With the crumbling of the Berlin wall, which signaled the re-unification of Germany and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union, which inevitably resulted in the collapse of the Warsaw pact by 1992, capitalism eventually triumphed over communism. It was a long battle, which started in the 18th century, as a conflict of ideas and thought; Adams Smith [Wealth of Nations, 1776] and Karl Marx, Fredrieck Engels [Communist Manifestoes]. It eventually crystalised into political economic ideologies, which found expression in governments all over the world and how they conducted their business. By the end of World War) WW II, the two leading allied powers, communist Soviet Union and capitalist United States, occupied defeated Germany along their spheres of influence, which roughly corresponded to east and west of the city of Berlin. The political form and economic shape of the present and future of Germany was to be decided by the victorious powers. However, with both powers ideologically poles apart, no consensus was arrived at. The division of Germany was inevitable. From the east of Berlin emerged a Soviet Union-backed Democratic Republic of Germany [East Germany] and from the west of Berlin emerged a United States-backed Federal Republic of Germany [West Germany]. The cold war has just begun. Four decades after, in the very city of Berlin, where it all began, communism succumbed to capitalism. The cold war was over. The world has moved from a bipolar power bloc to a single capitalist bloc ably championed by the United States, unchallenged. All of the thirteen former Soviet republics, Russia inclusive, embraced capitalism.
A resurgent neo liberal economic thought pervaded the entire new world economic order. Government has no business doing business. The means of production should be transferred to private entities away from government control. This line of economic thought was echoed and amplified by multilateral finance agencies and their allied multinational conglomerates commonly referred to as ‘foreign investors’ and this resonates throughout the developing countries of southeast Asia, south America and Africa.
By 1999, the bug caught up with Nigeria. The ‘government has no business doing business’ mantra was the economic ideological basis of the PDP-led Federal Government in the last sixteen years. This is where the problem of our economy lies. Nigeria embraced this concept without reservations and as history has shown, excessive free market economy creates a cycle of boom, bubble and burst. The great depression of 1928, 1988 and 2008 were as a result of neo liberal economic practices. Nigeria’s current economic crisis is a cumulative of factors, which foundation is the extreme neo liberal economic policies of the past administrations. Regrettably the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is following the same path because of its inability to think out of the box on the economy.
The reason for the existence of a modern state should be more economic than political. Modern successful nations are in reality, profitable business entities. Sadly, Nigeria exists more for political than economic reasons. As with all things politics, Nigeria is a huge resource wasting away. The primary responsibility of government is the physical, fiscal and monetary security of lives and properties. Therefore, the concept of ‘government having no business doing business’ is flawed and should be rescinded going forward.
Government must do business and do it well. Government cannot abandon its economic role to private entities and just exist for politics. Self-serving individuals and entities relying on the inefficiencies and corruption in public sector, have continued to propagate this narrative and their allies in government have succumbed to them.
Nigeria’s economy is built on quicksand. The over reliance on the private sector for means of production has led us significantly into the current economic crisis. The private sector is a product of the public sector. The policies that create and shape the private sector, including regulatory laws are initiated and implemented by the public sector.
The inefficiencies and corruption of the public sector is reflected in the private sector. The public sector must be made to work as efficiently as possible to bolster the private sector. Private sector is supposed to be driven by invention and innovation, which seek to improve upon what the public sector provides. With a moribund public sector, the private sector is unchallenged and becomes a monstrous oligarchy, which adds little or no value to our economic development. This is why privatisation failed. A private sector, which thrives on government assets acquisition, by acting as proxies for government officials inevitably creates a weak and unproductive economy.
The recent call for the sale of national assets to help government raise money to spend its way out of recession is unpatriotic and self-serving. It is very certain that the proceeds from such a transaction will not be deployed to stimulate economic growth. The monies accrued from such sales will be shared among the tiers of government, under pressure from the notorious gang called the ‘governors’ forum’. The monies will inevitably be used to service the insatiable needs of the wasteful and corrupt political leadership class. Rather than sell vital national assets, government should invest in their resuscitation and make them profitable ventures. Ten of the leading global oil corporations are state-owned. Eighty per cent of all business ventures in China are financed by substantial government equity.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has unveiled an intervention fund aimed at assisting stock brokering firms and investment banks to upgrade to Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol software.
The so-called FIX Protocol is a free, open and non-proprietary messaging standard that was developed in 1992 by Fidelity Investments & Salomon Brothers to facilitate bilateral communications framework for equities trading.
FIX has metamorphosed many times in a bid to satisfy investor taste complexities. With growing local supports now expanding, the Nigeria space will leapfrog from local support vendors’ investments in FIX to ensure the proposed FIX platforms succeeds.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that the palliative measure became necessary in view of inability of some capital market operators to upgrade to the software going by the mandate for them to recapitalize to N300million at almost the same time.
