Sovereignty, Economic Security, Obama’s visit, Jonathan, 2011 Elections and Development of Nigeria: Correlation (Part 2)
“Never ascribe to conspiracy that which could be explained by incompetence.”
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you don’t expect to sit.” Nelson Henderson.
“The guarantee of the security of Israel is not just a point in the political program of the United States. It’s a personal obligation which will never change!”
Hillary Clinton. May, 2010.
“What kind of country will they live in – a dark, angry, angry, corrupt country with one party and one anthem … or a light, democratic one where everyone is equal before the law?”
Yury Shevchuk. Famous Russian Rock musician. Excerpt of toast to children during the visit of Russian Prime Minister, Vladmir Putin, to St. Petersburg’s artists. June, 2010.
“Is there a chance for development? Development specialists often focus on helping poor countries become richer by improving primary education and infrastructure like roads and telephones, and that’s surely sensible. Unfortunately, it’s only a small part of the problem. Economists who have pulled apart the statistics, or studied unusual data such as the earnings of Cameroonians in Cameroon and the earnings of Cameroonians who emigrate to the U.S., have found that education, infrastructure and factories don’t begin to explain the gap between the rich and the poor. Because of its lousy education system, Cameroon is perhaps twice as poor as it could be. Because of its terrible infrastructure, it’s roughly twice as poor again. So we would expect Cameroon to be four times poorer than the United States, but it is fifty times poorer. More importantly, why can’t the Cameroonian people seem to do anything about it? Couldn’t Cameroonian communities improve their schools? Wouldn’t the benefits easily outweight the costs? Couldn’t Cameroonian businessmen build factories, license technology, seek foreign partners… and make a fortune? Evidently not Mancur Olson showed that Kleptocracy at the top stunts the growth of poor countries. If a poor country has a thief for a ruler, that doesn’t necessarily spell doom, because the ruler might decide to boost the economy and then make a slice of a bigger pie. But in general, looting will be wide spread either because the dictator is not confident of his tenure or because he needs to allow others to steal in order to keep their support. Then further down the pyramid of wealth, development is thwarted because the rules and laws of the society do not encourage projects or businesses, which would be to the common good. Entrepreneurs don’t establish official businesses (too difficult) and so don’t pay taxes; officials demand ridiculous projects for their prestige or personal enrichment; school children don’t bother to acquire qualifications…”
Tim Harford. Excerpt from book ‘The Undercover Economist’ chapter 8: Why Poor Countries Are Poor.
WITHOUT POLITICAL SOVEREIGNTY, ECONOMIC SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT ARE IMPOSSIBLE.
But what about Economic security? What is Economic security? Why is it important for the development of a country – including Nigeria?
Economic security is the ability of a country to mobilise all its resources: intellectual, human, military, legal, financial and others to defend its economic interests effectively. What are the economic interests of a country? The economic interests of a country are all its assets; tangible and intangible. Assets are anything that could generate wealth, converted/exchanged into/for cash or are already in the form of cash. Like companies, the tangible assets of a country include cash in banks; accounts receivable, land; everything above and underneath it, forest, oil, gas, water, agricultural products, other mineral resources; stocks, bonds; machineries, equipments, real estates, factories, e.t.c. But, the most invaluable assets of a country are its intangible assets, its citizens. To be more precise, its healthy and educated/knowledgeable citizens.
Asserting that the citizens of a country are its most valuable and invaluable assets is in no way an exaggeration. Out of the 8 richest countries in the world, the United States is the only country bestowed with abundance of mineal resources, but which it does not fully exploit yet. The United States, for some strategic reasons does not drill most of its oil reserve yet. Japan, with the second largest economy practically has little or no mineral resources. The Scandinavian countries, with the exception of Norway, with one of the highest GDP and standard of living in the world, do not have oil or any significant mineral resources to boast of. Nevertheless, this has not been a hinderance in building strong and viable economies ranked among the best in the world. As a matter of fact, this should not be surprising, after all, it is the human brain or knowledge that is used in designing and building those sophisticated machines, equipments, buildings, roads, bridges, power stations, planes, ships, submarines; drilling, mining the oil and other mineral resources beneath the earth; managing sophisticated economies and creating wealth in general.
