Written by Habib Korede
The greatest misdoing of Nigerians come 2023 will be to vote a presidential candidate who knows very little of the global economy.
Muhammadu Buhari was the most trusted candidate among his major opponents, a courtesy that earned him the seat of the president of Nigeria. Buhari, though, mentally prepared to lead Nigeria to prosperity, was strategically unprepared.
President Buhari inherited an injured economy but he began on the wrong foot, particularly on economic strategy. Overwhelmed by the goodwill he garnered, he failed to do anything about the country’s economy four months after he resumed office.
The consequences of not having a full cabinet for over five months in office further ragged the country’s fragile economy. This shows Buhari was strategically unprepared to revive the limping economy.
Regardless of that, it is appalling that barely a year to the completion of his second tenure, Buhari appoints an economic adviser. Notwithstanding, Nigeria’s economy still aches.
Every revolutionary leader the world has ever witnessed had an existing workable strategy for his country before he led his country.
Forty years ago, Deng Xiaoping (the architect of modern China) did something different from his predecessors that saved China from extinction.
The Chinese had scavenged for food to survive — through polluted atmosphere; with over 80% living below $2.5 per day. Deng Xiaoping introduced a policy (socialist market economy) that led China into the world’s largest economy to purchase power as of 2014, and the second world largest economy in 2021.
Deng had set the survival path for the Chinese. In the year 2012, 10.6% of Chinese lived below $2.5 as against the earlier 80%. In 2017, it was 6%. Presently; it is 0.6% according to the current data by World Bank.
Lee Kuan Yew, the controversial Singaporean prime minister, did something different that secured the comforts of investors and tourists. Lee revived the economy of Singapore and instituted a meritocratic system that survived years after his death.
Lee Kuan Yew’s pragmatism, discipline, viciousness and prescient was a paradigm that led Singapore from a third world nation to a developed nation. With no foreign debt, Singapore has one of the most stable economies in the world.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum created an effective policy that saved Dubai from several economic crises. Maktoum also did something different that transformed Dubai into an overnight international trade and tourist hub.
Buhari’s administration has certainly made rapid progress in other areas.
Unarguably, the economy of the country determines the nature of investors the country will attract, and the pace of development of that country.
On 15 June 2021, the World Bank reported that, “Nigerian economy shrank by 1.8%, its deepest decline since 1983.” Obviously, when a country’s economy is flaccid, the progress in other aspect becomes less enjoyable.
My unsolicited opinion is for Nigerians to always put into consideration a credible and pragmatic candidate who has a workable and refining economic strategy for the country.
Otherwise, we’ll keep oscillating back and forth about a state of equilibrium.