Consumerism, Risk Commodification and Transformation in Nigeria: A Reflective Discourse

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 19:45
Oral Presentation
Charles BASSEY, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria
Samuel O. OGEGE, Delta State University, Nigeria
This paper offers a critical evaluation of the widespread consumerist culture in Nigeria, a consumerism that is not just about tradable goods and service, but consumption of public service inertia, discontent, fragility and distrust. Like every consumable good, there is a saturation point as a precipitant for transformation. Based on the above, the paper draws on existing data to present economic risk landscape of the country by highlighting the resource curse mentality and how this has affected sectors of economy while also impeding social change efforts. The intent is to note how risk has become a tradable public good among businesses and politicians and how this commodification distorts the market and development. The second dimension of the paper focuses on regulatory governance through a reflective lens as a means of understanding government response to the peculiar characteristics of each economic sector. Through this analysis, the paper seeks to explore the implications of regulation on economic wellbeing, while admitting the challenge of balancing the scale of protectionism and laissez-faire approaches to market capitalism and adapting this as a model for regulatory governance and risk management at a country-wide level. Beyond the above, the paper raises questions about the role of consumerism in Nigeria society, and how the construct of economic actors, aligned with perceptions of prevalent risks in the society, can serve as instruments for advancing a new socio-economic system that does not necessarily focus on expansionary economic interventions, but rather on market governance system that optimizes resource utilization for inclusive human wellbeing.