Nigeria is the heartbeat of sub- Saharan Africa. From having the largest economy on the continent, to being a major supporter of other African States, the giant of Africa, seems to be slipping away and very fast.

From the slow crawl of the economy between 2015- 2020, the reality of the poverty of the average Nigerian became stark. Although there was a commodity price plunge in 2015, 2019 was the real damage. With the closure of its’ borders, inflation hit the roof. Although it was a move to deter smuggling of foreign goods with local products but it never had that effect.
Efforts to raise the exchange rate by restricting access to dollars made it hard for businesses to import basic inputs. The Central Bank Of Nigeria, continuously devalued the naira and of course, the pandemic came along.

Although there were a few bright spots in 2021 and 2022, there was a growth spurt urged on by the post- pandemic rebound and stronger oil prices.

These peak periods came through startups( Lagos thrives with startups) that raked in twice as much as in the same period of 2021. Nollywood, churning out almost 2,500 films yearly, is the second largest film industry in the world by output. With the Rema’s ,the Tems, Wizkid or Burna boy, the numbers are too few and Lagos isn’t the yardstick to empower everyone and rescue the populace of over 220 million out of poverty.

With the same party that floated the failed Muhammadu Buhari’s failed presidency, still on top with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was definitely not top choice for a lot of voters but somehow, the recycling of elite politicians would always bring back from within the fold.

The Statist,protectionist, and self- defeating policies are at play all over again. Tinubu on the day of his swearing in, announced a total removal of petrol subsidy without any adequate measure to cushion the effects or consideration as to what the plight of the people and subsequent ripple effect on the economy would be. The subsidies were said to be a scam to line personal pockets of people in both the private and public sectors.

Widespread insecurity affects growth in the country.In the north-northeast, the Islamic State West Africa Province(ISWAP) keeps on expanding right into the Federal Capital territory, Abuja; In the north-northwest, militias have established the area as an enclave for extortion and kidnapping. These have not been weakened and the recent possible standoff that might play out if Nigeria on launches an offensive against the Niger Republic as part of ECOWAS military intervention. Would it be possible to fight a war on a budget that can be used to revamp the economy? Can an external fight be won when at home, territories can barely be secured?

The ditching of the subsidies have not put the monies back in education, health and infrastructure which is a far cry from the aim the federal government projects.

Will the squabble for oil money that brings about the wide margin between poor and rich be bridge with a shift from Fossil fuels? Will there be a process to tackle corruption that will curb the soft life brought about by easy oil money that will diversify and expand the economy?

The giant slips away; either through devastating violence or an extremely sluggish economic decline.

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