This microfinance article is an excerpt from my upcoming book , AFROCENTRISM WORLD DEVELOPMENT IDEOLOGY AND AGE OF MICROFINANCE
DEVELOPMENT TRANSITION AND ROADMAP
The principal problem associated with development is the issue of capacity .By building adequate capacity development can not only be created but also sustained in the long run .Investing in capacity building is equivalent to nation building in the long run which depends on the enterprise of capacity to sustain polity and then nationhood by creating national wealth that outlived its times as the legacy of posterity .A thorough adoption of this simple formula is a tested roadmap and a reliable transition towards the end of poverty in the society of man .Developing adequate capacity or sustainable capacity building is a foremost criteria to capital development .
As we earlier emphasized in the second chapter development is about people and development means people . Jeffrey Sachs in his famous book The End Of Poverty ……..how to make it happen in our time observed that poor countries lack six major kinds of capital :
1.Human capital :this includes health skills and competence needed to make each citizen or influence economically productive .person ;
2. Business capital : facilities machinery and transport infrastructure needed in agriculture services and industry ;
3. Infrastructure : Roads , rail water power , telecom . , airports and seaports which are elementary outputs of basic development to promote mass development and business productivity ;
4 . knowledge capital :scientific and technological knowledge which can grow mass productivity is highly underdeveloped .This should be nurtured for the promotion of production physical and natural capital ;
5. Public institutional capital : Bureaucratic bottleneck and distortion is a major bane . Commercial law , judicial systems , public sector services and effective control that could ensure peaceful and progressive division of labour must be put in place to promote mass development ;
6 . Natural capital : arable land fertile ecosystems , rich soils and biodiversity. This provides ecological services needed by humanity for earthly sustainable living .
As we noted investment in people can take care of this responsibility and effectively manages these enormous assets for national development .That is the only challenge facing the under developing nations .The burden that this region has come to face is how to create wealth .In the World Bank report [‘where is the wealth of nations ? measuring capital for the 21stcentury ’] , it showed that intangible capital is near to zero in the major oil countries like Nigeria ,Algeria and Venezuela and often negative . The classic ‘resource curse ’as noted by Auty and Gylfason  was also documented .
When Richard M. Auty first used the term resource curse in 1993 he used it to describe the recklessness of oil rich territories and their failure to use their resources to benefit their economies and boost wealth generation and counter-intuitively had lower growth rate than countries without abundance of natural assets or natural resources .Studies by Jeffrey Sachs Mark Warner among numerous literature have shown link between natural resource abundance and poor economic growth .
Empirical evidences abound . In the Opec territory between 1965—98 per capital in this region decreased on average by 1.3 % whereas in the developing world grew by 2.2 percent on the average [Akinjide:2006] .
The World bank further find out that What is the most important component of wealth creation across nations ? It also interrogates whether natural wealth increased or decreased as countries develop . O f course it does decrease as long as flaccidity matures or develops .Then it noted the top 10 wealthiest states such as Switzerland , Denmark –the food basket of Europe , Sweden , oil rich Norway , Luxembourg –Belgium , Austria ,France , United States and Germany .Except for Norway none of this depended on natural capital or resource for national development since they utilized effectively the Sach’s golden formula [SGF/SAGOF] which has taken them half a millennium to nurture . Even for Norway where natural resources including oil and gas from the North Sea constitute negligible 12 % of total wealth , her mainstay is SAGOF .
Whereas the bottom countries such as Chad Madagascar , Guinea –Bissau , Nepal, Niger , Congo , Burundi , ,Mozambique Ethiopia and Nigeria which scored second to the last with Congo the percentage was noted to be horrible . For instance in a monocultural nation like Nigeria crude oil accounts for over 70% of its earnings and 95 % of export receipts in a country in which 98 percent are poor
Likewise in his book The Origin Of Wealth Eric Beinhocker also admitted what is generally accepted by all economists that wealth is the product of human efforts and labour using the sweat from our brows and the knowledge in our brains for cultivation and accumulation .In other words it is not investment in natural resources land geography and building that is vital for national development per say but in people .This investment in strategy and technology that boost growth which can only be successful for the umpteempth time by starting from the grassroot empowering our people and opening up our communities for mass development . And that of all markets in the country human resource or labour market is the most maligned and abused market .
DEVELOPMENT AND NOT DEMOCRACY
We have repeated this several times that it is somehow baffling that virtually everything that comes out from developed world are consumed and imbibed hook line and sinker without remorse and without reflection or shame by the developing world including its form of government we have adopted today which as claimed is symptomatic of development .Whereas democracy as they claimed being the best form of government is easily contended on the ground that it is not a foolproof or an arbiter that represent mass development in the longer term. These are the two poles entirely clashing each other .Normally democracy is meant to promote development if not it should be abrogated for a better alternative . How can we make democracy work ? Does it seem an alternative not workable or exist ? Let us first look briefly at the politics and antecedence of democracy in the developing world .
