Good People, l think we can discuss with civility and data. My piece on how Aliko Dangote’s global wealth has fallen due to Naira deterioration should not be used for mockery. Everyone agrees that we will all be doing daily thanksgiving if we are as “poor” as 10% of Dangote, despite him “losing” $17 billion global networth in six years!
But understand this: if Dangote is having it that way, imagine the spare parts seller. Imagine the garri seller. Largely, Nigeria is not working for most, except politicians and their families.
I spoke to a Rotary club today and I brought that point: Nigerians’ personal wealth systems are dropping at an exponential level. This cut across sectors and business categories. Yes, every startup which raised money in foreign currency, in 2019, should be under water now, partly due to currency deterioration. It is a double whammy to overcome: grow to compensate for currency devaluation, and then create value for normal growth which investors gave you money.
Today, our Vice President, Prof Osinbajo, gave a speech on improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria through reforms. A friend in New York sent me the link with this comment: “…your country does not know that the only reform Nigeria needs for foreign investment now is a stable currency. Your problem has gone beyond bureaucracy”. He wanted to invest in a Lagos startup but he decided against due to his “fear” of where Naira would end in coming years.
The Buhariadministration’s business reforms, through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), is an opportunity to significantly boost local and foreign investments in the country, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Mr Osinbajo spoke Tuesday at a virtual meeting of the PEBEC to review the state of the reforms across a number of government agencies, noting that the Federal Government will continue to take the opportunity and ensure that more results are recorded.
As a result of the work of PEBEC, the World Bank has praised the economic direction of the Buhari administration and ranked the country higher in its annual Ease of Doing Business Rankings.
According to the vice president, “This is a country with so much promise, this is a country that has so much resources and our administration has every opportunity to do something profound about investments in Nigeria.
“We must focus on how to get our business environment working.”
We are all Dangotes at our levels. That chart should push everyone to see what is happening. Understand me: no one is saying that these challenges are easy. But that does not mean we cannot write about them.