Nigeria, Africa’s populously, self-styled titan is currently being enmeshed in the labyrinth of an economic tornado – a situation best termed recession by analysts.
But take note! The worst is yet to come, as the country embarks on two of its most probationary and threatening months in December and January; the period when the tornado collides with a volcano.
Aside recession, these months are the ‘moment in time’ when Nigerians spend more due to the Yuletide festivity. But with the recession, it might just be the hardest two months in the history of the West African nation, since gaining Independence – an augury fuelled based on noticeable indications.
Tornado, a deadly whirlwind, is being adjudged by the connoisseurs of Environmental Science and Geography as a nursling to a volcano in the hierarchical stratum of natural disaster. But that does not permit you the audacity to write the wild storm off.
With the core of the country already ruptured by the repulsion of a tornado, these months will insidiously unleash the unsympathetic magma existing in the epicenter of a scorching volcano upon the ‘downtrodden’ citizens of Nigeria.
It is a no-brainer to comprehend that Nigeria at 56 is but a reflection of bereavement to colonial departure from within this territory.
It is a figurative elucidation in euphemism that commemorates the oblivious exultance of a yearly national declination in age.
It literally tells you how citizens in ignorance celebrate the nuptial union between two ignoble lovebirds – Mr. Corruption and Mrs. Decadency – and how the conjugality in consummation birthed the myriad of untoward sufferings faced by Nigerians.
The Naira bleeds each day at the parallel market, trading between N450 – N500 to a Dollar, even as the price of crude oil continues to weep at the global market courtesy the vicious yet vivacious activities of a certain sabotaging cult within the creeks of the Niger Delta.
Regardless of the parley meeting on ceasefire held between their delegates and the Muhammadu Buhari led government, the dauntless Niger Delta militants, reeked of ‘secessional’ desperation, betrayed the armistice and then embarked on another level of vandalisation of oil pipelines.
The unending spasm of hostilities on pipelines by the militants have cost the West African country a whopping lost of more than N1.8 trillion in oil revenues since the resurgence of militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region – truncating the output to the lowest in almost 30 years.
The militant groups, spearheaded by the Niger Delta Avengers, have further threatened to destabilise the peacefulness of the nation’s sovereignty by refusing to embrace any form of dialogue with the federal government – instead they are seeking for a Niger Delta republic.
Barring any unforeseen circumstance, speculators at the higher echelon of authority, have postulated an alarming rise in the price of commodity.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had in September, raised the alarm to Nigerians of the possibility of paying a huge sum of N40,000 for a bag of rice by December.
The Senator also stressed that unless the federal government begins to indulge in the production of rice, the price would soar to N40,000 from its current N26,000.
The minister was bringing the grim reality to light at a time when the average Nigerians were scurrying for refuge from the gale of retrenchment, unemployment and salary diminution following the colossal impact of the recession on industries in the country.
Few weeks later, Mallam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, warned of an impending shortage of food in the Nigerian markets by January 2017 due to a huge demand in the global market while targeting the country’s surplus production.
In an interview with Pyramid radio, President Buhari’s spokesman quoted the Ministry of Agriculture as raising concerns about a massive rate of exportation, which could lead to a shortage of grains in Nigeria by January.
“This noble plan could easily be defeated by the pull of the foreign market if food continues to leave our shores to feed people elsewhere. If care is not taken, Nigeria could face a famine by January,” Garba stressed.
While Nigerians flounder in the spectre of the food scarcity, reports started to gain impetus of an alleged 7-year-old boy, who was beaten and burnt to death in Lagos state, for attempting to steal garri (staple commodity).
Although details from the crime scene remained conflicting and incoherent, the execrative grip of jungle justice was meted out on the young man in the morning of Wednesday, November 16 with reliable reports acknowledging that the suspect was a member of a notorious gang, caught while trying to steal people’s phones and money at Orile-Iganmu.
In the same way, a semi jungle-justice was apparently dished out to Nollywood filmmaker, Seun Egbegbe, an estranged lover of popular actress, Toyin Aimakhu, who was accused of stealing nine iPhones, from Keelcech Innovation, a store in Computer Village at Ikeja.
Regardless of a statement of rebuttal issued by him, denying that he was neither arrested nor beaten by any mob, sources in the Lagos State Police Command confirmed that he spent some nights at the Area F Command and was subsequently dragged to court.
Before this time, a Ponzi scheme had arrived on the scene, out of the blue, to assure Nigerians of financial redemption – an assurance that did not go too well with the federal authorities.
The Mavrodi Mondial Movement, better known as MMM, had announced its financial presence to citizens, in the wake of the current economic recession in the country, with a promise of 30 per cent return on investment for any money put into the scheme within 30 days.
The gesture, which was received with a vote of confidence from quite a number of Nigerians, did not augur well with the Federal government, who slammed the scheme for not following the due process before peddling its trade to the populace of the World’s most populous black nation.
Consequently, the Nigerian government via the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), threatened to stem the questionable activities of the ‘so-called’ fraudsters across the country by putting them out of circulation as it flayed that the scheme did not register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
In the same vein, the House of Representatives ordered law enforcement agencies and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to track down and arrest the promoters of the “questionable” investment scheme in an epic crackdown on ‘wonder banks’.
The order to crackdown was received with a barrage of criticism and condemnation from aggrieved Nigerians – who were of the opinion that the legislators abandoned several pressing issues in the country for a trivial issue like MMM.
Checks also showed that Nigerians – most especially the downtrodden citizens – benefiting from the scheme were “very passionate” and any forceful crackdown on the scheme could breed serious national security concerns.
Still in the health care of recovery, a sister ponzi scheme, Ultimate Cycler, left Nigerians, who had invested in it, in the ocean of panic after its website crashed.
The hook for Ultimate Cycler is that members get a return of N50,000 after paying N12,500 to a fellow member he or she registered under.
However, the website crashed on December 1, 2016 sending panic waves across many of its Nigerian members who have invested their money in it.
The news came on a day the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) slated for all Global System of Mobile telecommunications across the country to increase the price of data tariff.
Following backlashes from Nigerians and the prompt intervention of the House of Representatives, the NCC, however, announced the immediate suspension of the planned data tariff hike.
While Nigerians breathed a sight of relief from the data tariff hike palaver, the gale of death paid an unfriendly visit to the orientation camps of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), ripping out existence from the blood pumping organ of three corps members within the space of one week.
Elechi Chinyerum Nwenenda, Oladepo Ifedolapo and Asuquo Ukeme died within the space of days during the on-going 2016 Batch ‘B’ (Stream I) Orientation Course in Bayelsa, Kano and Zamfara States respectively.
The heartrending circumstance came against the backdrop of insinuations that made the round on social media that they would have survived if they had received prompt medical care – an allegation the NYSC swiftly denied.
In spite of all that have been said, amidst 26 days to the end of the year, it is now up to Nigerians as a whole to pray for the country against the spectre of a cataclysmic valediction to the year 2016.
God bless Nigeria…