IT IS always clear, judging from the time of independence of 1960, that Nigeria, one of the West African giants and the adjudged giant of Africa, world-wide, became 60 years of age by October 1, 2020. Age of a country begins from the day of independence; the day when colonial masters officially hands off the administration of the concerned country. The import of this is that just like the living, a country can be conceived and born-conception time being when the colonial masters move in and begin to explore, with birth being when they (the masters) formerly relinquish political administration to the indigenes of their former colony.
Being a country which features prominently in the world and African affairs given her vast resources, Nigeria needs no introduction to any lettered or learned personality, both home and abroad. Her features, status and stature, are well known to this class of individuals in the society and the entire globe.
But then, suffice it to say (as it bears no bizarreness to state) that even the illiterate and the fairly literate Nigerians and Africans who understand what transpires in their region and sub-regions, know Nigeria, in-side-out. Therefore, we can infer that the illiterate, literate, African and the international community, know and understand Nigeria, to a measurable extent.
They know our formations, components and tradition of rules. They know our size, our endowment, and our level of investment and involvement in both the world and African affairs, including how we play the ‘big brother’ to small West-African neighbours by being a donor-country, even when we have not satisfied the needs of the indigenous masses.
They also know our woes, our unfortunate condition; how the people, the poor and average masses of the country, have not been able to heave sighs of relief since independence, except the short period of relief preceding the said 1977 FESTAC event. According to the accounts of those who had reached ages of reasoning then, the period witnessed little improvements in the economy as the naira appreciated in value during the Obasanjo military administration and the boom in oil sales.
Story has it that soon after Obasanjo organised FESTAC, Nigeria’s economy fell, like where the iroko tree is felled. Thus, the ground and grasses of the Nigerian masses got damaged till date. For since that FESTAC period, successive governments have not been able to fix the national economy to the premium of the masses. Even the early 80s, when there was little light in the tunnel, the masses could not find their footing, as every little sign of hope became short-lived with military incursion interrupting civil rules.
Now, this is 21st century, a new century from the one which ushered in the Nigerian independence, the 20th century. And thus, the problem persists. The people’s experience of draconian situation has continued to fester, thus, making the golden jubilee, a charade of sorts. This is a jubilee that should have been a jubilee indeed, with Nigerians everywhere in fanfare, blowing their trumpets.
Since the socio-economic situation of the country is like this, the Nigerian masses need some therapy; a recipe that would keep the people a float. And thus, no other recipe can suffice except socio-economic one. This is because the problem at hand is socio-economic in nature.
Therefore, seeing that there are colossal hikes in price and tariff of two vital commodities, petrol and electricity, respectively, and the consequential effects starring the people in the face, some economic measures and steps ought to be taken by the people for them to survive.
The level of inflation, occasioned by the hikes in petrol price and electricity tariff is at alarming rate. The markets and traders there in, tell it all. In fact, everybody is now haggling, unless one is stinkingly rich.
I believe (as an insider) that what will save the entire Nigerian populace presently are majorly the two economic acts of opportunity cost and scale of preference.
Various economics writers, both foreign and local, have told us that opportunity cost in Economics means, “for-going something, or alternative, in order to achieve the other”. Or, in a clearer way, what one forfeits in order to achieve the other one. Thus, the forfeited could be a thing or event. In fact, it is all about making a choice at the expense of the other.
The same economics writers tell us about scale of preference. It is, according to them, the act of listing one’s needs, in the order of preference. That is, according to their degree of importance to the list maker. Thus, up your list, most important items, down, your list, most important items.
Really, I’ve taken time to do this little reminder to the educated on economics and little education to those without knowledge of economics. The reason is because economics and economising are vital to human existence, especially in the African context. And as economics teaches us still, resources are relatively scarce and limited. That’s the reason we should plan our spending.
Another economic recipe is this; the Nigerian masses should develop big hearts. They should learn to give themselves some treats when they have the opportunity; a financial opportunity. This is no time for low mentality; for the leaders are high fliers. They have refused to climb down to the lay man’s (no, to the unpolitical man’s) participation in national regale.
Above all, Nigerians should learn to be their brother’s keeper. We should learn to help the next man, notwithstanding our financial standing. What you think yourself to be, that is what you’ll always be. And with such mentality and attitude, God will always be with us, to be help in a time like this.