Are we richer af­ter the GDP ‘re­bas­ing’?

Daily Trust - - VIEWS -

This is the best ar­ti­cle I have read re­gard­ing the re­bas­ing of our GDP and the new fact that Nigeria’s econ­omy is the big­gest in Africa. Many people are read­ing pol­i­tics into it rather than look­ing at it from a purely eco­nomic point of view and point­ing out its im­pli­ca­tion. I will like to com­ment on a few of the im­pli­ca­tions you pointed out.

One is that the new econ­omy re­quires people who are highly skilled. I pre­fer to use the word “skilled” to ed­u­ca­tion be­cause our con­cept of ed­u­ca­tion is sim­ply go­ing to the univer­sity to ac­quire all man­ner of cer­tifi­cates. What the new econ­omy re­quires is a high level of skills. Our own Al­haji Aliko Dan­gote once lamented when ad­dress­ing stu­dents from the La­gos Busi­ness School that one of the big­gest prob­lems he had in the con­struc­tion of some of his fac­to­ries was the short­age of skilled welders. We see it ev­ery day. We have short­age of skilled elec­tri­cians, plumbers, tile lay­ers, ma­chin­ists, tailors, even car­pen­ters, etc and yet we have a high rate of un­em­ploy­ment. Oil com­pa­nies im­port work­ers from the Philip­pines and In­done­sia in or­der to main­tain their oil rigs de­spite the fact that we have many en­gi­neers that are un­em­ployed. Yes, the new econ­omy re­quires people to be ed­u­cated but the ed­u­ca­tion must be the right one.

Sec­ondly, you said that the govern­ment must cre­ate the jobs di­rectly. I can tell you that the govern­ment is a poor cre­ator of jobs. In China when the govern­ment was di­rectly cre­at­ing jobs, poverty was ram­pant. It was only when the govern­ment changed course that the econ­omy started grow­ing. I know that a lot of com­pa­nies in China are govern­ment owned, but these com­pa­nies are run­ning like pri­vate en­ter­prises. Re­mem­ber also that the cul­ture and at­ti­tude of people in China to govern­ment busi­ness is dif­fer­ent from ours. The govern­ment’s role is to cre­ate the en­abling en­vi­ron­ment by putting ap­pro­pri­ate laws in place and en­forc­ing those laws vig­or­ously.

Fi­nally, agri­cul­ture and man­u­fac­tur­ing re­main the most im­por­tant ar­eas if we are to re­duce un­em­ploy­ment in Nigeria, but the govern­ment needs cre­ative leg­is­la­tions in or­der to bring this about. The first is to en­sure that there are link­ages be­tween crop pro­duc­tion and our agro-al­lied in­dus­tries.


ag­wamba2@ya­ ************************** Sir, to be frank and sin­cere to our­selves, we are be­ing de­ceived by our lead­ers inas­much as we will end up still fight­ing for a meal per day; the cel­e­brants of this GDP growth are noth­ing but those fight­ing for the eas­i­est route to ma­nip­u­late the 2015 for them­selves,. The best way to mea­sure a na­tion’s GDP is that of its pro­duc­tiv­ity in terms of de­liv­er­ing goods and ser­vices to and by the cit­i­zens; 90 per­cent of the cit­i­zens are now bat­tling with their stom­achs. To me, if the fi­nance and all other rel­e­vant in­sti­tu­tions will an­nounce the GDP growth, it surely sounds odd con­sid­er­ing the un­count­able com­plaints of our fi­nance min­is­ter on the mat­ter. I can re­call sev­eral times when she even high­lighted to the na­tion of her fear in pay­ing monthly salaries based on how she saw things . The re­al­ity will soon be re­vealed! Thank you Mr. Sanusi for this won­der­ful piece and thanks to your name­sake who blew the whis­tle!

Ab­du­lazeez U. Rafind­adi


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