What has recession taught us? – Tijani Sheriffdeen

Every condition, incidence or contingency has a lesson to teach, even though many don’t understand this, it’s exactly so. A whole lot has happened in our country in the last 6 months, one would think this should have thought us lessons we wouldn’t ever forget, but unfortunately, we have learnt a whole lot of nothing out of the recent happenings. One reason Nigeria would continue to grow in leaps and bounds.


Hardly would you see a forth thinking Nigeria who wouldn’t accede and acquiesce to the fact that we are fast to forget our worries. When the sun refuses to shine, we would all find our hands around our cheek, expecting the light to our day; the sign of the sun finding its way out lightens us up forthwith. We wouldn’t ruminate on the reason why the sun refused to shine at first, and even when those who care talk, it is welcomed only in a dustbin.


What a country! Some months back, we were all complaining and expressing our dissatisfaction at the style our currency adopted in sinking. Things were not only hard; the situation we found ourselves was so disturbing that no morning would brighten up without complaints. But now that things are starting to take shape again, we have started consigning to oblivion the lessons this unwelcomed period has brought.


Analytic and critical thinking Nigerians feel buying “naija products” would help us grow our dying currency and help resuscitate our low and stygian looking economy. The government in town saw it the way to thread and showed support by being a part of a fair that exhibited Nigerian products.


Yes, our products were flaunted to the public, but what do we have today? What policy has been put in place to sustain this move? Or better still, how has the government ensured the economic safety of the companies producing goods and offering services in our dear country? All we are good at is making deafening and sonorous noise about things which would only get people’s attention for weeks. Oops! I said weeks?


Agriculture is the way out; it would help our country stand tall again. This among other numerous statements was seen flying around in voices and prints during the deepest part of the unwelcomed friend- recession. It then dawned on us to look that part after long years of abandonment for the oil sector.


Recession brought with herself a whole lot of lessons, but we haven’t learnt anything, or maybe those who have learnt something are the no body in Nigeria. The “let us return back to agriculture” made us understand agriculture of this time goes hand in hand with the industry sector. Africans are hardworking, energetic and industrious, but then our myopic thinking only helps us get a little of our endless toils and labours.


Taking Cote d’Ivoire has a case study; this country produces 33% of world’s cocoa and exports to manufacturers like Hershey’s, Nestle, Mars Inc. among other manufacturing firms. Unfortunately, this country earns $2.5 billion early, while the companies they sell out their products to make more than seven folds of the money they earn. Why? This is not unconnected to the fact that they are leveraging the sweats of Africans for their own unflinching success. Don’t you take beverages? And if you don’t, are you children incognizant of chocolates? Now you see!


We would only continue to deceive ourselves by wanting to improve the agricultural sector and neglecting the industrial sector, nobody is saying it wouldn’t work; it would, as we would all have to share a loaf of bread together, trust me, after deriving maximum satisfaction, we would still have more to keep.


The Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Media and publicity, Garba Sheu in an interview with Pyramid Radio in Kano said that aggressive exportation of grains may lead to famine in the country starting from January 2017. He said that no fewer than 500 trucks of grains depart the country every week, following a huge demand in the global market that is targeting the country’s surplus production. And now, we are talking of famine too!


Do you want to blame farmers who have no markets where their goods can be sold for churning out their harvests to countries where they would make money to sustain theirselves and family?  Or you want to wail at poor farmers who would have a huge part of their sweat waste on their own farms before they harvest the little they can and sell out to get something to put on their table?


The government is not taking responsibility for protecting these farmers by providing the required for them; all they can come out to do is force another set of bitter pills down our throats. When the right things are in place, the right things would be done.


Tijani Sheriffdeen is an undergraduate of the University of Ilorin.

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