The simplest definition of money is that it is a medium of exchange. You must have money to have anything else is the assumption. Whenever you need any good or service, you must be willing and ready to give up a commensurate portion of money to receive what you need. The question now is, what happens when money fails?
The situation in Nigeria is now close to the failure of money in a society. Today, many people cannot get what they need with the money they have. Sometime ago, Nigerians thought all was well with Nigeria – prices were relatively stable, petrol was available at the stations; money was flowing left and right during the elections. It got so bad that I was persuaded to write two articles: Beyond 2015 Elections: The Impediment To Economic Growth & Development In Nigeria and The Folly of Electioneering In Nigeria: We Either Change or Perish.
What I observed was an alarming rate of misunderstanding of most Nigerians about the dynamics of a stable or healthy economy. Many people did not care about the massive expenditure of the politicians of the general elections; neither did anyone note the implication of the widespread distribution of dollars across the country by the politicians.
A few days ago, while discussing with my Wife, I told her that the simplest explanation for the scarcity of dollar in Nigeria today is not the fall in the price of crude oil in the global market. I said it is due to the massive exchange of looted (embezzled or diverted or stolen) naira to dollar during the last general elections. Things would have been better if the people who received the dollars exchanged them back to naira. But what happened? In fear of the new “sheriff in town”; many people kept their dollars away from the banking eyes.
The implication is that; we now have too much naira in an import dependent economy with little foreign reserve. Money fails when the object of need is not within reach inspect of the availability of need.
Some thousands of years ago, in Egypt, there was a severe famine that engulfed most part of the known world. However, a young man called Joseph was the nation’s Prime Minister, who had forecasted the economic woe; and prepared the nation for the future. When the famine eventually came; he made plans for the rescue of Egypt from the woeful experience that many nations were experiencing.
Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.
And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grainwhich they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.
So when the money failed in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed?”
I do not know what you saw in that story, which is found in the Bible (Genesis 47:13-15); but I saw Nigeria, the Petrol, the minister of state for Petroleum and the CBN. That sound funny right? But that is the truth! In the case of Egypt, their leaders were on-top of the situation; working hard to solve the problem. In Nigeria, some people do not trust the political intent of the government. But the truth is that, petrol is scarce in Nigeria; some Nigerians have the money; but the money is now proving difficult to get them the petrol.
A nation so blessed as Nigeria is in a terrible situation; not because God did not bless us as nation; but for years; we were never prepared for such a time as this. And we were not prepared because the political “leaders” never saw this coming – I only wonder what they were busy seeing while in office (only hope it was not only money).
Joseph was appointed Prime Minister of Egypt because he saw the problem coming, and he had a plan to avert its consequence on the people of Egypt. I believe the money is failing in Nigeria; and nothing tangible is done by the “political leaders” because we as a people never and we do not help ourselves by recruiting ONLY men and women of vision and passion into political offices. Nigeria can and will get over this MESS; but we as a people must pick our lessons – lest the affliction arises the second time! I rest my case!