What if Nigeria ceases trade in oil and other ‘natural resources'?

Who stands to gain and who stands to lose?

What if Nigerians investigated alternatives ideas for currency/capital? We can start with the basics - i.e. what is common to all - and then deviate as we construct models that are tailored to our specific environment.

From the first foundations of all organised human societies, the basis for structured economics has been capital in the form of people and land. The land, in its natural or developed state, has been an ever-appreciating asset while people are a self-replenishing asset. So, the first step in building functional economic environments has always been to turn the people and land in the area into capital that can be utilised by a structured system (which may or may not be named by its operators/beneficiaries).

Where there is a formal government, its revenue will more often than not come from taxation of one form or another. This is levied on both forms of capital (i.e. land and people). Also, the industries that are developed as well as the markets that are to be serviced will be structured and based on the functional needs of both forms of capital. Where procedures are properly designed and implemented, it is possible to develop self-sustaining economies that offer adequate rewards for private enterprise without degrading land or people (since it will be clear to all operators/beneficiaries that profits are dependant on the health of both forms of assets).

If we have a mind-set that has us determined to bring about such a beneficial dispensation, then certain things must be known (clearly and precisely) before any substantial planning is embarked upon:

1. Populations in all parts (and the demographics of these populations).

2. Employment patterns in all parts

3. Natural and man-made resources (fixed and moveable) in all parts.

We need not believe that designing economic models requires superhuman levels of thinking. The truth of the matter is, the world has been subjected to various esoteric type economic theories whose common byproducts have been boom-bust cycles that provide long-term benefits for only a minority and, non-sustainable uses of natural resources that have degraded not only human life but also the environment without which life itself (as we know it) will cease to exist.

So, we could start with concepts whose basis are as simple as the one shown below:

NOTE - the figures used were picked at random and not meant to represent actualities

The area of Ekiti is 45,000 sq kilometres.

A square kilometre of land is worth N250, 000.

Therefore, the value of Ekiti's real estate is 45,000 * N250, 000.

The population consists of 2 million people of working age.

Break down the professions and calculate the earnings per annum based on income.

Add all calculations together and you have the basic GDP of Ekiti.

Now, develop an economic model for Ekiti based on these figures.

There are two ways open to every country that wishes to generate wealth. It can trade with other countries outside its borders or, it can trade with itself. Most countries do a combination of both. The size of the wealth that is generated by a country depends on the volume of trade that goes on in the markets within its borders and, the level of control its indigenes have over trade that goes on outside their borders.

This means that countries with a large population will have an advantage over those with a smaller population. Standardisation in currency, targetted tariffs and common laws/regulations are a few of the things that can make trading between the indigenes of a large country a generator of wealth for substantial numbers of the population.

The revenue that is generated by many small, medium and large scale businesses will be put into banks and the banks will then recycle the money by lending it out to enterprenuers who in turn will launch more businesses/industries that will generate still more wealth.

The geographical space Nigeria contains 140 million humans. Businesses that focus on basic needs that most (if not all) have in common - i.e. goods/services whose usage permeate through all segments of the population (e.g. manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of goods like matches, light bulbs, soaps, condiments, etc.) are guaranteed revenues in the of hundreds of millions every year.

This means that anyone who goes into manufacturing in Nigeria is on to a winner because unlike most other countries our size, much of the raw materials we need are close at hand. If we look optimistically into a future where African unity has been realised, we would see a virtual paradise for entepreneurs because whatever is not currently present in one African country is present in great numbers in another.

This brings us to the reality that is dreaded by other parts of the world. That is to say, there is nothing Africa needs that it cannot provide for itself. This means that we are in a unique position of strength and, when we start thinking (and acting) with this realisation as our starting point, the world will change.