The Unemployement Time (Contd from last issue)
We have a young population. Every year they reach working age in their millions but an economy in which government action has stifled private initiative and growth appropriate to our “demographic dividend” has been unable to provide…
the required jobs.
In 100 days we have seen no bold initiative articulated or the implementation of our effort at putting idle hands to work and stimulate the private sector to hire many more. This is a time bomb receiving platitudes rather than action.Rapid job creation will have to come from creative initiatives in agriculture, manufacturing recitation, and infrastructure development.
The Sovereign Wealth Fund and Governors Amnesia
carried on an assault on a law so recently passed to enable us save a little for the benefit of the next generation. The excuse they offer for recovering from amnesia suffered when the issue became law is the grand norm, the law.
This idea is not new. It was raised when the excess crude account was first suggested and later implemented. I recall saying to Lagos State Finance Commissioner, Wale Edun who worried that I supported the “illegality” of states funds being held back that I think we should quickly change that grand law rather than fail to save.
My take is that the Governors perceive a weekend presidency and are deepening the politics of power erosion to take more resources to consume now. This is inspite of a “lottery effect” that has been evident with the states being less effective in serving the needs of the people with more money that comes as wind fall, relative to the wealth creating regional governments of the times of true federalism in the 1960s.
In some ways this anti savings people seems so impolitic. It leaves the impression of a perverse generation of politician that has raided the barn stored up by their fathers, and a revariously consuming what today has brought by accidents that include little of their effort and a reaching-in to devour the patrimony of their grand children.
I have for years advocated constitutional reform that would allow a fiscal regime in which percentage of revenues going to the distributable pool, the federation account, the next tranche of revenues from mineral income going to stabilization fund and the balance to a future fund. The last two revenue stores would be managed like mutual funds where the holdings of each state is as per their constitutionally prescribed share.
Citizenship behaviour needs to be exercised in the direction of putting pressure on the Governors to back off the track they are travelling.
Leading Nigeria out of its current state of self double, when the prospects of rapid economic growth and prosperity have never been more self evident require visionary effort to forge elite consensus.
Phenomenal opportunity for that in the last 12 years has been squandered by leaders too limited to see the value of playing statesman and bringing all the valuable human assets of our country under one roof especially in a time of crisis as we have today. With so many embittered that their country is in the
firm grip of those who do not lead it well in the direction other nations are going and experiencing progress. It is no surprise that Nigeria’s core is being rocked, both violently and in terms of a sense of despair from its intellectual elite who have moral authority, if not power. If those who are perceived to know and are committed, stay outside and staying outside “pressing” for progress will be hard.