A Deteriorating Economy: A subtle Reminder that "Time is of Essence"

By Oluwatomisin Kayode
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Oluwatomisin Kayode

First off, let us take a look at some of the inflated items in Nigeria. As of February 5, 2024, 50kg bag of cement was sold for Seven Thousand Naira (#7,000) and by the February 18, 2024, PUNCH reported that the price of 50kg bag of cement had hit Thirteen Thousand Naira (#13,000). Nairametrics reported that imported food inflation rose to 26.3% from 24.9% recorded in the previous month. Similarly, the latest government statistics released Thursday 22nd February 2024 showed that the inflation rate in January rose to 29.9%, its highest since 1996, mainly driven by food and non-alcoholic beverages. Nigeria's currency, the naira, further plummeted to 1,524 to $1 on Friday, 23rd February 2024, reflecting a 230% loss of value in the last year. The price of a 50kg bag of foreign rice has surged to over Eighty – eight Thousand Naira Only (N88,000) across major stores in Nigeria, which is 22.2% higher than the Seventy – Two Thousand Naira Only (N72,000) recorded in January. In addition, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data has indicated slow growth in the Nigerian agricultural sector in the last two years, hampered by insecurity, impact of global supply chain issues on fertilizer and seed supply, climate change, and flooding. Outrageous, right? Yes it is.

An old children rhymes say " tick says the clock, tick tick. What you have to do, do quick." The Cameroonian who wrote this must have understood the essence of time and the danger of procrastination. "Time is of the essence" means that time is a key factor in a given situation and that prompt action is necessary to avoid negative consequences. For example, in a legal contract, a "time is of the essence" clause indicates that failure to meet a deadline will have legal consequences. In the context of Nigeria's economy, this phrase could be used to emphasize the need for timely action on economic reforms and diversification in order to avoid further economic hardship for the country and its citizens. Time is therefore an essential factor in Nigeria's economic situation, and prompt action is essential to address the challenges it faces.

There are lots of delayed or postponed reforms that have had negative effects in the country. Delayed or postponed reforms can have significant economic consequences in Nigeria. Reforms that if made earlier or if it had not been postponed would have aided us in curtailing the excesses of the crisis. For example, infrastructure development is a key factor in economic growth and development, but delayed investment has led to a lack of infrastructure that is needed to attract foreign investment and create jobs. A lot of unfinished infrastructure that had been postponed before now that could have been an advantage. At the very least, if these two things mentioned are in place it would have aided the current economic crisis.

Also, economic diversification away from dependence on oil could have helped to insulate the economy from fluctuations in oil prices, but delays in diversification efforts have left the economy vulnerable to external shocks. Similarly, asides from the part of time sensitive issue that are related to the government, there are significant impact that the essence of time has on individuals. The hikes and inflationary pressure placed on goods and services have shown how a lot can happen in a short period of time. The hike on a bag of cement depicts that if there was some building you should have done and you procrastinated, thinking everything will remain as it is and your budget is in line with the old price, New flash! The opportunity is lost, although, not entirely especially if you take actions now and not allow more time to pass over it. It seems like at each passing time in Nigeria, the prices of things go higher. However, this is a subtle reminder that in the midst of this inflation, you can still take the bull by the horns and ensure that you are not losing time. Get up today and take actions. The Government and individuals should ensure to do things quickly and do them at the right time because time is really of the essence.

(c) 2024 Oluwatomisin Kayode writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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