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Why Nigeria is behind Malaysia, by minister

Federal, states vote N1.044b for GDP computation

NATIONAL Planning Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, yesterday gave reasons for Malaysia’s impressive growth ahead of Nigeria in the last 20 years.

The minister, who recalled his encounter with his Malaysian counterpart, said the Asian country has achieved its globally-acknowledged growth because it recorded 96 per cent literacy level among its people.

This, he said, ensured a productive and vibrant population for the country’s rapid growth.

“The last time I was in Malaysia, I was marvelled at the level of progress recorded in that country in the last 20 years. Out of curiosity, I asked my counterpart there how his country was able to achieve this giant stride. The answer he gave me was simple: ‘Just take a look at the educational sector where we have achieved 96 per cent literacy level, it was because we focused on it. That was why we were able to make it’.”

Usman spoke during the kick-off of the Kano State Gross Domestic Product (GDP) computation at the House of Assembly chamber.  He remarked that the feats achieved by Malaysia could be replicated in Nigeria with a well-thought out data involving all the states of the federation.

He disclosed that the sum of N1.044 billion is to be expended on the GDP computation project, adding that the cost would be borne by the Federal Government and state governments and development partners in the ratio of 30: 50: 20 in that order.

The minister said the availability of GDP data at the sub-national levels is a sine qua non for meaningful development planning for the country.

He noted that Malaysia’s growth did not come as a surprise as an educated person would not only cater for his needs, but also help his relatives and country .

Usman, who is also the deputy chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), stated that it was not surprising that Malaysia’s GDP had left the developing income bracket of below $2,000 to $14,000.

The minister said the computation of states’ GDP was prompted by the need to facilitate national with current data.

Listing the benefits of the nationwide computation exercise, Usman said: “It is expected to generate healthy competition among the states, while producing disaggregated data and information for the improved management of both the sub-national and national economies.

“Published data on the states’ GDP is also expected to serve as a basis for effectively benchmarking the economies of the states. This will facilitate the rating of the individual states by the rating agencies, such as Messrs Augusto, Fitch and Standard and Poors.

“At the federal level, the approach we are taming is that the Nigerian economy is a single economy, with a common micro-economic and policy frame-work. This is contrary to the approach adopted during the experimental period of the United States (U.S.) Gross State Product (GSP) computation, where every state did it its own way, leading to a situation at one time, where New York state’s GSP was larger than the GDP of the whole of America. The simple rule being that the GDP of all the component states of the federation must add up to the national GDP.”


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Posted by on Mar 31 2012. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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