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Author Name: Omotayo, J. A.
Number of articles: 211
During my time too, there were scholaships, grants and busary awards to students. Some of my friends... (0) Comment

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G20 Meeting And Mr. Yar’Adua’s Lamentation - 1
Author: Omotayo, J. A. | June 04, 2009

The exclusion of Nigeria from the last G20 meeting has demonstrated our relative worth as a nation in the comity of nations. The lamentation of Mr. YarâAdua over the exclusion bothers on a false premise that âNigeria is the giant of Africaâ. What is this G20? G2O is a group of twenty most industrialized economies of the world. Together the G20 âeconomies comprise 85% of global gross national product, 80% of world trade (including EU intra-trade) and two-thirds of the world populationâ (See: 20 major economies, Wikipedia, The G20 is a mirror. Our exclusion is a measure of our relative worth and a pointer to our inadequacies. Thus when Mr. YarâAdua was lamenting that Nigeria had the âpotentialâ, as a scientist I knew that he forgot one thing, the âdifferenceâ. Why âdifferenceâ? Nigeria may have the âpotentialâ but does not have the âpotential differenceâ. For instance, the Leclanche dry cell (battery) used in our âflashlights and transistor radiosâ are made of âzinc can or containerâ, manganese dioxide, ammonium chloride, zinc chloride, carbon rod, water and starch (For further details see: Raymond Chang, Chemistry, 6th Ed, WCB McGraw-Hill, Boston, pg 776). Each of these items has the âpotentialâ but will individually not create the âpotential differenceâ to get currents running when connected in a circuit. All the items put together haphazardly, even with all the potentials they have, will also not lead to the running of currents when connected in a circuit. In elementary electricity, what makes current to flow is not the âpotentialâ but the âpotential differenceâ. It is the âpotential differenceâ (also called hydraulic head, electromotive force, sodium pump, higher valence, etc) that makes rivers to flow, water to seep in soils, blood to run in our veins, chemicals to react, etc. It is this same âpotential differenceâ that separates the developing nations invited for the G20 from those who have the potential but were excluded. On the basis of the Leclanche cell, one can unequivocally state that âPotential differenceâ has very noticeable attributes: (i) orderliness but not disorderliness or chaos, (ii) significant difference in levels of strength between two reference locations, and (iii) tapping points to meet peoplesâ needs. There are many ways of identifying this âpotential differenceâ and how they have affected countries of the world: First, one factor involves stages of development. Mr. W. W. Rostow, a distinguished economics historian, identified five stages of economic development. He summarized these as (1) traditional society, (2) preconditions for take-off, (3) take-off, (4) drive to maturity, and (5) maturity (See: Milton H. Spencer, Contemporary Macroeconomics, 4th Ed, Worth publishers Inc, New York, pg 301-303). The first stage is self-explanatory. The community depends almost entirely on nature to live. The inhabitants wait for rain to farm, sun to dry, animals to plough, etc and will not be further discussed. We still do these things in Nigeria. The âpreconditions for take-off stageâ is the time when improvements in technology, capital, politics and infrastructure take place within the community. The inhabitants engage in irrigation farming, build roads, established industries to produce semi-finished products, etc. Nigeria is still struggling to fully meet the requirements of this stage as some of the existing industries have closed down. The âtake-offâ stage is characterized by âmodern technology and organizational methodsâ, rising net investments and the establishment of new industries. Is Nigeria at this stage of development? I think otherwise. The dearth of automobile assembly plants, steel rolling mills, petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants, glass making industries, etc that were once functioning well in this country in the 1970s â 1980s shows clearly that Nigeria cannot manage any complex organizations or establishments. Therefore, Nigeria cannot belong to this stage of development. The penultimate stage is the âpre-take offâ with relatively high rate of investment in new plants and equipment, relatively high rate of output that outweighs population growth rate, and an economy that plays significant role in world affairs. The BRIC (i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China) are already in this group. The last stage is maturity where large proportions of industrial output are directed to meet consumersâ needs (durables, welfare, security, etc) and there is a rise in skilled personnel as well as urbanization. America, Japan, Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Canada (the old G7) are in this group. Thus on the basis of Mr. Rostowâs economic classification, one would place Nigeria at the boundary of traditional society and preconditions for take-off. Our âpotentialâ difference is thus too weak to make Nigeria visible in the comity of nations. Second, there is an economic rating of countries called the purchasing power parity (PPP). It is the modified form of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross National Product (GNP). The PPP âis the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United Statesâ (See: Nigeria GDP (Purchasing power parity), Economy, The PPP is said to be internationally more acceptable because it âtakes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using just the exchange rates which may distort the real difference in incomeâ (See: List of Countries by GDP (PPP), Wikipedia, The 2007 figures released separately by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Face book placed Nigeriaâs position as 38th, 37th and 35th respectively out of 178 countries sampled (See: Wikipedia, ibid). America was rated first with the following PPP figures (in million US Dollar) respectively: 13,843,825; 11,811,200 and 14,960,000, while Nigeria had the following corresponding PPP figures: 292,683; 292,595 and 328,100. Compared with America, these figures translate into ratios of 47.3 : 1, 47.2 : 1 and 45.6 : 1 respectively. The average is 46.7 : 1. By population and using the 2005 standard estimates, America should have had 301,140,000 people while Nigeria had 131,529,700, thus giving a ratio of 2.3 : 1 respectively (For population comparison See: Wikipedia â List of Countries by Population Density, How do we compare a population that is a little more than double our size having a PPP of almost 46.7 (on average) times higher than ours? In real scale, this boils down to a ratio of 20.3 : 1 (The figure 20.3 = 46.7 / 2.3). In other words, the average productivity of an average American is over twenty times higher than that of his counterpart in Nigeria. This is the part of the âpotential differenceâ that we lack as a nation. Our productivity is just too low! Continue to::- Part 1 , Part 2

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