Please read this patiently from beginning to the end.
In the 5 years between 2012 and 2017, Nigeria had experienced an average annual rate of 2.71 percent in GDP growth and 11.89 percent in inflation. The estimates for 2018 fiscal year GDP growth and inflation rates are 1.9 and 12.4 percent respectively.
GDP, i.e., the Gross Domestic Product reflects the aggregate value of everything that the country's working population has managed to produce (our national output) during the year. By inference, GDP is also our national income, the amount Nigerian people have earned during the same period.
As at 3rd quarter of 2018, the country's rate of unemployment stood at 23.1 percent; the total number of persons classified as unemployed is 20.9 million.
Our GDP, in other word national income, of 18.08 trillion naira as at 3rd quarter of 2018 means that the value of all our products and services from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, arts and entertainment, tourism, transportation, several other services, etc., add up to 18.08 trillion naira.
These figures are from the Federal Office of Statistics.
Inflation is the rise in general price level. It is also indicative of the value that the naira carries with the citizens. The rate of inflation shows the difference between what a naira can buy for the people now and what it had been able to buy for them before.
The "real GDP" is the GDP after it has been adjusted for inflation. The word "real" implies "true" because once we take inflation into consideration, it's then we can make sense of the country's GDP or the true worth of Nigeria's economy.
Today, there are approximately 197 million people in Nigeria and the population has been growing at an average rate of 3 percent each year. In the last 3 years, real income in Nigeria has actually grown at an average of only 0.66 percent each year. So the situation is that the country is growing the population at a rate that is very much higher (3 percent) than the rate at which it is growing income (0.66 percent). Just consider the problem any poor family is likely to face if it is giving birth to more and more children but there is no corresponding increase in the household's income. You can imagine the looming catastrophe.
Nigeria must now build the disciplined process that will match income earning capacity and population growth. This can be done through either increasing national income at a rate that matches that of the population growth or embark on acceptable policies that decrease the growth rate of the population to the level of income growth capacity.
But the preferred policy should be to pursue growing national income at a rate that is very much higher than the rate at which the population is growing. How to do this? Produce more. Just increase the capacity to produce more. TINA (there is no alternative).
All through history, we have learnt how nations evolved to become developed and advanced societies. They don't simply dwell on their "Potentials" but actively ride on the four wheels of Human Resources, Natural Resources, Capital and Technology. They have mostly produced what they consume and able to pay easily for what they import for their advancement and welfare.
Nigeria needs same formula - to ride on the four wheels of Human Resources, Natural Resources, Capital and Technology to produce and meet consumption at home and ultimately to export more to the rest of the world.
Increasing production within the country creates jobs. Imports for consumption into the country destroys jobs. That is to say, imports for consumption create negative results on the GDP. Attaining the stage where more of produce within the country gets exported has positive consequences on GDP.
The abundant human and natural resources in every part of the country are a potential factor. But that's just what they are: Potential. But potential resources are themselves of no value until they are transformed into finished goods and services that satisfy needs that Nigerians will pay for at home and that people of other countries will pay for when exported to them.
In this period of heavy electioneering, how about if those who want to get into offices and govern the country meticulously articulate the processes for these to the understanding of the lay-man voter. And less of muckraking!
Please what do they truly want to do?
Source: Paraphrased from NIGERIA 2019: ANALYSIS OF POLICY DOCUMENT by Yahya Alfa Bakar.
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