Thursday, November 11, 2010

Freeman VS Friedman: Stakeholder Theory Vs Free market (Stockholder) Theory

Businesses need to consider stakeholders in order to ensure profitability in the modern economy. Corporations need to re-evaluate their value creation strategy and position it in such a way that all concerned parties together with shareholders are fully accounted for.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The ‘Baby Boom’ Generation: A Critical Specimen for Economic Liberation

A study* which was led by the Harvard School of Public Health and compiled by an independent task force convened by the British Council as part of its work to provide for young people around the world made an important discovery which may sound not too much of a deep revelation for a number of us who have closely studied the Nigerian polity and have made independent surveys and analysis. This is the linchpin of the report and which will serve has a spring board for my writing:
Nigeria stands on the threshold of what could be the greatest transformation in its history – with population growth and its ‘baby boom’ generation entering the workforce. By 2030, it will be one of the few countries in the world with young workers in plentiful supply.
According to the report, the average Nigerian could be 3 times richer by 2030 – and over 30 million people will be free from poverty.
While the UK government seems to be very keen on the positive side of this report they, the report itself was strong to emphasize the possible downside. The risks are as great as the opportunities: If Nigeria fails to plan for its next generation, it faces ethnic and religious conflict and radicalization, as a result of growing numbers of young people frustrated by a lack of jobs and opportunities. Nigeria needs to create 25million jobs over the next ten years – and move its focus away from oil, which contributes 40% to national GDP, but only employs a small percentage (about 10%).
This goes directly along with the ‘Y’-Index theory** explained in previous editions of ‘On The Road To 50’. Nations all over the world who have demographic advantages build their economy round it and make the greatest profit from it. For example some countries in Europe which have a higher percentage of its labour force being aged are implementing policies to further extend their retirement age. More recently, my Chinese friend that I met here in the UK told me about a policy that favoured women wherein men are responsible for majority of the work in the community including cooking of the food which is more or less a woman’s job in our contemporary Nigerian setting. Of course, it’s important to mention also that the economy of countries like India is labour deepening.
As we celebrate our golden jubilee anniversary in Nigeria, we need to draw the attention of our policy makers at various levels and, their specific and unspecific stakeholders at various capacity of the need to harness the various talents and potentialities in the Nigerian youth. This is yet another clarion call.
We have found ourselves on a crossroad as a nation and we need to make and implement these critical policies at this dire time. Failure to do so in due time will lead to a precarious situation characterized by crime and criminal activities carried out by young people who cannot be absorbed into the system for useful economic gain. This is already the situation at present and is bound to exacerbate if nothing is done about it urgently. David Bloom, Professor of Economics and Demography at the Harvard School of Public Health, who chaired the task force, said:
crossroads: one path offers a huge demographic dividend, with tremendous opportunity for widespread economic and human progress, while other path leaves Nigeria descending into quicksand. Nigeria’s most important asset is its young people – more important than oil.
Proven: young adults are powerful agents of beneficial change, especially if they are healthy and educated, with decent jobs.

*The report has been compiled by an independent Task Force – and the British Council does not necessarily agree with or endorse all views expressed.
. Previous Next Generation reports from the British Council are available online:
**Y-Index Theory was coined by Seun Oyeniran. It emphasizes the criticality of youth involvements in economic activities and based it upon an index factor that can be measured in weighted averages.
-Seun Oyeniran (27/9/2010)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nigeria: On The Road to 50 #7

