By Don Domnic
The National Bureau of Statistics published the country’s inflation figures as at June 2022 to be 18.6 per cent up from 17.7 per cent in 2021.
The implications are better imagined. Already the standard of living has been going down hill. Looking at the realities we need to buckle up.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also published our debt obligations which stands at 41 trillion this needs attention in view of the volatility of the economy owing to a number of factors. As it stands now something needs to be done.
A pertinent question is, how does this affect the common man on the street or better, the house wife.
But let us look at the situation closely. The unemployment figure stands at 33
per cent which translates to 72 million people without jobs, using the Worldometer report which is an elaboration of the United Nations data.
This is really scary.
Several approaches are apt. The director general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, on 13th July, 2022 in a TVC television program ‘said that there ‘is need for a conference by all stakeholders in the economy to chat the way forward.”
There is wisdom in this proposal.
The situation is that food, transportation, basic needs are out of the reach of most folks. The cost of energy has equally gone so high that manufacturers can no longer cope and are downsizing thereby compounding the already bad situation.
Most times economies rely on history.
In 1982, President Shehu Shagari declared austerity measures. The policy thrust aimed at curtailing government expenditure. Before the declaration, a leading opposition party leader Chief Obafemi Awolowo informed Nigerians that the country was broke. Shagari’s henchmen disagreed but Shagari eventually did the needful. The rest is history.
A similar declaration is rife to plug the holes.
A great deal of our problem lies with high energy costs which has turned things upside down. Already petroleum marketers are of the opinion “that fuel pump price is no longer realistic.” Whatever that means.
Yielding to such a call will further impoverish Nigerians. Let the refineries work. Let the issue of modular refineries be considered seriously.
The current exchange rate is crushing us. Suggestions by those who know pointed to rebasing as a way out.
A stitch in time saves nine. The time is now.