DIASPORA: C’ Riverian reviews traditional Economics as taught in Nig. Sec. Sch. You can’t ignore him!

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Nigerian students in classroom

Efio-Ita Nyok|22 November 2016

Ikom, Cross River-born, Atlanta-based international development expert, entrepreneur and social commentator, Princewill Odidi, has again brought his intellectual weight to bear on Nigeria's educational system.

Four days ago, Mr Odidi wore his thinking cap over the traditional Economics taught in Nigeria's secondary educational system. The Commentator confessed to having picked up a currently used secondary school Economics textbook and discovered to his dismay that the students of Africa's most populous nation still taught 'land, labor, capital and the entrepreneur' as the factors of production. Mr Odidi therefore took us through a cerebral detour by introducing the fifth and a more important factor, namely, 'information technology and logistics'. He even went as far as demonstrating the viability of his fifth feature. This appeared as a social media thread. Excerpt:

'As a Secondary School student at St. Patrick's Ugep, we were taught about the four factors of production. To produce any meaningful product that can be sold to generate profit you need land, labor, capital and the entrepreneur. A lot of time has passed since then. Little did we know by 2016 new factors would influence and determine successful production relations in market systems', Mr Odidi began.

'The new addition is "information technology and logistics" actually, land plays a lesser role today, so building a factory as a means of job creation is old thinking because whatever the factory produces can be ordered and delivered from markets with better comparative advantage and distribution logistics and even at a cheaper price. More so for a local factory to succeed, it must be in a position to compete favorably for jobs on a competitive international trade platform, anything other than this, your investment would go down the drain.

'21st century production relations calls for new thinking and smart planning. Recently I picked up a secondary school economics textbook in Nigeria, I still found out our children are still taught "land, labor, capital and entrepreneur " what a disconnect between scholarship and reality', he continued.

'Let me give you a simple example. Mr A may decide to build a Printing Company, buy sophisticated machinery and hire 200 employees to work in his printing company. At the end of the day Mr A spends N2 billion to set up his operations anticipating profit as business picks up. Similarly, Mr B may decide to set up a similar Printing company, instead of spending billions to build a factory and hire workers, all he needs is a simple website. He opens a small office, hires 2 or 3 staff, receives orders for printing from his clients online, assigns the jobs to different printing companies around the globe, job is done and delivered to his clients. He is handsomely paid and makes a higher turn over.

'Lessons to learn: in modern production relations, Mr B has better chances of success and business sustainability than Mr A. Listen carefully, only governments who reason like Mr B would survive in today's world. Train and build your workforce capacity to adapt to Mr B's method of production and economic thinking if you must succeed', Mr Odidi added.

'That's common sense which may not be really common.', he concluded.

What do you think of Mr Odidi's submission? Doesn't he make sense?

Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor & Publisher of NegroidHaven.org