Someone even asked this as a way to belittle my participation in a debate recently organised by EL TV for Africa Youths on the US Election.
Now to the question, my simple answers are:
1. The US is the strongest economy and only the Chinese economy is currently threatening it’s position. Anything happening in the US or China has serious effects on Africa and specifically Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa.
2. The US dollar ($) is the most universally accepted currency at the moment. Our export and import prices are determined in US dollars ($).
3. The US is a permanent member of the Security Council of United Nations. In battling international crisis and terrorism related issues, this council will discuss Nigeria because of Boko Haram.
4. Even though more than 70% of our imports are from China, we pay in dollars and with the scarcity or strengthening of the dollar ($) against the naira, our purchasing power becomes weaker.
5. A recent survey says Nigerians are the most educated immigrants in the United States. A lot of Nigerians are traveling to US to get education at all levels.
6. We are currently trying to borrow $29 billion. Even if the money does not come directly from the US, it is dollars we are borrowing. The strength of the Naira against the dollars will determine how much we are really paying back. If the naira strengthens, good for us. If the dollar weakens, bad for us.
7. Don’t forget we sell oil to the US. That’s a major source of income for the country and we really need oil prices to rise with more countries to buy from us. That’s one quick way out of this recession that we are in.
‘Nigeria was the United States’ 30th largest supplier of goods imports in 2013.
U.S. goods imports from Nigeria totaled $11.7 billion in 2013, a 38.3% decrease ($7.3 billion) from 2012. Nearly all of U.S. imports from Nigeria was oil.
The five largest import categories in 2013 were: Mineral Fuel (oil) ($11.6 billion), Cocoa ($29 million), Special Other (returns) ($21 million), Food Waste ($9 million), and Art and Antiques ($5 million).’
U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nigeria (stock) was $8.2 billion in 2012 (latest data available), up 53.6% from 2011.
U.S. direct investment in Nigeria is led by the mining sector.
Nigeria FDI in the United States (stock) was $22 million in 2012 (latest data available), up 15.8% from 2011.
Source – www.ustr.gov
Just imagine US pulling out it’s investment here or stopping our exports.
8. Nigerians have businesses in the US and they often have to travel.
9. If Nigeria and the US were to cut their diplomatic ties, I don’t expect this to happen, you will realize how much of what happens in our economy that has partial or absolute dependence on the US. Do you have a MasterCard in your pocket? That’s from a US company. Do you use a VisaCard? It is from a US company.
If you look carefully at the nine points above, you will then understand that the foreign and economic policies of any US and Chinese President have serious direct or indirect impact on Nigeria and Africa.
On a lighter note, you’re most likely reading this from a device made in China and paid for in dollars by the importer – even if it is an iPhone. 🙂
Fola Daniel Adelesi
+234 803 416 3006
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