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Nigeria’s Declining Global Competitiveness [Editorial]

By on September 6, 2011

The World Economic Forum, an independent international organization in its global competitiveness ranking shows that Nigeria’s competitiveness dropped from 99 in 2010 to 127 in 2011, in a survey of 139 countries undertaken. The poor rating was mainly attributed to weak infrastructure. It is a heart-breaking reminder of subsequent government’s inability to transform our shoddy and in some many cases virtually absent infrastructure.

There is the hard and soft infrastructure which we have markedly seen a near total collapse with attendant frustration on governance and democratic dividends delivery. This has led to spiraling cost in business set up and management, making the environment hazardous to development and entrepreneurial innovations. The case has been a continuous free fall in service delivery in all he sectors, and the movement of businesses to neighbouring countries.

We are worried that this is not of the influence of creative destruction but of a fearful recurring scenario of leadership failure at various levels of governance, without any systemic approach to taking advantage of our economic resources for the common good and also addressing this sad decline.

Still experts have pointed to African’s growing influence in the global arena which they said is as a result of internal structural changes that have spurred the broader domestic economy and a world thirsty for her resources. A McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report shows that resources accounted for only about a third of the newfound growth.

We think the world’s global economy which is in disarray with huge and dire possibilities to inflict pains on economies like ours with weak infrastructure should point to an urgent shift in thinking. It should remind us that the chase for our resources is just for a while. And that today affords us the opportunity to begin correcting flawed and poor government policies that have become a nursery bed for sprouting poverty, anger and violence.

Also, weak infrastructures have long held our industrious people down. It has dragged them into vulnerable positions where they have jettisoned their rights, sold their votes or become pawns in the hands of mischief makers. We are hardly plagued by natural disasters like other climes but of those borne out of selfishness of leaders who stumbled into power.  As a reminder, continuing poor government policies for example like that of reversing the BPE privatization process could halt a few gains for our country. Now is the time to throw away any statist tendencies and seriously improve our regulatory capacity. Few gains from the privatization process should be applauded while irregularities, flaws and other related challenges should be look into and immediately be sorted out.

Finally, as the chase for our commodities continues, we have to exercise our bargaining power so that we can get better deals and appropriate huge value from them. Also, we should factor in the influence of these powerful forces driving global change: customization, automation, and globalization and deregulation because they could be part of a bigger change for a smart and better society. The final imperative here is that our governance needs to gain effectiveness and reduce cost by finding less expensive materials, processes, systems, funds sources and infrastructure. A nimble government is imperative at this time.

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Caesar Keluro

One Comment

  1. Ayomide

    September 6, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Great post, leadership failure indeed