NIGERIA AND THE MAKING OF MINT NATIONS
The nomenclatures of economic trading blocs are becoming numerous: It all started with G8, the great eight largest economies, G20 and then BRICS, organization of five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Now comes MINT nations, MINT is the acronym for an association of four major major emerging economies Of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.
Both MINT and BRICS were coined and popularized by Jim O'Neil, an economist of first order and the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Jim O'Neil can be rightly called an authority on productivity assessment of emerging economies.
"As of 2013, the five BRICS countries represent almost 3 billion people, with a combined nominal GDP of US$16.
039 trillion, and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves.
Presently, South Africa holds the chair of the BRICS group, having hosted the group's fifth summit in 2013.
The BRICS have received both praise and criticism from numerous quarters.
' The major criticism was for the admission of South Africa into the BRICS with its relatively smaller GDP and inadequate infrastructures, together with its annual anemic economic growth.
Jim O'Neil, who disagreed with South Africa admission into the BRICS, also popularized this phenomenon of bloc of nations neologism that are futuristic with dominant emerging economies.
And now he has also fashioned and endorsed MINT nations with the recent economic waning of BRICS nations.
This is how Jim O' Neil introduced MINT nations in his article in Bloomberg and he delineated MINT as the potential emerging investment destination: 'I spent last week in Indonesia, working on a series for BBC Radio about four of the world's most populous non-BRIC emerging economies.
The BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- are already closely watched.
The group I'm studying for this project -- let's call them the MINT economies -- deserve no less attention.
Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey all have very favorable demographics for at least the next 20 years, and their economic prospects are interesting.
Policy makers and thinkers in the MINT countries have often asked me why I left them out of that first classification.
Indonesians made the point with particular force.
Over the years I've become accustomed to being told that the BRIC countries should have been the BRIICs all along, or maybe even the BIICs.
Wasn't Indonesia's economic potential more compelling than Russia's? Despite the size of its relatively young population (a tremendous asset), I thought it unlikely that Indonesia would do enough on the economic-policy front to quickly realize that potential.
' Nigeria that has been denied membership of various neologisms of emerging economies including G20 and BRICS has finally made the list of MINT nations.
Being given the due respect that Nigeria has been searching for does not transpire that the country has finally arrived.
But making the list of MINT speaks a volume and acknowledges that Nigeria is in the right direction.
Nigeria is getting her economic house in order and doing those things she needs to do to and she is seriously noticed by frontier investors and money managers around the world.
'Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding financial, service, communications, and entertainment sectors.
It is ranked 30th (40th in 2005, 52nd in 2000), in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product at purchasing power parity as of 2012, and 3rd largest within Africa (behind South Africa and Egypt), on track to potentially becoming one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.
Its re-emergent, though currently under-performing, manufacturing sector is the third-largest on the continent, and produces a large proportion of goods and services for the West African region.
' (Wikipedia) It is self evident and a fact that Nigeria is potentially a wealthy nation that can make it to an industrialized economy but she has not been serious and has been drowned herself in corruption and inefficiency, wallowing in self pity and grandiose perception of her place under the sun.
But Nigeria that once referred as 'sleeping giant' is steadily and gradually waking up from her sleep and commences to turning to a new page this time around.
Nigerian economy is growing robust fully over the years at above 6.
5 percent to 7 percent annually.
With such an envious economic growth in the global economy that is struggling with anemic GDP growth, the world has noticed Nigeria and now it has become a major destination of investments.
The inflation rate is below 10 percent, stable currency and interest interest which is not bad at 12.
5 percent, Nigeria is rising.
A lower interest rate below 7 percent is conducive for liquidity especially in the hands of local producers and business community.
With a durable naira currency rooted on both sound monetary policy and stabilized macroeconomics fundamentals, Nigeria is gearing into a transformation that can be sustainable with good hands of President Jonathan administration and steady hands of Dr.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's finance minister.
But it must be highlighted that this is a journey that is littered with pot holes and open trenches.
Nigeria is not home safe yet.
Corruption is a major problem, self doubt and spending overreaching are all the serious pot holes and vulnerabilities that Nigerian policy makers cannot afford to overlook.
Nigerian population is exploding and the youths are not being satiated with jobs and modern amenities.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and seventh in the world.
Such a population especially the hard working youths is necessary for sustainable economic growth, but they must be trained, educated and fed.
That is where the challenge comes for the policy makers and country's political leaders.
The youths must be occupied with beneficial activities to get rid-off of delinquency and idleness that can culminate to disruptive activities.
Political instability that comes with Boko Haram disruptions in some parts of the country must be defeated to enable the economic rise of Nigeria to be compassing, profound and sustainable.
Oil dependency cannot be used to characterize a developed economic, diversification of the economy is inevitable.
The provision of first class and 21st century infrastructures including electricity, transportation and health facilities are necessary for attaining the economic development goals of Nigeria.
Without availability of adequate electric energy, development will be stunned, if not halted.
This is the time for Nigeria to actualize her dream of greatness and take her rightful place under the sun.
With so many things at stake, Nigeria cannot afford to miss this golden opportunity.
Only time will tell Written By Emeka Chiakwelu