“Nigeria Can Be Salvaged. But Not Without Economic Recovery” – Cheta Nwanze
Written by Smooth FM on October 2, 2019
According to Friedrich Hayek, the law of unintended consequences is that actions of people, and especially of governments, always have effects that are unanticipated or “unintended.”
This law of unintended consequences is one of the building blocks of economics. A simpler analogy for my lazy generation is in #GameOfThrones Season 5 when Cersei gave the High Sparrow power hoping that he would use that power to get her perceived enemies off her back.
He did what she wanted, but quickly turned the tables on her and had her put away.
Eventually, the only way she could get out of his grip was to stroll from one end of town to the other in her birthday suit.Essentially, her plan worked, but had the unintended consequence of ensnaring her as well.
Back in the 1960s, our country, Nigeria, had two economic corridors. These two corridors ran roughly alongside the old British rail lines.
Then the Civil War happened, and things changed.
Despite the NVNV thing, and despite that Ukpabi Asika did his level best to rebuild the East after the war, the end of the Gowon era put an end to all that, and the Eastern Economic Corridor was all but abandoned.
Don’t just take my word for it, the Lajaki Corridor because it starts from Lagos, passes through Kano, and terminates in Jibiya, has fancy plans, while for the Eastern Economic Corridor, in at least four years of searching, I have found zilch.
An unintended effect of the failure to build up the Eastern Economic Corridor is that, up until the recent Bandit Wars in the North-West, all of Nigeria’s major security threats were located firmly in the Eastern Economic Corridor.
It is not an accident that until the last four years, almost all of Nigeria’s primary security challenges were concentrated along the EEC.
Think Niger Delta militancy, #PastoralConflict, the first wave of kidnappings, #BokoHaram.
When people don’t trade with each other, as we saw in Europe, they end up fighting each other. Without access to goods and services, resentment quickly builds, which leads to conflict.
As a country, in order to be balanced and ensure that prosperity reaches the most Nigerians in the quickest possible time, we need to ensure that both the Lakaji Corridor and the EEC are up and running, and we also need to create another economic corridor. From South West to South East.
A people who do not trade with each other, will end up fighting with each other.
Nigeria can be salvaged. But not without economic recovery.
Written by Cheta Nwanze