Economic Collapse: Who Says We Were Not Warned?

By Temisan Jackson

When William Shakespeare said, “All the world's a stage”, he made no joke. And, apparently, Nigeria has more than its fair share of players.

I have watched with keen interest the drama that has been unfolding over the past few weeks for two reasons really; first, out of concern for the current state of the economy, and, then secondly, as someone who is interested in the human psyche. I must confess that Nigerians prove an interesting bunch.

I am tempted to believe that a whole lot of our players on the political cum economic landscape are the sort of players who merely read their lines in a script without reading the whole story. If this is not the case, how does one explain the accusations that have filled every media outlet in the nation that the Minister of Finance never warned us on the impending economic crisis?

Is it possible that EVERYBODY has forgotten already how madam Iweala often harangued that we would have a crisis on our hands if we did not leave the Excess Crude Account well alone instead of ogling at it in a spending spree rather than saving?

Suddenly there are several self-acclaimed economic experts on the airwaves, in print as well as online media telling us how we could have forestalled the mess we are in if the madam Minister had warned us; had given us due notice. Many of them are even postulating all manners of economic theories as to how our economy should be run. If only we can see the balance sheets of these so-called experts. It will make an interesting research to see how their own concerns are run.

As the accusations and buck-passing increase by the day, the more alarmed I become and I earnestly hope some genuine folks would speak up and set the records straight. But it seems I would only hope in vain, so I suppose I need to do the needful. That is why I decided to write this.

Not one for dishing out opinion without presenting supporting facts, I searched the internet for what might have been written or said pre- this development, which is the current rave in our national discourse. Did Mrs Okonjo-Iweala really warn us about an impending economic crisis or did she turn a blind eye to the palaver? What did she really say? Are they the truth or mere false alarms? What was the standpoint of other stakeholders in the government?

I saw few telling headlines and the features in them say it all. Please see below some of my findings in tabular form. This should help us know those who really have the best interest of this nation at heart, and those who are only inkling to point accusing fingers or score cheap political points from issues of national importance.

These reports date as far back as 2010. I am all for looking for whom to blame; after all I am Nigerian. But what I will never subscribe to is blaming the wrong person or endorsing falsehood. Little more need be said as the facts are before you today and you need only read through to judge for yourselves.

Temisan Jackson writes from Warri, Delta State.

SN Headlines URLs Date
1 NIGERIA: Okonjo-Iweala Warns against Depleting Excess Crude Account http://trendyafrica.com/editor/nigeria-okonjo-iweala-warns-against-depleting-excess-crude-account/ April 9, 2010
2 Nigeria's Economy Gasps for Breath http://www.nigeriaintel.com/2012/09/30/nigerias-economy-gasps-for-breath/ Sept 30, 2012
3 State Governors Demand $1Bn from Oil Savings http://nigeriacommunicationsweek.com.ng/other-business/state-governors-demand-1bn-from-oil-savings Dec 13, 2012
4 Naira falls as oil prices, foreign reserves dwindle http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/naira-falls-as-oil-prices-foreign-reserves-dwindle/ July 23, 2013
5 The Thin Line Between Deregulation and Austerity Measures in Nigeria http://www.frontiersnews.com/index.php/business/37-business/3497-excess-crude-account-drops-to-7bn-as-faac-shares-n518389bn April 13, 2013,
6 GOVERNORS ARE RUNNING NIGERIA BROKE- OKONJO-IWEALA http://afrikandevelopment.net/governors-are-running-nigeria-broke-okonjoiweala-p147-148.htm April 13, 2012
7 Okonjo-Iweala raises alarm over depleting Excess Crude Account http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/04/okonjo-iweala-raises-alarm-over-depleting-excess-crude-account/ April 13, 2012
8 Nigeria has no savings - Excess Crude Account has only $3.6bn - Dr. Okonjo-Iweala http://ngex.com/news/public/newsinfo.php?nid=9252# April 13, 2012
9 Okonjo-Iweala: Low Oil Price, Theft May Reduce ECA's Accretion http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/okonjo-iweala-low-oil-price-theft-may-reduce-eca-s-accretion/148799/ 29, May 2013
10 Okonjo-Iweala Blasts Governors For Depleting Nigeria's Huge Savings http://freedomcrusader-generationx.blogspot.com/2013/06/okonjo-iweala-blasts-governors-for.html June 19, 2013
11 Oil theft: FG may lose $12bn in 2013 — Okonjo-Iweala http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/11/oil-theft-fg-may-lose-12bn-2013-okonjo-iweala/ Nov 4, 2013
12 Okonjo-Iweala predicts further decline of Excess Crude Account http://thecitizenng.com/governance/okonjo-iweala-predicts-further-decline-of-excess-crude-account/ Dec. 10, 2013.
13 Economy Under Threat As Excess Crude Account Dwindles, Says Okonjo-Iweala http://www.ogtv.com.ng/economy-under-threat-as-excess-crude-account-dwindles-says-okonjo-iweala/ Jan 23, 2014
14 Okonjo-Iweala Raises The Alarm Over Revenue http://consciencetriumph.com/okonjo-iweala-raises-the-alarm-over-revenue/ Jan 23, 2014
15 Economy under threat as excess crude account dwindles, says Okonjo-Iweala http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/01/economy-threat-excess-crude-account-dwindles-says-okonjo-iweala/ Jan 23, 2014
16 Okonjo-Iweala Warns That Depleting Excess Crude Account is Harmful to Nigeria's Economy http://www.coolfm.ng/abuja/news/national-updates/item/103-okonjo-iweala-warns-that-depleting-excess-crude-account-is-harmful-to-nigeria-s-economy Jan 23, 2014.
17 Excess Crude Account down as oil price goes up http://thenationonlineng.net/new/excess-crude-account-down-as-oil-price-goes-up/ Feb 18, 2014
18 Nigeria's depleting External Reserve http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=58114 Mar 31, 2014
19 Nigeria Needs $5bn To Sustain Economy – Okonjo-Iweala http://leadership.ng/news/388408/nigeria-needs-5bn-sustain-economy-okonjo-iweala Oct 28, 2014
20 CASH CRUNCH: STATE DEMAND $2BN FROM ECA http://uncova.com/cash-crunch-state-demand-2bn-from-eca Nov 18, 2014
21 State Governments Broke, Want Extra $2 billion From FG http://www.informationng.com/2014/11/state-governments-broke-want-extra-2-billion-from-fg.html Nov 19, 2014
22 Nigeria's Finance Minister Says Oil Savings Drained By State Governors http://www.ventures-africa.com/2014/11/nigerias-finance-minister-says-oil-savings-drained-by-state-governors/ Nov 28, 2014

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."