Lately, according to reports, Nigeria was placed a at the 19th position in countries that has an attractive investment climate in Africa! This trend is worrisome. This is to show us how we have gone. We are going down systematically, but still living in the euphoria of giant of Africa. Economies today aren’t measured by size but by capacity and output.
A lot of epochs, ages and revolution has happened over the time and sub Saharan Africa didn’t key into them. Though, countries like Rwanda, Kenya and other few African nations have realized their mistakes and are keying into the new world order via creating an enabling environment for knowledge,research and investment in ICT to thrive. This has made Nigeria an onlooker instead of actor.
Let’s break the ages and how we have fared as a nation. We had the agricultural age of few centuries ago …Because we still practice seasonal agriculture and nomadic animal rearing which has been abolished centuries ago. We are yet to understand the nuances of mechanized farming . So here we are today , talking about grazing routes instead of better hybrid. We have the capacity to be self sustaining in food production, what I can’t say is if we have decided to play ostrich here.
We also missed the steam age, where machines were powered by steams.We also missed the industrial Revolution.We didn’t key into that.We were busy doing things manually,like using hoes to farm and using hands to lift heavy stuffs . These are things machines could have done easily. We missed it .
Coal age!We also missed that because ,though we have coal in abundance, but we couldn’t use it to power our industry and homes .Because we missed the industrial Revolution. These periods can be excused because of either colonialism or we were busy living at peace with nature before the West came and disrupted the ecosystem with their ways of life. Just, like they did in the Americas and Asia. But, Americas and Asia have moved on and catching up with the West. Do we go back to the way we were before the West came ?
At a point we were confused in where to align and whom to make friends.Then in secondary school, we were thought that we practiced mixed economy. An economic blueprint have that can be described neither hot nor cold. It was great move but we didn’t capitalise on the move. We were talking during the cold wars between capitalism and socialism.Cuba keyed into socialism and gave the world the best form of educated society. The USA was damn good capitalist , believing in the art of meritocracy and ability to deliver….We on our own side…Mixed the two up…With quota system and price ( socialist leaning ) and capitalism a bit….This we got muddled up and here we are today .
Then came crude oil, it was like an Eureka, we rejoiced ,we partied . In short we had the biggest party in the whole wild world. Blackman love to enjoy…So we brought all African to us. We called it FESTAC and they came , danced and “carnivalled”. What did we show for it ? Absolutely nothing..We only saw a messed up environment in the creeks and some bunch of kleptomaniac. Today , the economy is in tatters …With no salvage in sight. If it were in physics, we would have been calculating salvage value . While other countries like UAE, the Norse were busy using their oil to develop. Today, we are as a country is trying to cure our Dutch disease.
Now, everybody is going green. Just like coal, steam etc have gone, so will crude oil go and it must . There is nothing we can do about it, the question is what will be the legacy ? Is it the messed up environment or the bad roads ? There is Nothing permanent in life apart from change. The USA came and broke our hearts with technology and gave the world shale oil. This is a product of research and technology. We saw oil prices nose dived and has refused to rise up and might not likely to up again. Again we lost it !
Now, the world has moved to IoT, AI and M2M. These are funny acronym and i know that most of us wouldn’t know the meaning but they are the future and where the world is headed to. They are Internet of Things, Machine to Machine and Artificial Intelligence. Countries like China, India, even Kenya has positioned their wards for this . What are we doing as a nation? Are we still hoping that the ubiquitous crude rise.It will never rise again more that $50 per barrel. Do we continue to borrow to pay salaries.As a Nigerian, this worries me, I don’t know about you.
If you are a close observer of the ongoing globally and have been studying the trends. The world and leaders are trying to reduce our carbon footprints. Nations are making serious plans to phase out the use of fossil fuels in decades time. This will make the already existing crude price to be own. Big energy firms are investing massively in renewable energy. Countries that are reasonable are realigning themselves to meet the future narrative. OEMs and car manufacturer are churning out low gasoline consumption cars that come in hybrid form. The latest is the fully functional electric cars. With Volvo’s announcement of discontinuing the manufacture of gasoline powered cars in near future, we can at least agree that the future of fossil fuel is bleak.
Nigeria is busy looking at oil, investing in oil exploration and how to sustain the budget by borrowing and not even investing heaving in capacity building, human skills and infrastructures such as high speed broadband, incubation centres and serious Research and Development facilities. Overhaul our education system, old lecturers with antiquated learning should be made to retire and encourage massive education( especially in the North ,which has become a sore point ) through electronic learning. Encourage, plead,pacify the Igbo to stay in the union. Whether we like it or not, the Igbo have a knack for ingenuity and technology prowess. We have seen them demonstrate that ,the country can learn from them via understudy . Encourage logical empirical approach to issues not emotional approach. Downplay the Rome of religion, we are too religious and this is affected ting our realistic leaning . Believe in God is important as believing in one’s capacity to do thing.
Failure to do this, our kids will question is,the way we have questions those in their 50s and 60s and why they lacked the foresight to leap frog us to enviable status. As they say ” to be fore warned is to be fore armed.
Anthony Emeka Nwosu
If you are a close observer of the ongoing globally and have been studying the trends. The world and leaders are trying to reduce our carbon footprints. Nations are making serious plans to phase out the use of fossil fuels in decades time. This will make the already existing crude price to be own. Big energy firms are investing massively in renewable energy. Countries that are reasonable are realigning themselves to meet the future narrative.