After Recession: What Next for Nigeria?


The Nigerian plane, carrying our wealth of over five decades has crashed.  The Ship, carrying our Oil, Cocoa, Groundnut, and Rubber has capsized, and our vintage, luxury (one of a kind) car of Corruption is wrecked.  What a waste of all these God endowed (natural) resources?  We all know by now and even if we refuse to know, the world is now laughing at us, because it is no longer a secret that the almighty Recession has got to Nigeria.  What a big welcome to the one and only eye-opener to our arrogant, flamboyant, and corrupt Nigerian ways of life.  I want to believe that this new situation should signal Game Over.  It should serve as a big lesson to us over these ugly Nigerian traits, which had been our trademark over the years. We have finally being embarrassed and put to shame by poor leadership, greed, indiscipline and pervasive corruption in high and low places. What a shame?


We had all seen it coming for a very long time but we refused to heed the warning signs.  We were totally in denial, until we allowed it to drown us.  No one has to preach the gospel of prudence to us anymore as there may not be much left to be stolen or looted as usual.  While the attempts at recovery of the massive loots, padding, and stealing continues, we just have to sit down look (courtesy of Chief Bola Ige, Former Governor of Oyo State and Former Attorney General of Nigeria).  The sufferings will likely continue, since no one has yet come up with any concrete solution or clue in favor of the impoverished people of Nigeria.  Do we now leave it to God almighty?

The generality of Nigerians take solace in the fact that when there is life, there is hope and that all is not lost afterwards.  He who fights to run away, lives to face the fight again.  There is a saying which goes thus, “a quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”   I am convinced that Nigerians are not quitters.   We are winners any day, and we shall soon surmount this recession because we are so rugged and resilient.  We are surely going to bounce back, even stronger and become the cynosure of all eyes once again in Africa and the world.

We are no longer going to continue the blame game.   For me, we are all guilty and we should all admit it.  The Leadership was corrupt, selfish, undisciplined, kleptomaniac, incompetent, greedy and insensitive, in addition to a long list of other types of adjectives you might like to add.  On the other hand, the Followership has its share of the blame as it was also indolent, undisciplined, dishonest, corrupt, flamboyant, flashy, naïve,  and careless…..  This is may not be the time to blame either of these two parties (leadership and followership). The question now is what can we do in the light of the present predicament and its untold effects on the poverty stricken citizens of Nigeria?

The referee has blown the recession whistle and the obedience of the recession whistle-sound is immediate.  No one needs to tell us that the rain of suffering is falling and the starvation in the land is here at last.  This is REAL CHANGE in the air, on the tables, in homes and in public places.  It’s recession everywhere. We are indeed breathing and swallowing the change instead of the normal clean air and good food on the tables.  We pray that the proportion of oxygen is more than the carbon dioxide we breathe, so that we will not have to buy oxygen to survive in Nigeria, and where is the money?

This is stark reality and the mass starvation may continue.  For how long, nobody knows.  The onus is now on the Government to act expeditiously to prevent a prolonged recession, mass starvation and its attendant ugly effects, diseases and deaths in Nigeria.  While one agrees that there will be suffering and that it may be here for a while, it is clear that Nigerian citizens will not be able to endure the sufferings on empty stomach – no money, no jobs, no salaries and no hope!  Lord have mercy.  This may eventually result in serious humanitarian crises, if care is not taken.

Cry thy beloved country Nigeria! Our people are already dying of starvation in big and small cities.  Where are the philanthropists in the land?  Where are the good people of Nigeria?  Where are the rich Nigerians, who have some money to spare?  Who has some food to share with his/her neighbors who are starving?  Are there volunteers to do the job?  Can we open up avenues for helping the poor at this time?  Where is the Red Cross and can there be RX affiliates proliferated around Nigeria to prevent untold calamities – anticipated mass burials resulting from starvation?  In the name of God, In the name of Allah, In the name of all that is precious to you as an individual, this the time to be kind to the needy and hungry.  God will send help to you in your time of need in Jesus name.  Can we set up the logistics to help out in this regard (Help Starving Nigerians) very soon?  I implore you to kindly help, if and when the call is made.  Government alone will not be able to handle it.  Let us all rise up to the situation, we are all in it together.

After fifty six years of our independence, we are now faced with the reality and need to perform a thorough Needs Assessment in Nigeria, so that we can come to terms on the following four basic questions:

1) Where are we now as a nation?
2) How did we get here?
3) Where should we be at?
4) What can/should we do to come out of the present quandary?