The Greek writer Aristotle in the 4th century B.C. , noticed these types of government :-- where power is held by one man is called monarchy ; where power is held by a few is called Aristocracy ;where power is held by the mass of the people ,this is democracy .These forms according to Martha Stewart in The British Approach To Politics are described as mere appearances rather realities and these types in order of sequence could be fronted for by the following : tyranny ,oligarchy and ochlocracy . Infact oligarchy or ochlocracy brazenly fronts for democracy in virtually in every developing society while the capital ‘word’ lives in limbo . Every form of government can be good and can be bad it all depends on the human system which will drive the governance system and chains . When the power belongs to the mass of the people they called it democracy but oligarchy in the same polity has conned the good aims of democracy if any and hence retards development that democracy is supposed to promote. Hence democracy in the 3rd world must scraped or revamped for it to be effective . If not a good alternative should be found . .
A media writer once argued the latter position that democracy retards development .I think the truth is the most profound around .Definitely it is . He argued the thesis that the developing region needed development rather than democracy was a brainchild of the post war period waxed strong in the 70s when the cold was at its peak .Samuel Huntington and a group of American political scientists argued volumes that democracy or undesirability of democracy for a country that have not reached a particular level of economic development .On the other hand they also argued what developing countries needed was good governance backing it up with appropriate data and historical instances . Writing in democracy and development Sola Fasure at defunct Comet [now The Nation ] commented ‘ when the cold war ended the argument changed ’and the consensus was that democracy is good for every body .. But he bungled a good argument that ‘the lies and propaganda of the past will simply not go away ’ .Were they truly lies or propaganda because democracy did fail to promote absolute development .
We assess democracy by global appeal spread and impact . The growth of democratic institutions that started in mid-70s spreading wildly over the next two decades into Latin America former Soviet region and the SSA region in its third wave as coined by Huntington suddenly grounded to a halt .According to freedom house a democracy watchdog there were 118 electoral democracies in 1996 around the world .Almost a decade later they were 117 in relative proportions rated free partly free or not free were static since the 90s
Usually in the 3rd world the impact vs. development is close to zero because structure to make democracy effective if at all indeed vital to development is grossly missing .The democratic interest had persisted but development in this region had stalled and the grand hopes have not been realized .Several years ago the former soviet had gone from frontier land of democracy to waste land within a decade The south American experiencing crisis of democracy from weak state institutions to corrupted political elites .Some reports argued 15 -20 years after the gains of political freedom personal security economic well fare were not better than in the previous period .
Africa is still the basket case of democracy unworkability in which authoritarian democracies have failed . This is working perfectly in the former soviet block-mainly Russia and especially East Asia and including China North Korea , Vietnam , Laos and Singapore . These are some of the world fastest growing economies . Majority of African countries have slumped further into poverty and gross underdevelopment in which every form of government has failed . The human system or institution is the major problem.
There is no doubt that western Democracy foisted on the developing region has grossly under-performed and heavily retarded development as they failed to invest in their people ballooning mass poverty .We need not be deceived . This is simple .In 1992 before an audience in Philippines .Singapore ’ s Lee kuan Yew remarked ‘I do not believe that western democracy leads to development . I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy ’ .And good governance is a function of the relative stability of political discipline that is mature enough to curb the excesses of democracy that disrupts the flow of development to the people .He observed ‘the exuberance of democracy leads to indiscipline and disorderly conduct which are inimical to development ’.
It is no longer news that this belief transformed Singapore preaching new ideology and consolidating this fact that each nation must determine the nature of development model and pattern that suits its economic climate and demographic institutions .The belief in the superiority of governance in the case of India –the world largest democracy and the Asian tigers .The three authoritarian democratic states between 1960---1987 , grew at astonishing rate of 6.4 % per capital whereas the liberal democracy in spite of its highly educated and committed leadership still recorded a paltry 1.9 percent per capital and western style democracy has dampened the possibility of radical changes in favor of the poor .
Radical changes made in favour of the poor and efforts at land reforms were stressful and frustrated by powerful landed elites in brazil and Venezuela prior to the election of left wing government in this region to effect reform in the new century. Development is a turbulent process which involves distribution of resources mobilizing every available resource to dominate forces of nature and ensure that every stakeholder in the society is affected .It should be noted that institutions that have supported and sustained western democracies were evolved over the last 400 years .The British parliamentary institutions the oldest was developed over the course of a millennium .
