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It is claimed that majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line. The poverty threshold or poverty line is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. In practice, like the definition of poverty, the official or common understanding of the poverty line is significantly higher in developed countries than in developing countries. In October 2015, the World Bank updated the international poverty line to US$1.90 a day. However, at $1 dollar poverty line, with the exchange rate at over 300 Naira; most Nigerians cannot boast of being above the poverty line.
It is also a known fact that the wealth of Nigeria is not in the hands of the majority; but in the hands of the minority. Sometime ago, I discovered that the political class in Nigeria receives entitlement, allowances and salaries in the range of 1 to 2 trillion naira per annum. When the National budget is around 5 trillion naira; the political class earns over 1 trillion naira in a year. The question then is, are the people serving the politicians or the politicians are serving the people – I think the answer is glaring.
Having seen the the bulk of Nigerians lack the financial strength to eat adequate meals daily; it is then clear that they are not the ones investing: For no one who has not eaten in a day, would decide to save for the future. Having seen that, I would like to remind everyone that investment is in different sizes and in different portfolios. Some people have their investments in shares, some in government bonds; while some choose the real estate; with a few after manufacturing, agriculture and mining.
Aside all that investment portfolios mentioned, there are other Nigerians that have their investments in the money market – they buy and sell currencies, where they earn from their margins. The joy of every investors is to make returns on investment; hence, the few people with major investments in foriegn currencies would not take it easy with the fall in the price of the currencies they hold.
In simple Economics, the higher the demand, the higher the price; hence, every investor in the financial market is only preoccupied with increasing the value of their investments. Those who hold their investments in dollars; will do everything possible to keep the dollar prices on the increase – the same for the investors that hold British pounds and the ones that hold Euro. That is, while may Nigerians are groaning in the shocking increase of dollar price against naira; a few Nigerians are smiling to their banks.
If I may now ask you; should you have $10,000 today – what will be you immediate thought? I believe you will first and foremost wish for the dollar price against naira to be at least 500 naira. You will think so because you wish to make more money from your dollars. We are where we are as a nation today because for so long, some Nigerians have earned or stolen so much money in foreign currencies; and their primary focus is the continual increase in their net worth. This means that until we have selfless leaders in Nigeria; whose passion won’t be to increase their assets in foreign currencies; but the empowerment of their people – we may continue on this journey for a very long time.
I think Nigerians must take their destinies by their own hands; we must speak for the change we desire; we must to assume that our political leaders spent so much money through elections just to serve us; we must demand for their service – our interest must be their priorities; if they wish to remain in office! I rest my case for now!