Genuine answers to these four questions are so fundamental to forging lasting solutions for Nigeria in the present recession predicament or dilemma.  It is not enough to generate genuine answers.  It is necessary to let appropriate actions and behaviors accompany the proposed solutions.  The present dismal situation must bring an end to the talking loud and saying nothing postures of the past. Nigeria is certainly blessed with millions of eloquent, smooth-talkers with sugar-coated tongues but with nothing to show by way of actions!  They should not be granted a place in chatting out the new direction and orientation of Nigeria after recession, if all they will do is talk. Concrete visible and meaningful steps, which are timely must follow the identified solutions to our problems being articulated.

There is no use crying over spilt milk.  All we need to do is to ask ourselves the question “What next after recession?”  First we need to craft the coping mechanism and logistics as families, homes, groups, units, States and as a nation.  Our Governments – Federal and States are now faced with a problem which may challenge them beyond the Business as Usual postures of the past.   Welcome to AUSTERITY MEASURE once again.  There is an urgent need for respite (assistance) to Nigeria by way of International Assistance from our Allies in the form of food, money, and medical, Drugs and health matters.  Please help.

On my humble part, I have the following invaluable suggestions for whoever may benefit from whichever of the following dozen prescriptions:

Some Anti-Recession Tips for Nigerian Families

1. Families should educate members about RECESSION, its meaning and effects on families and the nation at large.

2. Families should avoid arguments of any type at this time, when things may not be as smooth as before.

3. Pray to God, the unchanging changer of events and situations and have faith that this shall soon pass.

4. Limit and restrict family spending to food (Stomach infrastructure) and health needs as much as possible.  Keep the family healthy as best as possible.

5. Buy and use made in Nigeria goods and services.  They may/will be cheaper. Tame your taste for foreign goods.

6. Downsize and cut back on the ‘usual’ items which might be unaffordable for now and carry along the family.  Get their concurrence and understanding.

7. Write a list of what is absolutely needed in the kitchen and go to the local markets to purchase only items on the list.  No more frivolous and impulsive buying.

8. Budget wisely so that you can spend available money to be able to cover essential areas of family needs.  Be prudent, frugal and parsimonious in the use of resources.

9. Stock up the house with essential foodstuffs from bulk markets or commodity sources or farm produce stores.

10. Be on the lookout for Special Sales and Clearance deals.

11. Avoid unnecessary entertainments of guests, friends and extended family members who are not already members of the household.  Ensure effective supervision of the use of resources in homes.  Waste not want not.

12. Heads of families, Husbands, Wives and Mothers must be extra careful and with Patience and Goodluck, all will be well with the Nigerian families going through a recession.

Finally, since charity begins at home, Nigerians should remember to educate their families, friends and colleagues on the need for prudence, discipline and moderation in everything we do.  This must start and continue from now on.  It is clear that tough times don’t last and only tough people do, this is why we must learn some good lessons from the present recession experience.  We need a total change in our mindset and in our behavior as Nigerians.  These necessary changes must start from each of us.  In the words of a great philosopher, Aldous Huxley “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving (changing, sic) and that is your own self.”   The cleanup in Nigeria must start with each and every one of us as citizens of Nigeria, as individuals, families, groups and states.

Our extravagant and flamboyant lifestyles, indiscipline, corruption, and bad leadership have brought us to the present calamitous state.  We must from now on learn to say NO to corruption and indiscipline, in our homes, offices, workplaces, public and private capacities.  We should never go back to our vomit (old ways), as we pass through the recession experience and move on.  We should abhor corruption,   indiscipline and wastefulness in all ramifications.  We should let corruption PERISH with the current recession otherwise we will perish with it.  It will be dangerous to forget our immediate woeful past and backslide into corruption, when things get better.  We should not be deceived by a temporary state of comfort, when respite comes. We should actively pursue honesty, prudence, and discipline, as our way of life, rather than as a necessity, only in the times of recession and distress. Nigeria has to integrate these as parts of her new VALUES system.  Posterity will not forgive us, as adults, elders and leaders of this nation, if this will not represent a brace-up period, in our development and growth.  A word is good enough for the wise, let’s wise up, as honorable Nigerians.  It is well.

Written by
Adekunle Akinyemi
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