Its December again. It is time for Nigerians in diaspora to return with their savings to lavish on us all. It doesn’t matter whether they are returning from US, UK, Malaysia or even South Africa sef (the ones from Canada hardly ever return), they always have one thing in common, apart from their complains about the heat and poor infrastructure- they bring back dollars!
Now that their return coincides with the political campaign season, it behoves good tidings for us all in terms of dollar rain. Did I just imply that…? Yes. There is bound to be dollar rain this season whether the Politicians or the electorate deny it or not, as this has become the bane of our politics.
Well, this is not a political column so I ask your forgiveness for that little indulgence and promise not to digress anymore.
The basic law of supply basically lets us know that an increase in the supply of a commodity will lead to a corresponding decrease in the price of that commodity. So why is it that with this anticipated dollar rain has not had the desired effect on the Naira price of the US Dollar?
The simple answer is our shitty Economy! Our economy that has refused to obey simple law. With the CBN sinking millions daily to stabilize the rate at N360/$ and the aforementioned trends, our economy is beginning to look like the proverbial dog who wants to get lost and won’t listen to his master’s whistle.
It will be akin to a believe in aliens performing magic to think that an economy that has lost 3.67million jobs in the past 12months (according to NBS) will make a U-turn in the space of a month based on political campaigns. The same economy, touted as the largest in Africa, is losing foreign investment faster than the oxidation of free radicals (I’m just showing off my academic background).
An economy that is, politically, believed to have bounced out of recession and whose drivers have consistently proved that they do not have a roadmap or blueprint for fixing its many ailments- ranging from insecurity, political intolerance, poor infrastructure, power, and to the ever present corruption; an economy that is fast losing its skilled, and would-be skilled workforce to developed and underdeveloped countries stands no chance of benefitting from the tourism of its Nationals returning from diaspora because they no longer do. Most Nigerians do not have immediate family members in Nigeria, those that do have already registered those family members for IELTS, or are making arrangements for the family member to join them over there- even their aged parents.
The word “shambles” is inadequate in describing the state of an economy that has lost 2 international Banks, one major telecommunications company, and is on the verge of losing a second indigenous bank to AMCON in one year. Things being at a standstill is no longer applicable to the economy because things are moving, albeit backwards!
The economic gains that have been made are largely political, seen on some government and non-government charts and have no impact on the average man; who has seen his purchasing power shrink in recent times but still counts himself lucky to have any purchasing power at all because of the dire circumstances he is a witness to in the society.
It is not all gloomy, I daresay. Some companies, like DSTv , MTN and are few Banks have found a way to pass their cost of doing business to the customer and are therefore declared profitable ventures. These ventures are the mainstay of the economy but sadly some of them don’t even recycle their profits within the economy. Hence there is no net gain for the ordinary citizen.
There is always a silver lining in every cloud. The silver lining I have discovered in this cloud of economic decline is still the cause of our pain- the exchange rate. While not being favourable to Nigerians who reside here in Nigeria, it will be to the great advantage of our brothers and sisters who are bringing the dollars (especially those of us they will send to change it), they will have enough to go round their extended families. Now is a good time to come and flaunt wealth in Nigeria.
Well, for those of us who reside in Nigeria (wey our papers never click) it is time to be a bit more friendly to our diaspora brethren, welcome them with open hands and open purses, with the hope that they will reciprocate the open purse gesture.
Welcome to December.