* Photo caption: President Buhari
In the wake of 1930s Great Depression, which hit American economy, a massive orientation campaigns was popularized of “Waste not, Want not” cautioning American citizens against squandering their available possessions, so that they will not be in need of them. The slogan encourages citizens to recycle and reuse their old materials and turn every tiny space in their household into home gardens and poultry farms.
To stem the tide of massive inflations and food shortages, Americans citizens were encouraged to do more with the little, and to be innovative with their “waste” and to think outside the box to invent and create new materials. Out of old materials, people start to create new valuable items of use; they reuse their old clothes by creating new hand bags, shoes, pillow cases and many home appliances.
All this was done to maximize local productions of foods, goods and to avoid burden of foreign importations of basic goods that has taken its toll on the 1930s American economy. This shows that only domestic productions can effectively meet people’s basic needs of which will bring down the scorching inflations to the affordability of ordinary citizens.
Thus, if we cast our glance back in history almost 100 years ago, we can learn that domestic production of foods, goods and services is what drives the economic development of any nation, but unfortunately we are far lagging behind. We run away from our farms lands, and we left Indians and Chinese substandard products to crumble our domestic companies and steal our jobs.
In recent years, Nigerians were worse hit by souring inflations of foods and volatility of prices in the marketplace. Prices of foods and basic items keep on skyrocketing to the unaffordability level of common man. Along with corruptions and mismanagements of country’s resources, which aptly deemed the nation as the official capital of poverty in the world.
It is known fact, that the lower echelons are always those who bear the painful brunt of economic hardship. By any means, the gap between haves and haves-not is ever widening at each passing moment. If we want to control the soaring food inflations we must commit all our resources in order to harness vast agricultural potentials.
To boost local productions which are highly in demand in Nigeria, one analyst stressed the importance of entrepreneurial and vocational training schools. Technical colleges and vocational schools armed with effective teaching and learning materials such as workshops, tools, libraries that will produce trained men and women who will be at for front of economic productions.
Not only domestic production is clear path out of this skyrocketing inflation, but it is equally important providing a cheap means of transportation that will ease ferrying of goods and services from place of abundance to the place of scarcity. Farmers should be able to store, preserve and transport their goods from remote villages to city centers where the there is acute demands with minimal loss.
Market place in Nigeria is scene of the haggling activities. Panic buying and selling is the current trend, both buyers and sellers are on red alert over the rising foods prices. Nigerian buyers go on buying spree whenever the grains plunged into the market during harvest season. But giant retailers, with their purchasing power, got upper hands by buying the larger quantity and hoarding it, which afterward selling it with exorbitant price.
Famers plunge their commodities in the markets which make price to fall sharply during the harvesting period. Because of failures to thinks outside the box, most farmers could not store and preserve their harvest and they become forced to sell it at lower price.
In Nigerian culture, we crave for luxury foreign goods from cars, clothes, shoes and whole of everything foreign. Even the self-acclaimed IPOB leader, Nmandi Kanu was arrested wearing FENDI suits, an Italian luxury brand designer, rather than customized Briafran regalia made in Aba his “nation’s capital”. He appears more like a hip-hop star not like pro-masses freedom fighter like late Che Guevara of Cuba or Thomas Sakara of Burkina Faso.
In any away, we must imbibe purchasing our own home made goods. A friend who visited South Korea says, South Korean citizens patronizes only their goods, from Samsung, LG, and Hyundai etc. Wherever he set his sight, wandering through Seoul their Capital city, he was taken aback by their uncanny patriotism for only using All-Korean gadgets and stuffs.
To cap it all, the inflation spiral is very difficult to control, our Naira currency notes are worthless. It is our collective failure to commit and harness our abundant economic potentials into production of foods, goods and services. As nothing goods comes easy, any good takes ample time to materialize.
Most Nigerians crave for lavish style and spend money in showy and ostentatious ceremonies. Nigerians do not spend money according scale of priority. Though in Igbo culture it is good to honor the dead one, most importantly one’s parents, but modesty will never go out of style. Imagine resources squandered recently over Obi Cubana’s mother who was given a “befitting” burial ceremony in Oba town, Anambra state.
Pictures that has gone viral on social media, appears to show how millions of Naira was spent lavishly on the burial ceremony. The hospitality business mogul is said to have received over 346 cows, 72 goats, 20 rams, and $100,000 diamond pendant, as donations from friend and associates in honor of his dead mother.
It is always a gap of technological knowledge and applications that draw a line between developed and underdeveloped countries. Most of African countries Nigeria fail to harness fully their economic resources through science and technological research like Europeans and American are always striving for. We must equally strive to boost productions of foods, goods and services through the use of science and technology.
Many Nigerians think for the moment, lacking courage and perseverance to long for achieving long term goals. The Chinese have patience attitude, they shut down their doors from outside world for over 50 years to build their nation’s economy. Perhaps, the current Buhari-led administration of Close-Door policy was borrowed from Chinese people in order to boost local productions of foods and to make Nigeria self-sufficient and self-reliant nation.
Our Naira currency notes lost it value because it is not a real wealth. It is like a sinking vessel, the leaders and the led must strive to salvage it from dwindling further, by vigorously implementing a sustained economic roadmap of domestic production .