• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Rewane’s ‘four big shortages’ turn logic on its head

Rewane’s ‘four big shortages’ turn logic on its head

Susceptible to critique, accomplished banker-cum-administrator Bismarck Rewane was on Channels Television recently to analyse how the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee hiked the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 18.75 percent to 22.5 percent (400 basis points) will affect Nigerians. Elaborating on what he termed the audacity of the monetary policy against the backdrop of a crisis of confidence rocking society, the seasoned economist, who doubles as the managing director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, posited that four (4) things are scarce in Nigeria. These are dollars, electricity, food, and truth in that numerical order. A combination of the said shortages, we are told, is responsible for the discontent (protests) witnessed in some Nigerian cities lately.

Plausible as it sounds, Rewane’s postulation of four (4) big shortages in Nigeria would appear to stand logic on its head. Let us interrogate a few of the assumptions at this juncture. For starters, is it really true that the dollar is scarce in Nigeria? Honestly, to me, the answer to that question should depend on who is looking for that currency. And the scope of the search. Likewise, how could anyone justify the claim of a food shortage in the nation? With large-scale hoarding of essential items in warehouses across the six (6) geo-political zones, smuggling of commodities by unscrupulous merchants to neighbouring countries, and post-harvest losses of agricultural produce in millions of metric tonnes, the situation may very will be labelled “mismanagement, no dearth of resources.’’

This brings one to the fourth shortage of items claimed by Rewane to be the most important factor needed by Nigerians more than anything else’. Pray, when did truth become scarce in the country? If one might even ask, what is the truth? Simon W. Blackburn, distinguished research professor at the University of North Carolina, USA, and author of the book “Truth: A Guide and Others,” views truth in metaphysics as the property of sentences or assertions said in ordinary discourse to agree with the facts or to state what is the case. Simply put, truth is the aim of belief, which sustains humanity. Suffice it to say, that what Egbon Rewane believes to be true may not be factually correct for Wemambu. Without a doubt, it may not be said to be absolute but relative, depending on who is saying what. Different strokes, you might say, for different folks.

Come to think of it, what would you say fiery personalities like Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar III, Former Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, Sheikh Nuru Khalid, Pa Edwin Clark, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, Pastor Tunde Bakare, PANDEV, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere, and Arewa Consultative Forum, among others, have been doing this over the years regarding the issue of governance in Nigeria. Of course, speaking truth to power!

Clearly, from the aforementioned instances of individuals constructively engaging the government in the task of nation-building, it should be difficult to sell the idea of a shortage of truth in Nigeria. What definitely is lacking under the prevailing circumstances is the political will of the ruling class to listen to the strong and resolute voices of truth clamouring for improved welfare and security of the citizenry. Talking about the imperatives of justiciability in Chapter II, especially Section 14 (2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”

By the way, concerns have been expressed in a few quarters regarding the existence or not of recipes for finding truth. However, in the long run, the issue may boil down to whether some things are absolute and objective or all things are relative and subjective. I rest my case.