GLOOMY ECONOMY AND DANGEROUS MIGRATION

paiidam3   The gloomy economic situation as ushered in by the earlier mentioned situation has not help matters. This is because on daily basis as the economic conditions worsened, capacity utilisation – the extent to which an enterprise actually uses its installed productive capacity followed the same downward trend. From an annual average of 53.6 per cent in the period 1981-85, it fell to 31.8% from 1986 – 90. In addition, the sectors’ share to GDP fell from 9.2% in 1981-85 to 8.3% from 1986-90, 7.5 per cent in 1991-95 and 6.3 per cent in 1996-98. These negative trends in the manufacturing sector clearly show declining productivity. The average growth of 2.6% during the SAP period fell short of the expected rate of 8% needed to put the sector on the path of slight recovery. Its stunted growth constrained the capacity of the reform process to pull the economy out of recession. Capacity utilization rate at the moment is too low to make for profitable operations estimated at about 55 per cent; the last time capacity utilization in Nigeria was well over this level was in the early 1980s. Manufacturing contribution of 4.1% GDP is also poor when compared with between 20% and 40% in many industrialized and rapidly industrializing nations. In what appears to be a double whammy, the manufacturing sectorial growth rate has in addition been declining since 2007. From the initial 9.4% in 2006, it dropped to 9.6% in 2007, then to 8.9% in 2008, 7.9% in 2009 and down to 7.4% in 2010. Presently, it is at its lowest and all there has been is the politricks campaign of bringing heaven to earth.

 

RISING POVERTY INDICES

Closely linked to the above is the fact that over the years, poverty level has continually risen in the area, so much so that United Nations record has established that in Nigeria alone almost 100 million people living on less than a $1 (£0.63) a day, despite economic growth. According to the National Bureau of Statistics over 60.9% of Nigerians in 2010 were living in “absolute poverty”, this figure had risen from 54.7% in 2004.According to the sources in 1980, it was 17.1 million, 1985: 34.7 million; 1992: 39.2 million;1996: 67.1 million; 2004: 68.7 million and in 2010: 112.47 million. In the north-west and north-east of the country poverty rates were recorded at 77.7% and 76.3% respectively, compared to the south-west at 59.1%. This is better understood when considered in line with various sources – local and international, that over 70 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line. This means that they (the 70 per cent) survive on one U.S. dollar ($1) (N150) a day for all their needs – food, clothing, education, health care, housing, transportation, water, etc. It has also been established that over 70 million Nigerians have no access to potable water. This represents six per cent of the world’s 1.1 billion persons who do not have access to safe drinking water. This calculation is based on the fact that Nigeria’s population is about 1.1 per cent of the world’s population (Osarenren V 2011). Also Nigeria is short of 15 million (decent) housing units. Millions live in shacks in urban and rural settlements. 70 million Nigerians are in dire need of decent housing (Guardian, 2012)

 

UNHEALTHY HEALTH SYSTEM

The health sector has also witnessed poor funding over the years, not necessarily because it has not been allocated fund, rather it has been due to diversion of such fund. The impact is that there is an alarming decline in health service delivery in the country. Statistics shows that as of 2005, the life expectancy at birth was 46.5 years compared to Gabon at 56 years, Sao Tome and Principe at 65 years, Namibia at 52 years, Ghana at 59 years, Mauritania at 63 years, Congo at 54 years, Bangladesh at 63 years, Madagascar at 58 years, Haiti at 60 years, Togo at 58 years, Gambia at 59 years. As at 2011, Life Expectancy for males stood at 46.76, while for women, it was 48.41. With this, Nigeria rank 220 in terms of life expectancy in the world. Also according to the United Nations Population Fund, in 2010 the maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Nigeria is 840 compared with 608 and 473 in 2008 and 1990 respectively. So more and more of our pregnant mothers are dying during labour. As at 2014, it had also been established that chronic malnutrition has impaired the lives of millions of Nigerian children and caused the death of thousands of others. Nigeria has the highest level of stunting in sub-Saharan Africa, and the third highest in the world, with 41% of all children under-five classified as stunted and 23% as severely stunted. Malnutrition is an underlying cause in 35% of the one million under-five deaths that occur in Nigeria each year (Lenten Campaign, 2015:44). The under-5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 143. These are mostly caused by inadequate access to quality care in rural and remote areas and shortage of midwives. In fact the workforce requirement to attain 95% skilled birth attendance by 2015 is estimated to be 6,790 according to the World Midwifery’s Report for 2011 compared to South Africa’s requirement of just 710 (G Shima, 2008:25). In fact it is on record that Nigeria loses 1.2 million out of the 6.02 million babies born yearly. In this way, Nigeria has established herself as one of the countries leading the world in infant mortality rates (Guardian, 2012). Today, it has also been established that he amount spent by the countries officials on oversea medical trips can finance the budget of some African countries. For instance, between 2006 and 2008 an estimated 18000-20,000 Nigerians travelled outside for medical attention. In survey, it cost fortnightly per person about $6,000 in India, the Middle East countries of Egypt and Lebanon and Saudi Arabia about $12,000, while in the U.K it’s about £12,000 for ten days stay during medical trip. In fact, it has been established that Nigeria losses about $4000 million yearly to medical trip abroad ( C Lilian, 2010:5).