For the second time in five years, under the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria has slumped into its worst recession in over 35 years.
As most discerning minds have affirmed, this was very avoidable. In fact, this should not have happened. This is another recession that should not have happened if we had excellent and creative fiscal managers in this Buhari regime.
Any government that continually pursues unconventional, non-commonsensical, contrarian, counter-posing, non-complementing and discordant fiscal and monetary policies interface as the one we have in Nigeria today will continue to create a multitude of problems for its citizens.
Disturbingly, the current recession is worse than the previous one because all the economic indicators point terribly south.
Today, Nigeria’s youth unemployment and underemployment rates are 34.9% and 28.6% respectively. Real inflation rate is at over 33% (mainly driven by high food commodity prices and massive depreciation in the value of the naira to the dollar).The SMEs are closing shops in their numbers because of the effects of multiple taxations, absence of supportive infrastructure and hostile operating environment.
Why are we where we are today?
For whole five years, the Buhari regime refused to go beyond half-truths, rhetoric and propaganda to truly diversify the Nigerian economic base from a fossil fuel dependent and support holistically and sustainably the SMEs, which would have helped us to create jobs in the country.
For whole five years, the Buhari regime refused to totally reform and fully deregulate the oil and gas sector, unbundle the NNPC, sell of the obsolete refineries that they have used to misappropriate over N750billion in 5 years, and inject transparency in our oil and gas industry.
For a whole five years, the regime refused to drive a massively reduced all-inclusive cost of governance, less profligacy and waste in the public sector. Our non-recurrent expenditure has continued to balloon while our revenue base tanks.
All through the duration of this regime since 2015, it refused to curb the heightened insecurity in Nigeria. Boko Haram, bandits and terrorist herdsmen are having a field day in the North . Kidnappers and cultists are having a swell time in the South-South and the South-East. Nigerians in practically most of the Northern states pay ransoms to bandits so that they can have access to their farmlands. Yet, none of the security chiefs is fired or replaced .