our money economy, their product economy; why MMM succeeded in Nigeria

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Our money economy, their product economy

Farmers consider the stability, possession, fertility and location of land before they plant various seeds to expect good harvest. Those who sow plant-seeds like maize expect a quick one-time harvest, after which they start a new season of planting. Those who plant fruit-seeds for trees – mostly owners of the land – wait longer for sustained duration of harvest. Though the maturation period for trees is longer, the stability and bounteousness of harvest compensates for the long wait. The thought of stability in investment and returns distinguishes between money economy and product economy.

After the disastrous crash of MMM that duped many Nigerians, different critics condemned Nigerians for being greedy and unreasonable. However, these critics failed to evaluate and propose viable alternatives for working Nigerians to GROW their savings. Many Nigerians are discouraged by the ‘complex manipulations’ and irregular growth of treasury bills, stock exchange and fixed deposit. Some Nigerians have been duped in the process of buying and selling lands and property. And since the real process of production is strangled by Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act, Nigerians either bank their money or begin importation of good and services.


People invest their time, energy, skills, knowledge and money in economic ventures with the hope of getting returns. If the venture promises a continuous return-on-investment over a long period or lifetime, such a venture is considered stable and preferable. The stability of ventures is determined by their ability to consistently provide quality goods and services at affordable rate. This ability to provide quality goods and services is determined, not only by producers’ efforts, but also by the  socio-economic policies about the factors of production. These policies reflect in the stability of land-ownership, access to mineral resources, improved technology, labour, capital and market.


Unfortunately, the brutish style of Nigerian formation and its resultant autocratic governance has only resulted in political instability.[1] This is manifested in the government’s confiscation of people’s rights to two of the most stable factors of production: land[2] and mineral resources.[3][4][5] With this confiscation of rights, the government can decide anytime to take over any land, [6] demolish any building[7], withdraw certificate of occupancy[8] and auction people’s mineral resources.[9] Presently, Nigeria’s major exports are crude resources,[10] 91.6% of which are petroleum resources[11] extracted by expatriates. The major imports are finished products: Refined Petroleum ($6B), Wheat ($1.09B), Packaged Medicaments ($954M), Cars ($809M) and Telephones ($745M).[12]


Hence, when policies are unfavourable for stable production within the society, Nigerians are forced to search for foreign affordable goods. They all struggle to get capital (money economy) to import what they need for providing tertiary goods and services. Foreign companies from whom they buy goods also prefer stability by dealing with huge-capital customers. Hence, small capital customers or those who are too busy with their service jobs are left with currency-trading scammers.


If Nigerians are freed to utilize their mineral resources for production, other Nigerians will be willing to invest in a stable productive venture. But since the access mineral resource is confiscated, Nigerians are left to trade according to their access to money. While other nations develop products for satisfying their needs and earning foreign exchange, Nigeria sells off her mineral resources to obtain money for their needs. We plant money to harvest money (money economy), they plant products and harvest money – even ours – because money will always pursue products.

Recently, Nigerian government has emphasized the need to borrow more money in order to execute different projects (money economy). The Nigerian government continues to borrow money for fuel, salaries, education, machinery, luxury, infrastructure and other foreign goods. Even the processes and equipment for agriculture, secondary and tertiary production of local commodities in Nigeria are also imported. All pointing to the status of our money economy without real primary and secondary production.


Our pitiable economy in Nigeria is presently a money-centered economy instead of a product economy. Many Nigerians receive awards and honours according to their control of money, instead of productivity. Gibran Khalil urges his followers to “pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave and eats a bread it does not harvest.”[13] Until the Nigerian ethnic communities demand and retrieve access to their mineral resources for production, Nigeria may remain a volatile money economy.


[1] Cf. S. O. Oyedele, “Federalism in Nigeria” in Issues in Contemporary political economy of Nigeria (edited) by Hassan A. Saliu (Ilorin: T. A. Olayeri publishers, 1999) p57

[2] Land Use Act. 29th March 1978,P7

[3] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[4] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[5] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[6] Land Use Act. 29th March 1978,P7

[7] Chidi Nkwopara et al, demolition of Ekeukwu market: Okorocha turning himself into a tyrant https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/08/demolition-of-ekeukwu-market-okorocha-turning-himself-to-a-tyrant-imo-leaders-nba/ retrieved 5/11/2017

[8] Jimitota Onoyume, Wike revokes hotel’s C of O over alleged fraud https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/07/wike-revokes-hotels-c-o-alleged-election-fraud/

[9] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[10] http://www.worldstopexports.com/nigerias-top-10-exports/ retrieved 5/11/2017

[11] http://www.worldstopexports.com/nigerias-top-10-exports/ retrieved 5/11/2017

[12] http://www.worldstopexports.com/nigerias-top-10-exports/ retrieved 5/11/2017

[13] Gibran Khalil, Garden of the Prophet https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/744795-pity-the-nation-that-is-full-of-beliefs-and-empty