By Charles Iyore
If the economy were a craft, which it is, the driver will regularly want to monitor and report on the expedition progress.
The turning point decisions, the driver makes, are akin to ticking the control boxes of the craft pilot.
So if we accept that imagery, the sequence of events in interrogating our progress, will flow thus;
i. Do we have a craft that is expedition ready?
ii. Are we traveling on the right track or on any track at all?
iii. If we are on a track, are we travelling in the right direction?
These are the questions, we need to ask ourselves after the hustle and bustle of electioneering and voting. The task after that hectic expenditure of energy, is to put the craft in order, first by accommodating all in the broad-church now that politics is done, before the journey resumes.
Is there a broad-church?
There is no broad-church, if so many are outside the loop and struggling to find purpose for daily living.
This church, is quite apart from the vociferous few, we are talking here, about the voiceless majority, in the various voting wards of the country, who came out in their numbers, not just to admire celebrities, but also in hope for a new beginning.
Are we in the right direction?
We are not in the right direction, because productivity has been declining in Nigeria, since the Jerome Udoji award, some would say since we struck oil.
Are we on track at all?
Opinion is divided on this, but if we are not making progress and 100 million people wear forlorn looks, then we need to find out if we are on any track at all.
As to roles, all the Central Banker can do, is to ensure that we have the fuel to take us on our journey, but going by his (CBN Governor’s) last account, it looks like those working on the dairy carriage of the craft, have not heeded his call after three years of appeal. This I am reliably informed, is the same situation with many propulsion carriages on the craft, where fuel supplied does not deliver energy to move the craft forward.
They may even all be working at cross purposes and in multi-directional propulsions. –Therein lies the rub!
It is against that background that the retreat, organized by the national chairman of the ruling APC party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, is of great significance.
The track a nation travels on, is the choice of distinct economic production methods, some call it, in aggregate, an ideology, but it is increasingly being seen as the pragmatic approach to creating opportunities, using the factors of production at a nation’s disposal. –So Reaganomics, Thatcherism, Perestroika, Glasnost, etc., all with clear significant outputs, that have positively altered, the economic direction of the countries making the choices.
I was at a retreat with Chairman Oshiomole, in Otta when he was chairman of NSITF and NLC President, I have also attended the NESG summit in Abuja, and I have always come away with the conclusion, that we do not have any clear direction in national economic management. The buzz in these summits is the pitch of Aluta against bourgeoisie, concepts that are consigned to the past, which many continue to carry as defining togas.
Even when economic direction is about the philosophy and directive principles of an individual, as with Deng Xiaoping in China, or Lee Qua Yeung in Singapore, clear economic direction is critical to getting on track.
If we have a clear set of directive principles, it will challenge families, party ward leaders, the traditional rulers, the local government chairmen, the Governors and the various national institutions. There will be consistency and synergy in our production processes, and the divisive elements, who foment trouble everywhere, will quickly lose their relevance.
We would be in denial, if we do not admit that many of our families are dysfunctional, and that many other national institutions, in their various formations, have become increasingly unfit for purpose.
With that analysis, it is clear, on the evidence, that we are not on any track and hence there cannot be any progress to measure. The multi-directional propulsion of the carriages, means that the motion of the moving carriages of our craft are not directed and cannot deliver movement. –The very informed call it chaos
This, however, should not be disheartening, as countries in their histories, have lost direction before.
The miners and worker’s crisis nearly crippled Britain, but the careful use of focus groups, put the economy back on track. This is what I expect the retreat to deliver. They must find a consistent way to deliver the message, set direction and agree measurement parameters.
The focus groups, working to timelines, will flesh-out the processes, necessary to put the economy back on track.
They will find the wings to put the craft in orbit.
They will re-do the domestic plumbing to stem the crippling waste and the degradation of our commonwealth?
They will rationalize our national agencies and remove those that are surplus to requirement.
They will properly sequence, our unit production processes and design measurement parameters.
They will recommend nationwide procedures of engagement.
These deliberate processes are what will improve the quality of our national debate, and ultimately deliver appropriate leadership.
The Buhari Presidency needs to deliver this as its legacy.