System adjustments in balancing economies

Growing economies need to be dynamic, especially because they are driven by people. So, for sub-sectors that require balanced growth, they have to carry out periodic assessments to determine the progress.

However, every periodic assessment should also enable a system or structural adjustment to balance up areas that need cushioning.  This is not far from a structural adjustment programme as had been formally adopted by countries, including Nigeria, at some point.

Leaving out the formal nature of structural adjustments, growing economies attempt to find a balance through system or structural adjustment, not forgetting that though change is inevitable, it is often resisted. But the beauty of it must remain that it is done to suit the local environment.

It should not however be forgotten that it is the baseline that matters the most; the ability to solve a problem as it concerns a larger number of people.

In the maritime sector for example, the challenges associated with the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) at the initial stage, made a number of agents and importers to suffer delays and subsequently pay high demurrage and rent.

There were series of protests which did not proffer the desired result until the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) introduced a temporary measure to address the issue which was almost getting out of manageable limits.

Fears of a looming congestion at the ports immediately died down following the slight system adjustment. It may not be permanent; the realisation of the need to tackle the problem right from the system in place worked the desired aim.

Still sharing same thought, the long time challenge facing users of the port corridors can be properly managed if there can be an adjustment in the system of operation among maritime trucks and their likes that occupy port access roads.

It is certainly a system failure, which requires a turn-around to match demands of the present. Obviously, the pattern may have been tolerated or may have worked when it was started, but that has been outlived.

Many times, people or organizations don’t want to think that it simply takes a system or structural adjustment to arrive at big results.

With reference to efforts by the Association of Maritime truck Owners (AMATO) to build and relocate members from the roads to a site, its proposed ‘call-up’ system can start now before the site is completed, considering the bureaucracy that has caused the project to suffer some delays.

It is noteworthy too, that system change has to be holistic, because it could be dangerous to live out important details. There may be arguments, but such gaps are still in the water transportation system where people enlightenment campaigns were done, but left out a part of the system for adequate monitoring.

It is no time for blames, but the concerned authorities should take time out to consider where the gaps lie and weave them up to make a complete workable and result-oriented system.

In other sub-sectors of the economy like the power generation and distribution, there is also need to do a system review and consider adjustments that will work favourably within the local environment.

It is bad enough to think that while some electricity consumers now use pre-paid metres, a large number of the Nigerian population are still served on the old metering pattern.

People have continually cried out about conflicting electricity bills and there just may be more cries following the recent approved increase in electricity tariffs. It will only be fair that the pre-paid metering system be made available to all electricity consumers. It is only then that the nation can talk of having been out with a unified working system for improved service and by extension, ways of economic balancing.

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