#7 Comprehending The A Priori Issue. Every time I fold into the sit in my study I take a critical stare at the map of the world that I've placed directly in front of myself. Most of my attention zoom in on Nigeria. Usually I check for several things at a glance: size, distances, resources, etc and compare them with that of other nations both developed and developing. As an economist, I'm specially interested in some other key issues like how our resources is being managed to achieve objectives like poverty eradication, welfare, social infrastructure, etc using all governmental platforms and machineries available. At this particular time of reflection, something different stroke my heart and it came with a question:
Who do you think placed Nigeria there in the map?
Of course, this question requires a spiritual/supernatural response if it will garner any form of reasonabilty.
First we need to understand that a divine hand formed all things and binds everything together. Scientist may tell God does not exist but its obvious that research and discoveries are based on pre-existence. One of my favourite professor once told me that they only 'rediscover the wheels of God's creation' Nigeria is made by God. This particular understanding must stick to our subconscious mind. The 'prior to' issue becomes clear, a lack of comprehension of this basic fact is what makes a people go their way or draw their own course in destiny.
As we continue to seek the ultimate solution to our collective national problem, even myself who has decided to take a vanguard role in the re-enactment of a better order for our dear country, there must be crystal clarity to the fact that nothing good can come outside of God. This was the bone of contention when I facebooked this statement sometime ago:
The ultimate solution to the Nigerian problem, if isolated from our spiritual, transcendent systems, will be tantamount to a wantonly futile effort and the promulgation and propagation of an alternative try-on that takes us even further down the doldrums.

These three steps outlined in 2Chronicles 7:14 should be our starting point:
1. HUMILITY: Humble ourselves before God;
2. PRAYERS: Pray and seek God's face; and,
3. REPENTANCE: Turn from our wicked ways.
God Himself told us what He was going to do: He will hear us from heaven (when we humble ourselves), forgive our sins(when we pray) and heal our land (when we turn from our wicked ways). Righteousness exalts a nation, sin is a reproach to it (Proverbs 14:34)

Seun Oyeniran.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nigeria: On The Road to 50 #6

#6. The Indispensability of Good Leadership. We must uphold exceptional and qualitative leadership as we seek to earnestly cover for the failures that emanated from the large leadership deficit we have witnessed in recent times. This leadership deficit transcends from generation to generation and has been the root cause of our national malaise.
With our 50th anniversary getting closer, some basic recipe are essential that our national leadership should exhibit; key fundamental principles that are tantamount to good leadership. Both present and future leaders must become chief moral agents. They are expected to conduct themselves in integrity and dignity. Holding public office is for service and not to be served. There must be an honest bid to bridge the gap between the governors and the governed. There must be the creation of a national identity. The cry of the ordinary people must be heard and their voice should be the driving force for our national progress. We need leadership that has the nerve and foresight to undertake large and ambitious shemes capable of altering the course of our history for the better.
Our country has suffered alot from bad leadership. Time is right for the leadership to make an impression to eradicate their long standing record of failures.
This will happen first by striving to attain vision realization through tapping into the benefit of globalisation where all kinds of friends, partners and alliances can be formed to bring about great national achievements.
Furthermore, investors are willing to invest in Nigeria; the government should work together with these investors to provide collaborative innovative funding mechanisms while being honest and sincere in laying out ground rules Vis-a-vis creating phenomenal climate of incentives that allow the private sector go to work.
I believe we can change the course of our history, time is right. God is with us.

Seun Oyeniran

Nigeria: On The Road To 50 #5

#5. We must eradicate poverty and revamp the calamitous state of our social and physical infrastructure. Poverty eradication means economic revitalization which subsequently leads to job creation and income generation for the people. Our local manufacturing industries must be overhauled and this can only happen when there is adequate physical infrastructure such as good roads networks. The need for power to run processing machinery can’t be overemphasized.
The Transparency International* currently ranks Nigeria 130 among 180 countries using its corruption perception index (CPI**) (i.e. 50th most corrupt country in the world, holding the same position with seven others: Honduras, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Mozambique and Nicaragua). The CPI is based on 13 independent surveys.
As we come of age and on the road to 50, it’s never too late to implement reforms. The government must do more to ensure equilibrium in income and wealth distribution among the citizens. Effort should be made to implement policies and programmes that mitigate corruption while simultaneously and concurrently promulgating those that serve to uphold the dignity of labour as well as provide mechanism to rewards good conduct in public offices.

Seun Oyeniran.

*Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index: A country or territory’s CPI Score indicates the degree of public sector corruption as perceived by business people and country analysts, and ranges between 10 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt),
** The CPI is based on 13 independent surveys. However, not all surveys include all countries.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nigeria: On The Road To 50 #4

#4. Revamping the erosion of the software of our society. Our social and cultural norms, mores, values, which regulate and nurture our culture, morality, religion, education, healthcare, youth and women development have virtually been annihilated. These institutions are the foundation of nation building and they play a pivotal role in advancing political, social and economic progress.
The existence of Nigeria is legal and it exist as a geographical expression, however, we are not bound by consuming passion of patriotism as seen in other countries except perhaps in the football stadium. We need to rebuild and consolidate our core values and sense of identity. We need to have the foresight that the reconstruction of our social architecture is needed not to the pattern of the “odd westernization” holding sway in Nigerian societies today but as a necessary precondition for our national unity and prosperity built on the archetype societies laid down by our forefathers who had the vision of a better state.

Seun Oyeniran

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nigeria: On The Road To 50 #3

#3. Competence must be gained in the managing of Nigeria’s resources and wealth. We have already recorded huge success in squandering our riches since the discovery of oil in its commercial quantity in the early 1970s. Other oil rich countries e.g. Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar whose visionary leaders clearly understood the dangers of over dependence on oil took resolute actions to diversify and modernize their economies and adequately prepare their citizens for the 21st century.
We must see oil reserves as temporary and collectively owned windfall that will not last long. We must not spur consumption any longer. Rather, the earnings from oil should be used to insulate the country from storms of the global economy and provide a thick cushion for the rainy days vis-à-vis investing heavily in other sectors of the economy especially agriculture which from my personal research* is the only sector that has the capacity to pro-actively eradicate unemployment and gash poverty from the bud in Nigeria.

Seun Oyeniran.

* Seun Oyeniran (2008): "Agricultural Marketing as a Panacea to Sustainable Agricultural Development in Nigeria” Paper Presentation at late Prof. B. Olufokunbi Inter-University Competition. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nigeria: On The Road To 50 #2

#2 Achieving the human development objectives. There are index factors by which the quality of human life can be measured as indicated by the human development index (HDI)* or the global competitive index (GCI) put together by the UNDP. These index factors include life expectancy from birth, adult literacy rate, combined gross enrolment ratio in education, mortality rate, acess to good health facilities and basic amenities, and GDP per capita. Considering any of these factors, its obvious that the quality of life of the average Nigerian is abysmal.
As we progress towards our 50th anniversary as a nation, the government and constituted authorities must make concerted effort to stir the ship of the country towards attaining overall economic growth and development by critically aligning their strategy and/or agenda to meet the yearning needs of the people.

Seun Oyeniran.

*Human Development Report 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development;
Millennium Development Goal 8 Delivering on the Global Partnership for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals United Nations New York, 2008 MDG Gap Task Force Report 2008

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nigeria: On The Road To 50 #1

#1. The Y-Index* proposition lays major emphacy on the involvement of the youth in the policy framework of the Nigerian economy. This emphacy is predicated upon the fact that Nigeria's population of about 152million people is about the largest in Africa and containing the highest amount of youth in the region. And the onus stems from the logically true proposition that youths are stronger physically and psychologically and are thus fit to handle greater and mentally demanding responsibilities than their older counterparts.
As we march towards our 50th year of independence and faced with several challenges including nurturing the vision 20/2020, we must appreciate our demorgraphic dividends. On top of that, key stakeholders and policy makers should appreciate the the Y-index factor and make it a springboard upon which key decisions can be made to emancipate Nigeria from all anticipated economic lethargy.
The youths must be recognised and absorbed wholly in order to enact the changes that we expect to see in the new Nigeria.

Seun Oyeniran.

*Y-Index Theory was coined by Seun Oyeniran. It emphasizes the criticality of youth involvements in economic activities and based it upon an index factor that can be measured in weighted averages.