Monday, September 7, 2009


NigeriaImage by Travelling Steve via Flickr

The impending global realities are no longer pending. It has for a while now struck the world with meteoric vigor, leaving tales of calamity and dashed dreams in its wake. As yet, many cannot fathom the extent of what is unfolding before us. Like a hurricane, we cannot begin to determine the colossal costs at this time. At least, not until the force is spent and we, like economists, begin to see a change in market forces. One thing is however certain at this time, history will have to find a new name for what we all used to refer to as the great depression, for analysts have conceded that the great depression pales to nothing compared to the force playing out in the global arena. Of course, the share velocity of it all has been unprecedented as indeed the global impact. This is further strengthened by the breakdown of trade barriers and a melting together of global markets. Our world trembles in trepidation as what used to be an advantage has swung round to not being so advantageous, at least whilst this situation persists. As global leaders attempt to understand the full import of it all, what has clearly come to fore is that collectively we are all witnesses of a phenomenon no man has ever beheld. Bringing clearly to attention the knowledge gap that exists and the deficiency in expertise to solve problems of such economic proportions as we now experience. This in itself presents opportunities for the entrepreneurial minded. Is it not popular knowledge that in moments of adversity the best comes out of men. Times like this does present huge opportunities to package special forum aimed at providing knowledge building capsules that can open up minds to various possibilities we all require to get out of this hole. One such session, if I may suggest, could be on governance in global recession - strategies, tactics and antidotes. I recall how many of our kith and kin became overnight lords for packaging such programmes. But I digress from the fact. Point is, we face a situation that humanity has never experienced before now and we cannot tackle it with conventional wisdom. We cannot tackle it by pretending it does not exist. We cannot tackle it by saying good things to calm the nerves of our people and hiding the truth. As government, we, as leaders, must lead the way by example. We need to urgently chart a course of action that will show we know what we are doing. In an era when so much seems lost, where hope has been mortgaged on the altar of global linkages and recovery is not yet in sight, we need a government that understands the plight of the people and deploys efforts to cushion the effects. A government that does not thrive mainly on increased weight on citizens but on providing succor and holding out hope. A government that is pragmatic and proactive, not reactive and condescending. A government that believes that in a country of over 150million people, talents abound and sees that as an opportunity to find fresh legs rather than recycle tired ideas. As more countries begin to apply palliative measures to reduce the effect of the meltdown and nurture their economies back to health, isn’t it funny that as a country we are yet to fully grasp the problem at hand? Isn’t it funny that as oil prices continue there downward spiral, and with it our general well being as a people, we have not taken another look at our controversial 2009 national budget with a view to review it in the light of unfolding realities? That is the greatest depression. Femi Osikoya
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