Political scientists and media scholars have contended this could be strenuous for late comers to development which need to adopt home grown institutions to quicken their pace of rapid development or else may not catch up with the rest of the world .
THE DECADENCE OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS
The decadence of democratic institutions permeates every part of the developing countries .We shall use the basket case of Nigeria as the case study at this point .The deputy editor at Business Day Charles Ike-Okoh and the fellow Journalist Badejo Ademuyiwa in the research report entitled ‘ National Assembly : World ’ s Biggest Democracy Cost Centre [ 2] ’[10 Tuesday 10 February 2009 ] .In the intro , they affirmed ‘ Since June 2007 the house of representatives has not passed 10 bills because most of their time is spent sharing money .’ According to a former legislator ‘‘It is hard to determine what the lawmakers take home monthly .Nobody knows it except an insider . It has been done in a way that nobody can discover it. Only the banks can tell the exact amount a federal legislator collects monthly ’’.He called for removal of secrecy through the order of the CBN and the backing of government . This he believed would not be possible and can even be politicized by CBN .
The report shows that the national Assembly member ’s monthly salaries in the early part of Yaradua vs. Good luck regime earned 4.5million exactly the size of a local government allocation from federation accounts in 1999 while the speaker collects 33 million naira . From January 2008 onward each collects 10.7 million naira and Speaker collects between 75 million to 100million naira . The senator earned 44million naira monthly and 528million naira annually and 128 million naira annually for the reps .. What only needs to know much president and ministers are earning to understand the gravity .Even then let us make comparison to 1983 .President musa Shagari was earning 25 thousand naira per annum and Lagos state governor like other 18 governors were earning 20,000 naira compared to today . Every budget year they bring up several projects and then huge money allocated to recurrent expenditure is eventually shared among themselves after passage of fraudulent bills plus huge constituency funds, Which do not also reach the grass root .
To worsen the case nobody audits their accounts because the auditor general of the federation which ordinarily audits the National Assembly and public account committees with supervisory powers in both houses are easily being bought over .National Accounting Standard Board [NASB]is also being compromised and sanctioning for erring auditors and professional accountants are common .Selfless service is very hard to come by and corruption to borrow Stewart ’s ‘has turned a bad habit into a mortal disease’ .Every institution is consumed by this intrigue and moral decadence .Consequently less than a quarter of 1% of national population controls more than two-thirds or 80-90 % of national budget and more than 1 percent controls 80 percent nation’s wealth in a country in which more than 3 million join labour market every year .And one can imagine the kind of impact that a house that is often divided itself will have and where fight , exchanging of blows and rancor had persisted among members like primary school pupils will have .
These people are just sharing money living no legacy for posterity and the dignity of their children .At a town hall meeting organized by Nigerian Reunion Cooperation in Las Vegas the speaker of the house of Representatives Dimeji Bankole alleged that about of 65percent of federal government allocated funds unaccounted .He noted that the inquiry by house of representatives discovered 30 percent of federal budget allocated to construction of roads across the country was channeled to projects already paid for and executed .Within a band of five years[2004-09] a local newspapers Business Hallmark found out that about 31 .4trillion naira was shared in the country .A whooping $217 billion in a country that is confronted with limitless challenges and growing deindustrialization .Government indeed is too costly and mismanagement and corruption is a central bane . Take a look at the grim statistics :
-----In a review of 2008 human development report by United Nation development programme a very depressing nature of Nigeria was painted . The country has a long way to go as noted in the fact and figures [ human development index ] presented in the authoritative report entitled :fighting climate change : human solidarity in a divided world ’.Even among nations grouped under low human development so many nations fared better than Nigeria mainly Eritrea and Senegal .In a group of 177 nations we stood at 158 .Many more grim data abound from other sources :
---- under five mortality rate is close to 200percent per 1,000 live births and maternal mortality rate is 800 per 100,000 live births .Whereas Ghana is one of the leaders in this category on the continent along with South Africa and Kenya .Her under five mortality is between 110 –120 per a thousand live deaths while other sources put Nigeria figure to be as much as 200 deaths .
----Only 30 percent of Nigerian population have access to electricity and less than 20 percent of rural areas have some form of electricity .Per capital consumption is about 100 kwh
-----Only 25percent have access to decent housing living in befitting places not slum motor parks or on the streets and housing deficit of 16 million is expected to cost 42 trillion naira
.----40 percent of Nigerians are illiterate and more than 50 percent are unemployed .
-------70 percent of the industries have collapsed and virtually every sector of the economy has collapsed due to decline in poor capacity building .This speaks volume indeed :
[ 1.] manufacturing sector contribution to the GDP IS ROUGHLY FOUR OR FIVE PERCENT and has the capacity to employ a large number of people like heavily neglected agriculture but its return is low .
