if urgent steps are not taken. ”The major problem with unemployment of a very large youth population is the hopelessness that gives rise to criminal activities and anti-social behaviour, which can ultimately create potential recruits into the ranks of insurgents’’
STRATEGIES, COMMITMENT & IMPLEMENTATION: The Osinbajo Committee recommended some measures as stimuli that have been adopted by the federal government. The second issue is strategy. One of the best ways, says the report, ‘’to beat the triple problem of very low foreign exchange, huge unemployment, and negative growth is by focusing on Mr President’s mantra to produce what we eat and eat what we produce. This means focusing on agriculture, increasing the acreage under cultivation and engaging thousands of young people in farming and agro-allied jobs, with a scheme for guaranteeing off-take of farm produce. This ensures that farmers are assured of an income. Other signature programmes include mass social housing, using local materials, installing solar power in 5 million homes, and providing assistance to daily-paid and self-employed workers – petty traders, artisans like bricklayers, vulcanisers, and electricians as well as commercial drivers and barrow-pushers.’’
STATES & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: States and local governments have the responsibility of getting this message deep into the crannies; otherwise it remains mere rhetoric. I know of the deep passion and commitment of the two Hon. Ministers at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, and their actions towards implementing particularly the Nigeria Made products and services agenda. Both Ministers, Niyi Adebayo, and Maryam Katagum are eminently placed to deliver on their Presidential mandates given their experiences, exposure, and commitment to worthy causes. And of course, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning is central to the achievement of these salient objectives. There must be feedback on implementation periodically. I never knew until two weeks ago during a casual visit that the National Planning wing of the Finance Ministry under the supervision of Prince Clement Agba has done a tremendous job with regard to monitoring implementation of policies and programmes, and development agenda generally. I strolled in only to meet massive information on its activities.
GLOBAL ECONOMY: A glimpse into the global economy and the effect of COVID-19 is not alluring at all. Rather it presents a caricature of a distorted economy battered by a virus that ordinarily should be subject to the impulse and caprices of mankind. But no; Coronavirus is proving so stubborn that the whole world may continue to be on edge of precipice for a long time to come, perhaps till 2022 as predicted by the World bank/IMF. Humanity appears helpless, at least for now. The report sent to me this morning paints a most painful picture of the near-collapse of the American economy. It says the ”real impact of Covid -19 will be known in the third quarter of 2020. A Yahoo Finance report states that: “Some companies are just not going to survive this,” says McGrail, who is the COO of one of the world’s largest asset disposition and valuation firms, Tiger Capital Group.”
It’s going to be ugly McGrail declines to say which retailers have been calling him up for asset appraisals, except to note the names wouldn’t be any big shock. . Such is the current life for McGrail and others in the retail bankruptcy and restructuring fields. In talking to a host of experts, one thing is abundantly clear: A thunderstorm of bankruptcies in retail is about to rain down on Wall Street thanks to the aftershock of the coronavirus.’’ Once formidable retailers will either vanish entirely or emerge from bankruptcy with 75% smaller store networks. Those retailers that somehow manage to avoid bankruptcy by way of a creative debt raise or another restructuring will find the road ahead bumpy at best.” Once formidable retailers will either vanish entirely or emerge from bankruptcy with 75% smaller store networks. Those retailers that somehow manage to avoid bankruptcy by way of a creative debt raise or other restructuring will find the road ahead bumpy at best.
HARDSHIPS & CLOSURES Massive mortgage loan defaults, credit card defaults and auto loan defaults are expected Unemployment claims reached an all-time high of 38+ million – unemployment is over 25% (out of 160 million of work force, close to 40 million are jobless). With no income, consumer demand is falling drastically and the economy will go into a free fall. This is just USA… Similar things will happen in other parts of the world tooJ.C. Penney is set to close six of its department stores in 2020, a spokeswoman confirmed to CNBC. … “This decision is the result of a careful and ongoing review of our store portfolio,” a spokeswoman said in an email to CNBC.
- See the US economy landscape :
- Nissan Motor Co. may close down in USA
- Biggest Car Rental company (Hertz) filed for bankruptcy – they also own Thrifty and Dollar
- Biggest Trucking company (Comcar) filed for bankruptcy – they have 4000 trucks
- Oldest retail company (JC Penny) filed for bankruptcy – to be acquired by Amazon for pennies
- Biggest investor in the world (Warren Buffet) lost $50B in the last 2 months
- Biggest investment company in the world (BlackRock) is signalling disaster in the world economy – they manage over $7 Trillion
- Biggest mall in America (Mall of America) stopped paying mortgage payments
- Most reputable airline in the world (Emirates) laying off 30% of its employees
- US Treasury printing trillions to try to keep the economy on life support – their balance sheet will become $7 Trillion
- Estimated no. of retail stores closing in 2020 – 12,000 to 15,000. The following are big retailers that have announced closing:
- Victoria’s Secret
- Bath & Body Works
- Forever 21
- Pier 1 Imports
- Destination Maternity
- C. Moore
- Art Van Furniture
- Olympia Sports
- K Mart
- Specialty Cafe & Bakery
- and many many more…
the benefit of the general citizenry and Nigerians at home and abroad, the full report of the Osinbajo Economic Sustainability Plan Report presented to President Muhammadu Buhari on June 11, 2020, is presented in full for a clearer understanding of the motives and how and why decisions approved at the Federal Executive Council were taken. It is available at: