“In the US, the average senator, who had never studied banking, after serving four years in the banking sub-committee of the legislature, would probably be as knowledgeable as a professor of banking, because they do serious work. But our politicians have refused to discipline themselves to understand that it is about serious work. So we talk carelessly because we are uninformed and it hurts our economy”.
PAT UTOMI – RENOWNED PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS.
“I believe our challenges are our own opportunities to come up with a unique and first of its kind HOME GROWN DEVELOPMENT MODEL, that will provide the template for other African Nations to run with, and fill the intellectual vacuum on the discourse of economic development globally”.
GOSPEL OBELE -21st CENTURY DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIST.
In my last article, I unveiled to us a few of the variables that is, and will be powering Nigeria in the new economy. These variables go a long way to shape our future economy, but how well these variables shape for positive change for her populace will be majorly, a function of the quality of government delivery at all levels, both vertically and horizontally. The political economy has just recently been taken seriously in the 21st century development discourse, as a highly influential variable, in the success and failures of Nations.
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY CONSISTS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MOSTLY ELECTED TO TAKE ON THE AFFAIRS OF THE NATION AND HOW THESE AFFAIRS ARE RUN FOR A PERIOD OF TIME.
The political economy creates institutions that shape or determine economic trajectories that either make or mar for shared growth and development, and more importantly, provides the platform(well fitted to their local context) for sustainability and winning the race of nations in a more complex, harshly competitive and globalized world. This is such that any unfavourable or institutional crack , “political slack” and misfit in local context, will lead such nation to a development menace that will cost so much to repair.
The political economy was what turned a developed Argentina in the 1900s to a developing Argentina in the 21st century. A political economy is what made Dubai, different from other Arab nations, it is what made Mauritius more flourishing and promising than a Swaziland, and what has made the US, a major education hub.
Nigeria, has not been an exception to this. Our political economy has long deviated from key variables, that will assure and empower Nigerians for a shared and prosperous growth. We have failed in building right institutions, allowing for political slackness, and also operating with so many misfits in our local context that is hindering our productivity in the global economy.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR THIS;
We have poor institutions because we have poor and selfish leaders. Our institutions are a reflection of our leaders. Our leaders from inception have been rent-seeking, thereby creating institutions that only empowers a few at the expense of the majority (extractive institutions),and empowering these institutions to continue, by restricting or withholding the independence of the judiciary, independence of the media, and the autonomy of the central bank.
Due to these rent-seeking activities, we have become blinded to the inconsistent nature of government policy making, coordination and execution processes both vertically(across federal-state-local) and horizontally(efficiently across states, and local regions). Thereby making us adopt the wrong and misfit policies, programmes and schemes in our local context, making our nation vulnerable and victims of globalization.
Two reasons why this may continue include; one, because extractive institution has made education, a paper and academic work, that kills innovation, creativity, empowers poor values and infuses a survival instinct. Considering the population growth and anticipated rise in churned out graduates, we would expect more survival games(recreating new levels of extractive institutions).This definitely repeats the circle as individuals struggle for a share of resources. Second will be, most Nigerians are highly ignorant, especially the low income class, who make a chunk of voters, and put the party ahead of the credibility of candidates. They are easily wooed with political promises, campaigns and empty slogans. They prefer the popularity of a party,that probably would give out gift items to get their votes, than the credibility of leaders with true vision, a high intellectual stand, selflessness, a good emotional balance, good public policy skills etc.
OUR BIG DEVELOPMENT SHOT (BDS)–MAKING ELECTIONS MATTER….
To drive us to becoming victors despite our peculiar development case at the face of the new economy. We should vote objectively for a leader with a true vision, a capacity for building an inclusive political economy, a high intellectual stand and foresight to adequately localize concepts and strategies for shared growth and development,(profound localized public policy skills) with the right emotional balance to see this true. More importantly, the ability to make all of this SUSTAINABLE AND PROFITABLE.
“Whatever is engaging calls for serious mindedness, whatever calls for serious mindedness, calls for business mindedness, and whatever calls for business mindedness must be sustainable, and whatever will be sustainable, must be viable and profitable”. OLAKUNLE SORIYAN –CEO OSC COMPANY.