Nigeria’s Scattered Policy Trajectories [SN]

Nigeria’s Scattered Policy Trajectories [SN]

This is a Short Note.

Nigerian stock market was on the mountain top in 2006. The U.S. stock market was also high. As the Great Recession ravaged empires, triggering domino effects with precipitating avalanche, markets crashed. Nigerian and U.S. markets were not spared.

First Bank of Nigeria priced one of its last IPOs at around N50 per share, today it is less than N7. (I am not aware of any share split). The U.S. stock market has rebounded, even reaching historical heights. Nigerian one still lags pre-Great Recession.

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Two things are here:

1. America has a regenerative capitalism that is fluidic and organic. It is like a living organism that can go through phases of adaptation which means that provided its engine of knowledge are not destroyed, it will always emerge from any challenge. Like the old question that occupied Greek Philosophers (what s the material component of the universe?) with different answers from Thales (water), Pythagoras (number), Heraclitus (fire) etc, the American companies have answers to figure out economic growth. When IBM stalls, Apple rises; as Kodak slumps, Nvidia runs.

2. Nigeria lacks institutions with capacities to test policies, resulting to lack of memory. Since independence, there is no defined apparatus to be re-used under periods of economic recession. At more than 60 years old, that is failure. Compared to America, from the Federal Reserve interest rate to injecting of money in the hands of the citizens (last time, they actually sent cheques to all American adults to spend!), America knows how to get out of recession pretty fast.

Building a regenerative economy will mean following through. Have you noticed that nearly all President Buhari ministers have launched new roadmaps for their ministries, discarding everything Jonathan’s team had. Jonathan people did the same to the administration before it. At the end, instead of a smooth curve, we have a scatter diagram as policy trajectory. No wonder, no one can predict the future because we have done nothing to create it (not my quote). All those political campaign promises are forgotten as soon as they take oaths of offices.We need to do better.


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