I’m sure this headline sounds outrageous or magical but it’s not. This happened this past week on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) according to reports by the Sunday Vanguard Newspaper of Nigeria. Take a look at the first paragraph of the report.
“A combination of macroeconomic and political factors have forced the Nigerin stock market into massive slide as the market suffered its worst week losses since after the inauguration of president Muhammadu Buhari’s government in May. Investors lost N271.7bn last week as market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reduced to N10.8 trillion”.
If this story is not news worthy then I don’t know what else is. It is a shame that this report did not grab headline attention in other major newspapers accross the country. For a nation whose economy is in a “No Progress Zone”, you would think that the government would tackle with immediate effect the problems affecting the economy. But the reverse is the case. The last article I worte was titled “How Not To Manage a Business” in which I used Nigeria’s political landscape as an example. I think another headline for this article could be titled “How not to manage an Economy”.
The report further stated that “the market did not record a single gain in the first 10 days of July 2015”. They linked this to the lack of clear economic policy direction almost two months into the new government and the announcement that ministerial list would not be ready untill September. Renaissance Capital, a world leader in international finance had earlier this year stated that 2015 would be a lost year for the Nigerian economy. Their prediction of doom is fast becoming a reality.
The report really tells a lot about the Nigerian economy and the direction it is going. First of all, it shows lack of direction on part of the leadership of the government. The fact is investors don’t have time to wait for anyone. They won’t wait for four months for us to put our house in order. They don’t have the luxury of time. Imagine we don’t have ministers yet especially a minister of finance. There is one thing investors hate: it’s called UNCERTAINTY. I hate it as well. What Nigeria is doing can be compared to a company asking you to invest in it while it does not have a chief accountant or accounts department, chief operating officer (C.O.O), human resource department etc. You get the point. You will laugh at such a company. You know that that company is a financial disaster waiting to happen. Can the chief executive officer (C.E.O) carry out the duties of every department? That’s the same scenario playing out in Nigeria.
Hopefully, enterpreneurs will learn from this. Shared labour is important in business. You can’t do it on your own. You will only burn out faster and besides, you don’t have all the skills and time in the world to do everything on your own. Like I have said, there is a lot you can learn about business and management by just looking at Nigeria.