[ 2.] The hydrocarbon industry constitutes 95% of foreign exchange earnings 85 percent of federal revenues and 65 percent of budgetary revenues and contributes 40 percent to the GDP but hardly employ half a million workforce .And every year 60 percent of annual earnings from oil are siphoned back to western countries ,the capital flight is 95 percent of every dollar spent in the industry economy creating jobs for foreigners at the expense of her people .
[ 3.] About 1.5million tons of oil has been spilled since commercial production of oil started in the country on the average of more than 300 spills annually .The condition of life in the world leading wetland a 70,000sq.km region with the world largest number of rivers and waterways is the same in its more than 1,000 communities where spillages have pillaged farmland watercourses shortening life expectancy making condition of life unbearable for its people .
In its 2009 report Petroleum pollution and poverty amnesty international observed that independent environmental and oil experts estimated between nine and thirteen million barrels had leaked since the nation’s independence .It also admitted during this period or over the last half century the Niger delta people have experienced oil spills at par with Exxon Valdez tanker disaster every year .Between 1976 –2001 close to 7,000 or 6,800 spills occurred .[UN.figures ] .60percent of 31million people in this region depended on environments [United Nations Development Program ]. British petroleum was slammed with 10billion dollars lawsuit for leaking toxic chemicals from its Texas city refinery but what would be price of similar scenario for the Niger delta and various occurrences over the last 50 years ? Why the fine or heavy slam ? Simply because they can’t farm .According Iyayi in the study by European Union found out that the microcredit scheme for farmers they were involved with in the Niger delta had collapsed . Besides being small say 20,000-30,000 naira per farmer didn’t produce any result or seeds failed to germinate because soils have been heavily polluted .
[ 4.] Where oil was discovered at Oloibiri now regarded as fossil town instead of being a national monument now a national embarrassment where close to 70 percent of youths do not have jobs .Since production began more than 600billion dollars has been earned from commercial crude receipt yet 70 percent of the wealth were stashed out in foreign land.
[ 5.] 90percent of oil and gas industry equipments were owned by foreigners and 90 percent of the industry is controlled by foreigners . If 90 percent of the nation’s economy is controlled by foreigners as it is presently is it not shameful for the so called giant of Africa ? Nigeria is the only country in the world in that produces oil and yet has no tanker fleet .Foreign operators dominate everything apart from tax and royalty moneys we have no stake in this business from production to selling and the Cabot age scheme to fill the missing link was later heavily sabotaged crashed like defunct national ship building and acquisition fund and made irrelevant to the needs of local shipping tycoons and industry operators .We should not fail to remember that after over 50 years in the business indigenous oil producers still do not control up 3percent of the industry production outputs .The 24 marginal fields with minuscular potential that could dry up in few years time or within 5 to 7 years of production have a mere capacity of 5.7 million proven reserves ;not very profitable in real terms considering the cost of production were leased to local operators while foreigners controlled the richest offshore fields
[ 6.] The world largest contribution to global greenhouse gases is the Niger delta which is the world largest single industrial complex flaring more gas than the whole of other sources existing in the SSA region put together which has the capacity to supply gas to the whole of Africa not just West AFRICA .
7.] 90 percent of the nation’s consumable goods are imported and capital flight crisis and capacity building problems have never been abated . These are the reason behind high unemployment and growing rate and escalating dimension of deindustrialization .What the nation needs is capital flight bill not local content bill really which encapsulates every problem linked with capital volatility and Braindrain
----Also two thirds of working adult were unemployed or underemployed and not more than one third of Nigerians that should be in school were receiving any education .The national bureau of statistics also complemented this sources that more than 80 percent of Nigerian youths are jobless where only 10 percent of graduates are employed.
----- While Tanzania-the fourth poorest country on earth alongside South Africa and Malawi have attained 90 percent success as far as universal primary education is concerned the definite blueprint to develop an average child stop street hawking and child abuse is still common let alone a concerted to get all children into school .Rwanda tormented by genocidal fraction represents a great motivation for poorly performing nations like ours especially in the promotion of gender inequality and empowerment .The gender parity there is 98percent and a force to be reckoned with in the same league like Malawi Lesotho and Uganda . It is also leading in women political empowerment in which 49 percent of parliamentary seat are occupied by its women [source :Dfd] . These are nations that looked up to Nigeria as big brother Africa .
------ General education level especially the tertiary education is perennially declining and the certificate of average Nigerian graduates does not more than the paper on which it is printed .The period between 1960—1990 was not only the golden age of the university education but was also widely in the international community . According to national universities commission and the national academic staff union of Nigeria that in terms of quality and research out local varsities were the best in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa [ Karani : 1997 Okebukola :2002 and Ibeneche : 2009 ]. Thi