GDP/GNP, Annual Budget, Per Capita, Tools for Economic Measures, by Ejike E. Okpa
If one is disposed to BEER PARLOR chants that dominate conversations with Nigerians, where superlatives are used to describe Africa’s Giant, one feels good.
For Nigerians, it is all about feeling good.
It is no gainsaying the obvious that beneath all that, Nigeria is technically a poor country when Economic Development indices and Measures are critically x-rayed.
Economies are measured by sectors, and they come down to which ones drives the rest since they are interrelated.
Ask any Nigerian to name a robust sector and one gets a stare like a deer caught in headlights. They are irritated and rattled, and will default to pointing to their individual accomplishments often big houses and cars, and their kids are abroad. Rich nations don’t send their kids abroad – they build good schools domestically to broaden education and keep their kids within reach. The abroad kids Nigerians brag about often do not come back leaving the bragging parent sad as they begin to witness their own end. Life is a relay best ran when hands over to the next runner. So having one’s kids all over the world is more about crisis at home. Being abroad is bragging rights Nigerians wear as badge of honor.
Oh well, what is not when the entire population is like unshepherd herds in a wilderness.
Sure, self grandstanding is part of the camouflage not to see the rot in the country.
Even when they point to oil, they are oblivious to the fact that Nigeria is the poorest OPEC member nation on per capita basis.
They jump to gdp/gnp – they forget that by sheer size of Nigeria population its volume of activities automatically makes the activities large. But what matters is recapture of government revenue from the activities which is best done through an effective and efficient tax administration. But Nigeria does not have efficient tax administration reason it is a commodity selling dependent nation.
Her annual federal budget is less than $45b, on a straight line analysis, if the annual budget is divided by the population size, every Nigerian will receive about $225. In what world does that put one on the column of emerging economy or rich one?
Because of dire absence of critical thinking due to laziness, and not to offend their superlatives, Nigerians will rather not look deeper.
What is obvious to them must be twisted to make them feel good.
Psychologists have a term for such behavior but I rather not get into it.
I await Nigeria apologists and sympathizers to show the world star sector/s of Nigeria economy, to convince me to take back my views.
Nigeria is like one waiting in the desert for rain based on forecast. The rain is coming but due to the ground heat, the rain evaporates.
But they wait and pray for divine intervention ignoring human intervention.
Ejike E OKPA
Global Affairs Analyst