Growing Nigerian Economy Through Middle Class

According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Special Price Edition, middle class is defined as the society whose members are neither very rich nor very poor and that includes professionals and business people; the upper/lower middle class. The decline in standard of living in Nigeria is as a result of poor policy makers at the helm of affairs and poor policy implementation. The economic growth of a nation does not solely depend on how much is saved in the foreign reserve purse. It is disheartening and disgusting to observe that most of our national economic planners believe in how much is saved as the physical cash in the treasury, while reasonable millions of Nigerian citizens are jobless and without food to eat.
Indeed, too much money in the system does not portray prosperity of the economy. Because the money is in the hands of few individuals who control the economy of Nigeria. There is no proper financial control regulation in Nigeria. If not the agency responsible should have convinced Nigerians why one naira coin went into extinction without information. When economy is growing and everybody does not feel it, there is need to make the citizens feel the impact of the growing economy.
The information of the growing economy should not be only for paper presentation by the same initiators, but it should be the opinion of those who feel the growth of the economy. The economy of Nigeria stands and sits on those serving the government. It is only those who are in government that hypocritically speak of growing economy every day without good conscience.
The manufacturing industries are packing to other neighboring countries where the cost of production is relatively cheap compared to what is obtainable in Nigeria. It is worrisome to observe that some government policies that have huge negative impact on the people are not allowed to follow opinion poll. It is done by fiat whether you like it or not. Every growing economy enjoys the support and contribution of the middle class of the world. For instance, countries like China, United State of America, Japan, India, Brazil and South Africa etc, their industries and allied companies depend on the work force available. In some countries of the world where they use robots that can replace man in some aspects, yet the establishment of production industries are on the increase because it is in the hands of the middle class.
It is sad and futuristically uncertain the planned introduction of five thousand naira note and coins come 2013. It is very unfortunate that at this critical period where Nigerians are looking for money to invest in one business or the other, the Central Bank of Nigeria has set aside forty billion naira for the minting of note and coins. In planning for the nation, self should not be paramount at all costs. The plan for the middle class has been thrown overboard. The Central Bank supposed to be the fore runner of small scale businesses through its advisory role to commercial banks. When there are no industries for the middle class to work, how would the economy grow?
When there is no regular power supply, how will the economy grow? When there is no water supply how will the economy grow?
The federal high ways in the country are in critical states of dilapidations, the textile industries in the country have folded. Today, the middle class depend on second hand clothes and shoes, or fabric already worn by people of the middle class in other countries. Second hand clothes are imported with high level of enthusiasm, because we do not produce in Nigeria. Any economy that depends on a few selected or elected individuals, would definitely crash. Nigeria is one of the countries that have the highest population in the world; that if the human resource is carefully harnessed will lead to economic boom that everyone can see.
Job creation is a night mare in the country. Lip service was paid on job creation without any tangible result. And something must be done to avoid negative economic policies that ruin our economy in future. Economic policies do not just emerge as taking personal decision. Critical analysis and intensive comparison are carried out before any decision is taken.
Minting of money should not be politicized and tribalised. It is a great error when Central Bank was using tool of favouritism on the women folk to justify the minting of five thousand naira note. This is one of the practices that is killing Nigeria’s economy. Indeed, the Central Bank Governor should devise a means and reduce poverty in the country. The middle class do not have access to work and that is why the economy is dwindling. Since the fall of naira currency in the 80’s the economy has been suffering down ward trend movement. Some Nigerians receive five thousand naira as their monthly salaries. And when you give them a note you have paid them. But when somebody gives a Nigerian one thousand dollars not pounds you see jubilation. We need value for the naira and not minting of higher denomination and reintroduction of coins. We need to create jobs for the middle class for the economy to grow and currency to appreciate.
The agriculture sector should be catered for seriously for the economy to grow. The minting of five thousand naira notes and coins is a waste of public fund against the wish of Nigerians. The Federal Government should invest the expenditure in establishing of small or large scale industries to absorb the unemployed in the labour market. The middle class should be made to be the hub of the economy. Nigerian economy needs repositioning, and it has to focus on the middle class.

Frank Eneawaji Ogwuonuonu

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