IS GLOBALISATION A CONCEPT NIGERIA MUST ADOPT?
First of all, I must admit that globalization is a concept driven by people. But, it is made possible by policies that have opened up economies domestically and internationally! According to globalisation101.org, globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies and governments of different nations. It is a phrase that best describes the interconnected nature of our world, as businesses and organizations are already taking advantage of the new opportunities presented by globalization! But, why don't we globalize labour?
In 2008, I did a piece entitled: “Globalization: Why Labour should be globalised “for ezenarticles.com, in that article, I questioned the rationality behind the act of allowing free movement of goods and ideas without allowing labour to move freely? Highly skilled workers should be allowed to move freely to any where their services are needed regardless of boarder. We cannot be globalizing our ideas, commodities and trademarks without allowing the hen that lays the golden eggs to move freely. Or can an idea generate its self? On December 13 2012, I participated in a live chat with World Bank Recruiters, being mindful of the federal character concept and practice in Nigeria, one of my questions was: “Can a Nigerian apply for a job that has America as designation”? I got two different answers! For the sake of this write-up, I will quote their exact answers here. The first answer was: “We hire staff from 188 different member countries (including Nigeria). We have no quotas for nationalities. We have 120 + field offices worldwide”. The second answer was: “You can apply to any of the vacancies, even if there are not based in Nigeria. The important thing is that your qualification and experience match the job description and requirements”.
All over the world, companies and corporations are taking advantage of the new opportunities created by globalization to make more money for their shareholders, as foreign companies are built or outsourced to partners at the other side of the globe. Government appointments are not left out in some countries! For example, Mark Carney is a native of Canada who had served as the governor of the Canadian Central Bank, but was appointed as the governor of the Bank of England. According to Newsweek Magazine of December 10, 2012, the major reason Mr. Carney got the banking top job in England was because, during his reign as the Governor of Canada's Central Bank, the nation's economy only shrank by 2.77 percent in 2009 and avoided a banking crisis and it's politically damaging bailouts that ravaged the United States and the United Kingdom. The report continues, “as developed countries have struggled with slow growth and double dip recessions, Canada's economy has posted a central banker's hat trick: steady growth, low inflation, and a strong currency”.
Nonetheless, they are proponents of globalization and they are opponents of globalization! While the proponents believe and argue that the concept of globalization allows developing countries to develop economically and raise the living standards of their citizens as well as enjoy unfettered access to other nation's market. They have also argued that it has encouraged the free exchange of ideas, technology and knowledge; and have also made life easy as people no longer travel far distances to get information or transact businesses, even beat editorial deadlines. In the same vein, opponents of globalization have also argued that the claim of unfettered access to markets as an advantage of globalization has only benefited large corporations and other multi-nationals without trickling down to small and medium sized companies and organizations. They also argued that globalization exposes infant industries, local cultures and civilizations to undue and unfavorable competition. Others said globalization take-away local jobs from local people to foreigners. For example, in 2008, there was a xenophobic protest in South Africa where the poor and unemployed South Africans attacked foreigners including Nigerians for taking away their jobs, while they remained unemployed. It took the intervention of the former president, Mr. Thabo Mbeki to quell the attacks.
In our own country where tribalism and nepotism have almost “dethroned” merit and competence from its “rightful position”, how can globalization strive in line with international best practices? We introduced the federal character in to our constitution so as to encourage equal representation at all levels, when it come to appointments, admissions etc. We demand for state of origin certificate as a prove that Mr. X truly hails from where he claims, but, when it comes to conducting census, Mr. X is asked to remain in his state of residence. The census data generated are what government use in planning, especially in the disbursement of the monthly shared statutory allocations to states and local governments in the country. It is because of these inconsistencies in the application of the federal character that prominent Nigerians have called for the replacement of the state of origin with the state of residence, so as to make it easier for Nigerians to globalize internally before the real globalization!
Comrade Edwin Ekene Uhara is an activist and a public affairs commentator. He is also the National President of Young Nigerians for change.
No.29, Ben Mbamalu Crescent, Achara Layout, Enugu State.