There can be no argument
about the topic which implies that the Nigerian economy is not working for majority
of Nigerians. The economy is not working for the poor, students, and people
residing in the rural communities, the physically challenged, the elderly and worse for the unemployed, In Nigeria, there is the issue of youth and
employment. 70 per cent of the 80 million youths in Nigeria are either
unemployed or underemployed, by the statistics given by the Central Bank of
Nigeria. Although the recent World Bank report that Nigeria’s poverty level has
dropped by 2.1 per cent but this doesn’t change the fact that most Nigerians
are poor.Little wonder we pray for peace and security without any answers, in a
nation in which there are one hundred million people living in poverty? It is
highly unlikely.
It is impossible for Nigeria to enjoy
sustainable peace or law and order until we address the unbalanced economic
growth that creates billionaires in few and poverty and unemployment in
hundreds of millions.

There are major issues
arising from our economy i.e. the control of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by
only three sectors of the economy: petroleum and natural gas, agriculture,
trade and alsothe  government’s
expenditure on repeated expenses of 
politics and public service which doesn’t provide employment for a large
percentage of Nigerians; the influence of our oil and gas sector by less
productive public sector, the structure of our financial sector which does not
include the emerging Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises in financing through
loan facilities,  provision of  mortgages and housing for citizens.The results
of the dependency of the economy on these sectors has limited the exploration
of other sectors which has increased poverty and unemployment.Potential sectors
such as manufacturing, solid minerals, fashion, building and construction, real
estate etc. are either very small in size or have very low growth rates, while
sectors like telecommunications which are fast growing do not employ large


The shortfall in
electricity supply is one of the reasons why we haven’t been able to create
sustainable industrialization especially in areas such as manufacturing,
mining, modernized agriculture, agro-processing and agro-allied industry, and
construction. Nigeria presently generates 4,502 megawatts of electricity and we
are hoping to reach 7,000 megawatts of electricity by the end of the year
(amen) compared to our African counterparts, Egypt’s 24,000MW and South
Africa’s 40,000MW which is our vision 2020 dream! Other factors such as poor
transport infrastructure, poor security, water, postal, immigration, etc. all
of which in addition to the cost of alternative power generation raise the cost
of operations for our businesses and becomes discouraging.
Our education system
places insufficient emphasis on quality, skills and competencesi.e the
educational system does not promote economics, management and entrepreneurship
education which destroys innovation and creativity that is supposed to foster student’s
own independent learning and creative thinking.In Northern Nigeria, the willful
exclusion of millions of young people from modern education and skills is a
guarantee of large scale poverty and is now a threat to national security.
We must diversify our
economy away from rents from oil, into a productive economy based on
manufacturing, transportation, mining, agriculture and construction, amongst
others, a proper structure of the financial sector to render it capable and
willing to lend to SMEs. A drastic reduction in the cost of governance in
running of the governance. Also industrialization is achievable by improved
electricity supply, transport infrastructure, low interest rate and inflation, better
public services including security, water, postal, ports, immigration and
customs and constant tax review.Adequate monitoring of the power sector following
the completion ofNational Integrated Power Project NIPP privatization to
maximum effectiveness.Government must also consider the provision of
unemployment support for the unemployed populace. 

Finally we must embrace
a stronger enforcement theory of abolition of corruption rather than a lip
service approach and  our leaders and
aspiring leaders must be prepared to fight corruption at every level of
Sogo Akinola
Sogo Akinola Nathan is
a young commercial lawyer at GbengaBiobaku and co. He specializes in Taxation,
oil and gas law and Real Estate. He is a graduate of ObafemiAwolowo University
and the Nigerian Law School. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and
a member of the Association of Young International lawyers and  Young International Arbitration Group and also
an intending associate member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria