ADVERSITY can be turned into opportunities, Options before Nigerian states

“Every adversity in life makes us bitter or better, every problem comes to break us or make us. The choice is ours whether we become victor or victim” – Anil sinha.

ADVERSITY can be turned into opportunities if only there is a determination to do it. As the quote above goes, adversity has the tendency to bring out the latent talents which would have otherwise remained dormant in prosperous circumstances.

It is a thin line between people who make use of adversity and break records and those who breakdown due to adversity.

Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in spending. This may be triggered by various events, such as a financial crisis, an external trade shock, an adverse supply shock or the bursting of an economic bubble.

At a point in time, the economy of most countries in the world was affected, a period of global economic slowdown or declining economic output.

It’s no longer news that most states in Nigeria are seriously challenged and state governments up until now find it hard to meet up with their major obligations including payments of salaries and pensions and embarking on capital projects.

For some time, the revenue accruing into states in Nigeria’s treasury have been dwindling steadily, owing to the glut in the international oil market.

This continuous decline in monthly revenue from Abuja,in addition to the fact that most of the states have one loan or the other to service, hence the call from all angles that states begin to look inward on how they can boost their finances so that they can meet up with the challenges of paying salaries, run governments and at least provide basic amenities for their citizens.

For Nigeria, the state of affairs at the moment is not new. The oil boom had given way to oil doom in the middle of the 1970s, as the glut in the international oil market sent the oil prices tumbling and crashing. With this came the fall of many economies, Nigeria inclusive. A mono product economy, an oil based country could not with-stand the shocks associated with the global recession.

Several governments that have served the nation came up with different cushioning measures to salvage the situation. Alhaji Shehu Shagari, President of Nigeria then initiated a series of Austerity Measures and stabilisation policies in 1981.

Generals Buhari and Idiagbon in the 80s introduced a comprehensive package of austerity measures, where it closed the country’s land borders for a period to identify and expel illegal alien workers and placed severe restrictions on imports and heavy penalties on smuggling and foreign exchange offenses.

There was the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida that introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) which promoted floating interest rates, relaxation of the Indigenization Decrees, controlled the rate of growths of money supply by squeezing domestic credit, placed an embargo on appointments, froze wages and deregulated the economy in general. At the same time, fund to the educational sector was cut by about 35%, schools were closed or merged, subsidies were removed from social services, petroleum and related products, and emphasis was placed on regular debt servicing.

The present situation calls for toughness on the part of the states of the federation. To stay buoyant, they must look inwards, on how they will steer the ship of their state through the stormy weather and land at a safe harbour.

Recently, the Government of Osun in a bid to stay afloat in the face of the paucity of funds, has introduced some belt-tightening measures to cope with the current challenges.

The Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola having brainstormed with the critical stakeholders had agreed that certain measures be implemented.

Alabi Adekunle, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Osogbo, Osun State.


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