With no hope in sight, Nigerians have resolved to various means in order to make ends meet.
In recent times, the emergence of several so-called network programmes within the Nigerian money market is in such a dimension that has never been noticed before.
Whether genuine or not, as long as they find some potential in it, the citizens of the largest black nation are quick to embrace any programme.
Citizens blame the government
As a matter of fact, these citizens are quick to show their frustration towards their government, especially due to the fact that there is no clear picture of the future of the nation’s economy.
Oluyemi Esan, Head of Client Service at Explicit Communications Ltd., says:
“We are in deep trouble already, but our leaders should be able to give us some hope and show us light at the end of the tunnel. I am afraid, that isn’t the case, going by the body language of President Buhari and his team.”
Just recently, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emiefele made what most citizens have described as “unguarded statements”.
While responding to criticisms targeted at him by members of the public, Emiefele accused Nigerians of thinking that there is some magic policy that could make the Naira strong in the near term.
“It is either I do not understand economics and how exchange rates work or a vast majority of us Nigerians still don’t get how we have wrecked our country with our own curious choices. Just this morning, I was listening to the radio and the lady on air went on and on about how she thought the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele was incompetent and should be sacked because the Naira was now exchanging at 309 or so to the USD.”
“That view pretty much echoes the sentiments expressed by many people I know and it amazes me that there are Nigerians who actually think there is some magic policy that can make the Naira strong in the near term.”
Emefiele continued by explaining how the over dependence on importation and the almost non-existence of local consumables has contributed towards the depreciation of the Naira.
First among Emiefele’s reasons why the Naira has fallen was the over-dependence of the country on the exportation of crude oil. Therefore, with the crash in oil price in the international market, the Naira had no other way but to head South.
A fallout of bad policies
From an economic angle, Babatunde Ajayi of Investment One Financial Services, points out that in the last 10-15 years, Nigeria's GDP had grown at an average of 4 to 5 percent per annum. “It's a (fortunate or unfortunate) fact of economics that when incomes increase, imports are likely to increase as well,” says Ajayi.
Ajayi identifies certain steps that could have been taken by the custodians of the Nigerian economy before the present administration, that could have saved the nation from the current crisis being experienced.
He describes such steps as:
- Pricing our currency right by not selling plenty USD cheaply as CBN under Sanusi Lamido did for a long time, so that anyone who wants to import pays the right price.
- Making it as easy as possible to export by improving infrastructure and export process.
“We didn't do those. Now things are really complicated and it is almost like weaning an addict off cocaine, or shocking a lazy man into becoming Superman overnight,” says Ajayi.
A radical approach is imminent
In his opinion, Oluyemi Esan states clearly that he is yet to see a strategic and radical approach by the present government in tackling the prevailing problems.
He however insists that agriculture remains the nation’s greatest potential although after almost 18 months of governance there seems to be no significant effort or strategy towards this direction.
“The Governor of the Central Bank can render all his rhetorics, but permit me to say that isn't his job. Himself, his colleagues and their boss, the President, should put their heads together and come up with a workable and radical strategy to address these issues,” concludes Esan.
While the nation waits for her day of salvation, many citizens are deciding on a daily basis to take their economic future into their hands by venturing into the decentralized financial community.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency seems to be the way to go as the general public seeks for the proverbial “escape route”.