A truism of economies is they tend to thrive when they have a large stable middle-class. In the mid-2010s, one of the most aggressive facts promoted about the Nigerian economy was that it had created a large and thriving middle-class. Many observers were sceptical but were called naysayers. Today we are all concerned about the future of our economies which has become incalculable due to the uncertain impacts of COVID-19; rising inequality, growing poverty, upward concentration of wealth, and climate change. Nigeria is facing such concerns and has a serious youth immiseration and deprivation problem. And yes, the middle class and the less well-off are the hardest hit. Upward mobility for the youth has become a phantom.Continue reading
Windfall: Yankiokwa! Yankiokwa!!! Anytime you are this quiet we know you are up to something. How is you, Boss?
Yankius: Windokwa! The Windfall maker himself! Your potbelly has dwindled seriously. Is everything okay?
Windfall: Leave my stomach alone. I am curious. That bakery where the National Cake is being baked does still exist?
Yankius: The National Cake is crude oil. It still exists only nobody really wants it anymore. At least not for now.
Windfall: How can crude oil be the National Cake? Crude oil is a fossil fuel. Why do you have to be figurative about everything? Can you not just call cake what it is?
Yankius: In that case I will not talk any further about the National Cake. Continue reading
“There is no good name for a terrible disease” – Urhobo proverb.
“The solution to Africa’s problems lie solely in Africa” – George Ayittey.
Coconut Head Corruption (CHC) is a term derived from the vocabulary of George Ayittey. He is a distinguished U.S. based Ghanaian economist and is used to describe the observed hollow-headedness and thoughtlessness exhibited by corrupt African leaders and their clients. These Big Men Ayittey is critical of have engaged in corruption since the beginning of the post-colonial era. Ayittey consistently and emphatically in his works and on social media uses words like “Coconut Leader”, “Coconut combat” or “Coconut solutions” to address misgovernance and lousy leadership in African. Coconut-prefixed words as Ayittey uses them is just one aspect of the sincere, blunt and uncompromising zeal with which he is opposed to corruption and deliberate under-development in Africa. Solving Africa’s problems is not a ‘popularity contest’; it is about consistent successful approaches and outcomes; political correctness has not done anything for Africa (Ayittey 1992).
How can a so-called modern nation be perennially managed since Independence by way of “unsolicited proposals”? President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on the slogan of “Change” but he is still governing Nigeria unrelentingly with the instrument of “unsolicited proposals”. When loans are used to fund “unsolicited proposals” it is no different from gambling, high-stakes gambling. Any government that manages its affairs and vision with total dependence on “unsolicited proposals” is devoid strategic planning, structural effectiveness and reliable outcome expectations beyond the short-term; such is governance by improvisation [haphazard] and instantaneous expediency. Is this truly the way forward for Nigeria? Continue reading
President Muhammadu Buhari won many die-hard supporters purely because he refused to play the game of “begging bowl politics” at a time when Africa’s innumerable dictators were queuing up to take IMF / World Bank loans as global neoliberalism aggressively dictated. If Buhari had accepted the aggressively marketed neoliberal-induced loans, General Ibrahim Babangida might have never become president and Nigeria’s recent history different. Conversely, if Buhari had remained in office enduringly then with the “no loan” stance, Nigeria might be up there today with Botswana, a nation that rejected IMF / World Bank loans. However, Buhari, now a democratically elected president is actively courting loans from economic powers, the most recent being China. What happened? Egnahc? Continue reading