Every country in the world strive towards growth and development, even the so called advanced or developed countries still work assiduously to ensure that they do not remain in the same point. This is done so they can move ahead of their equally ever-aspiring counterparts. This is the reason why you see competitions among America, china, Russia, Britain, Germany and all other developed countries, to mention but a few. All these are actions towards attaining economic growth and sustainable national development.
Developing countries are not left out in the race towards achieving this said development. They work very hard to ensure they attain some level of development. This accounts for the major reasons why they have designed themselves what is widely referred to as macroeconomic goals. This goal includes:
✓ Achieving low inflationary rate.
✓ Maintaining a favorable balance of payment.
✓ Reduction of unemployment rate.
✓ Achieving economic growth and development.
✓ Achieving price and exchange rate stability.
These goals are not enough as there is the need to ensure resources are adequately managed and utilized for the determined end.
What is Economic Growth and development?
Economic growth is referred to as the sustainable increase in the production of goods and services.
Economic development on the other hand can be referred to as the betterment in the standard of living of the citizens of countries. Where they both differ is that economic growth deals with the increase in production by employing all necessary factor of production, while economic development accounts for the advancement in the welfare of the masses. Before any reasonable development will occur, there has to be a sustainable increase in production.
What are the Nigerian resources?
The Nigerian resources here are also referred to the economic resources Nigeria posses. These resources include; the capital resources, human resources, the available technology, and the natural endowments she owns. These resources when harnessed are what bring about the desired growth and development the country strive to achieve. It is also noteworthy to state that these resources can exist bountifully and yet, a country will still not achieve it’s set goals. This occurs most times when there are endemic factors hindering such countries from getting to its desired point. Such endemic factors include; corruption, tribalism, high degree of illiteracy, and a host of others. These factors need to be fought sternly.
Also, a certain factor which people tend to forget most of the time is the mismanagement of the country’s resources. Solutions would be recommended within the purview of this paper.
Suggestions on how to manage Nigeria’s resources
When the right resources are possessed, it is necessary to ensure the appropriate, effective and efficient usage of these resources to achieve development and prevent wastage. This, however, is something the Nigerian government has failed to achieve. For instance, a report on vanguard newspaper dated back to the 14th of July 2015, as contained in the NNPC statistical bulletin, has it that Nigeria has lost up to $868.8 million, about N173.76 billion to gas flaring in 2014. This is highly unreasonable understanding fully well that the country is in need of finances for development. Based on this premise, I proffer these solutions;
1. Educational restructuring: a holistic restructuring has to be carried in the educational sector of Nigeria by ensuring that more practical approaches are encouraged. Our universities and polytechnic should be more practical based rather than theoretically based. Also, the need to foster the habit of research making in a more practical mode cannot be overemphasized. It is noticed that in advanced countries of the world, majority of groundbreaking research works are carried out within the university environment by the students and lecturers. Therefore, there is a need to wake up in this aspect. This will go a long way in helping resource management because there won’t be the need to waste monetary resources on the importation of certain technology that would be produced within the country by our very own institutions which, in turn, will bring about economic growth and development.
2. Supervision and the demand for accountability by those who carry out public projects. There is a need for the government to ensure those who are given Nigeria’s economic resources are adequately supervised so as to ensure there accountability and reduction in corruption. This helps to prevent wastage of our economic resources.
3. Efficient and Effective civil services help to manage our resources. This will occur if merit is brought back into the system rather than the usual which has always occurred in the country which is nepotism. There is a need to bring in competitions among these workers when they are being hired. A no-nonsense civil service should be given birth to where there will be time to time performance evaluation of the workers to know who is lagging behind. Also, the reward/motivation mechanism which is based on merit should be employed. When this occurs, every worker will sit-tight which will bring about efficiency and reduction in resources wastage.
4. The government should create enabling environment that will encourage the utilization and management of Natural resources possessed by the country. It is no new knowledge that Nigeria is beautifully and bountifully blessed with natural resources including oil, limestone, coal, and iron ore. The government should ensure that the transportation systems are handled seriously most especially the railway system which will help in a long way to foster the distributing of produced goods and transportation of heavy equipments used by industries thereby encouraging development.
Also, power is a factor that shouldn’t be taken with levity because of what the country stands to gain. When these things are done, investors are usually encouraged to invest which develop the country.
5. The habit of borrowing money from the international community or international organizations should be reduced drastically. The reason being, we end up paying more than what has been borrowed in term of the interest rate and the principal amount which cart away our resources.
Akindele Olabode T.
Faculty of Law, Unilag.