Suffice to say again that Britain, France and the United States in particular were able to achieve the present level of economic development and growth not only out of their dexterity, but because they succeeded in taking over the resources of other countries – mainly African countries – and exploited the people for long. The trend continues up till today.
In otherwords, economic security is the ability of a country to mobilise all the resources at its disposal to ensure that its assets do not depreciate or reduce in value. Thus, the remarkable thing about economic security is that a country uses its resources to safeguard its resources. Therefore, all things being equal, the more resources a country posesses, the better it is positioned to defend its economic interests.
The ultimate goal of any competent and responsible government is to guarantee the safety of its citizens, their properties and improve their well-being as high as possible. In order to accomplish the above tasks, it is paramount for a country not only to protect its resources or assets that generate wealth but as well put them to optimal use that yields the maximum output.
Why does a country need to defend its economic interests? A country needs to defend its economic interests for its survival, well-being and development – including, of course its citizens.
But the assets of a country could be threatened either internally or externally. What do we mean by this? The assets of a country is considered or regarded to be threatened if a situation or situations arise(s), is/are about to arise or has/have already arised that could lead to the depreciation, reduction, total disappearance or/and hinder the ability of the assets/resources of a country to be put to optimal use that will give the country and the citizens maximum value and benefits. One of such situation is when the resources or economy of a country is dominated or being controlled by foreigners, foreign companies and countries. Under such a scenario, definitely, it will be very difficult for a country to survive and develop. In anycase, its development will be minimal and be controlled (regulated) by other countries. The country will not be able to develop or grow at a pace that it desires.
In order to have a full understanding of this statement, try to imagine that you lost, or are deprived of all of your money and properties and there is nobody to turn to for help. How are you going to survive and provide for your family which consists of your wife and 5 children? Definitely, it is going to be very tough or almost impossible. Or try to imagine that your legs and hands are tied together or being held firmly by somebody or a group of people. How are you going to def
end yourself ifv you are attacked? The same thing happens to countries too whose economic interests are threatened and are unable to mobilise their resources to defend them. Without money and other resources, a country will find it difficult to survive, provide for its citizens and progress. Sooner or later, such a country is bound to be weak, vulnerable to economic and political instabilities, irrelevant in global politics and eventually turn into a failed state and banana republic.
Unfortunately, this is the situation that Nigeria has been for the past 50 years. Our survival, well-being and development as a nation has been compromised and tbeatened for the past half a century by both internal and external forces who have connived to deprive us of decent existence as individuals and a nation.
The factors that threaten the economic security of Nigeria include the following:
1. Absence of political sovereignty;
2. Imposition of incompetent, corrupt, visionless and morally bankrupt rulership and stooges on the country and its citizens;
3. Loopsided oil and gas agreements between Nigeria and the multinationals negotiated on behalf of Nigeria by incompetent Northern dictators;
4. Mass pollution of the Niger Delta;
5. Tax evasion and use of offshore taxation by western oil companies,
6. Absence of transparency in the oil and gas sector;
7. Domination of the oil and gas sector by western firns;
8. Fraudulent privitization programmes conducted by corrupt Nigerian politicians, the result of which very valuable assets: matallurgical, aluminium, steel and other plants which are of strategic importance to the development of Nigeria, were taken over by foreign companies, countries and them (corrupt politicians);
9. Absence of basic infrastucture;
10. Very weak industrial base, undiversified economy and over reliance on oil as major source of revenue;
11. Domination of all sectors of the economy by foreigners, foreign companies and countries;
12. Contaminated, expired foods, drugs and unhygenic enviroment;
13. Membeship in the Commonwealth;
14. Liberal attitudes to foreigners and foreign companies that commit different economic and criminal offenses;