My Thoughts on Nigeria

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On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
On August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped in a second Japanese city, Nagasaki.
Japan was devastated. Nigeria in 1960 (and in every year since independence) was better off. The Japanese rebuilt their nation, and the period after war was an iconic one and regarded as an Economic miracle. Perhaps, the only thing grey-haired Economics professors regard as a miracle.

Between 1950 and 1953, the Korean war devastated both North Korea and South Korea. But South Korea went on to achieve the unbelievable -- went from a country subsisting on foreign aids to a high-income developed country in one generation. They had rivers that stank like the Lagos Lagoon. And they spent over $17 billion to restore them. Now, South Korea is the most industrialized country in the world.

Singapore gained independence in 1963 from UK (like us). But they didn't believe they could survive on their own, so they joined Malaysia. Things didn't go as smooth as they intended, so in 1965 they broke free from Malaysia and became an independent country. They've got almost nothing -- no land, no mineral resources, few people. But they used their brains exceptionally well, and built the world's best airports and the most affluent economy. They have the world's highest percentage of millionaires. The government doesn't give social securities or have a minimum wage in place; it made it clear that every family should cater for itself. Everyone worked their butts off to build the lives they wanted.

Then let's come home -- Nigeria.


And here are my thoughts about Nigeria --
  • It's clear that a small percentage of us are extremely corrupt and have infiltrated the government at all levels
  • It's clear that this small percentage are ruining the educational system, and creating unfair industrial advantages for themselves
  • But there was a time it was like this in UK and France (go read Charles Dickens' novels or history)
  • Fortunately, there's no law against self education. No extremely high tax rate to prevent entrepreneurship.
  • Our politicians aren't smart enough to see that the pie is getting smaller and smaller.
  • The world is becoming flat, a global village. I often get work requests from US, UK and France. I get my earnings tax free. Opportunities are so vast that if we put the energy we spend on discussing the eternally corrupt politicians to seeking out those hidden pearls, we would soon be better off than most of the politicians.
  • There is a system that works, regardless of who you are. Wishing doesn't make any difference. Everyone can't be employed by an oil company. Everyone can't be employed by a well paying company. Some of us have to build rare skills. Some of us have to start unusual businesses. Some of us have to start poor and with a hustling that makes people wonder.
  • Our biggest disadvantage is not the not-for-any-good politicians. It's our lack of exposure. We do not see the big picture. Nigeria is just a small part of the picture and not the entire picture. If you live right, besides the low life expectancy rate, nothing can harm your chances of success.
  • We keep making unreasonable comparisons. What people are enjoying in the US and UK by just being citizens were fought for and ensured by others. The politicians in UK and US work a million times harder for the benefit of their country than our politicians here. God is not unjust; you can't expect him to give us same prosperity and benefits.
We have what we need to be the next USA. The problem is that we don't use it. For some us, the load on our neck is used purely for fashion and doing I pass my neighbor.
And one day, when we finally meet God and ask him why we didn't become a prosperous nation despite our fervent prayers, He's going to say, -- "Can you all feel that big ball sitting on your necks? I put it there for a reason. The other guys don't have two of it per person. If you had used it well, with patience and consistency, you'd have become a prosperous nation too."


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