It was gathered that Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) has made the use of FIX Order Management System (OMS) technology mandatory for trading at the floor of the exchange. This has forced operators yet to upgrade to resort to trading under another operator that has upgraded thereby limiting their operation.
Amos Emmanuel, chief executive officer, Programos Software Limited- a major player in the implementation of the software at capital market space, said that the market is already using FIX OMS technology as some stockbroking firms have achieved the certification while others are at different stages on the process of using the recommended infrastructure.
He lamented the slow pace of migration which has lasted for more than three years now owing to downturn in the capital market.
“This intervention by the market regulator is a welcome development as it will help stockbroking firm without strong financial footing to achieve the upgrade and continue to be in business. With FIX OMS technology trading at Nigeria Stock Exchange is made very open and shareholders can as well monitor trading from their home or office,” he said.
He added that: “Many organizations have complied by acquiring the required software and communication technologies adequate for the FIX implementation. The good signs include that investor confidence will return to most implementing turbulent markets that may have previously experienced painful recessions, and market transparency will improved tremendously.”
Yele Okeremi, chief executive officer, Precise Financial Systems, said that the mandate to adopt the global standard of FIX protocol is a step in the right direction as it will allow indigenous software providers in the capital market to compete with foreign providers and as well give the local operators more opportunity to play on a global level.
He however, cautioned against some stock broking firm using the mandate to show preference for foreign software against the local ones.
He noted that it is security risk to allow foreigners control the country financial data now that they have taken control of our national data in the National Identity card scheme.
The software expert, urged capital market software providers to be intelligent and scale up their product to meet the adopted FIX protocol in order to consolidate their dominance in the capital market space.
By NAN |
Some commuters in Lagos State have appealed to the state government to reconsider its plan to increase the bus fares of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) and Lagos Buses known as LAGBUS with effect from March 1.
They said that the increment, when implemented, would bring more hardships to them especially during this recession.
They added that it would further expand the gulf between the rich and the masses which BRT and LAGBUS buses had tried to bridge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State had approved between 20 per cent and 50 per cent fare increase for BRT, LAGBUS and other franchise buses, with effect from March 1, 2017.
The governor said that the increase was necessitated by the economic downturn in the country which had affected the transport sector drastically.
NAN also reports that the fare increase differs in various routes. For a ride on BRT bus from Ikorodu to CMS, where a passenger currently pays N200, the passenger will pay N300 as fare from March 1.
A trip from Ikorodu to Mile 12, with a fare of N70 at present, will become N100 also.
Fare from Ikotun to Iyana Ipaja, now N50 will move up to N100 while Ikotun to Ikeja would be N200 from the present N100 per passenger.
Also, from Igando to Maryland would be N150 from its present N100, while every passenger travelling from Dopemu to Ikeja/Maryland would pay N200 as against the present N150 fare.
Mr Wale Adegboyega, a civil servant, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that the proposed increase would further add to the existing sufferings of the commuters.
Adegboyega said that majority of commuters boarding those buses would face a lot of financial challenges as a result of the increments.
“We appeal to the government to reconsider its plan to increase the fares as it will bring more hardship to the residents.
“Currently, the country is in a recession when many citizens are only leaving from hand to mouth, it will be unfair if the government should embark on such policy.
“For the past three years, there has not been an increment in salaries paid to workers whereas schools fees, house rents and prices of food stuff have increased significantly.
“Boarding BRT and LAGBUS buses have been the only avenue where we enjoy the dividends of democracy,” he said.
Also, Mrs Esther Jemilehin, a trader who resides in Ikorodu, also told NAN that the planned increment would bring more hardship to the residents.
Jemilehin said that she spent over N10,000 on monthly basis on transportation.
“We are just coming to market for the sake of coming; the sales nowadays have reduced compared to what they used to be before.
“There is recession everywhere and because of that, I had not sold goods worth N20,000 in the last two weeks despite spending N10,000 for transport monthly.
“We are appealing to the state government to continue to retain the present fares so as to make life conducive for Lagos residents,” she said.
Mr Richard Ekene, a teacher residing in Abule Egba areas, affectsalso told NAN that the proposed increments if implemented affect him domestically.
Ekene said that his monthly income as a teacher in a private school, is N35,000, and N9,000 out of it goes for transportation.
He appealed to the government to drop the planned increase for the sake of the common people.
“BRT and LAGBUS buses are the avenues where the rich and masses meet on daily basis in Lagos State because it brings equality.
“But with the planned increment, the masses will be separated from the rich totally because the majority of the masses may not be able to afford the proposed fares,’’ Ekene said.