As a country are we growing? Is our economy improving?
I think the answer is yes. Better than any other time in our national history there is so much internal and external action-backed optimism about the economic potential of our country. Everyday I read in newspapers and online as foreign companies are seeking a presence in Nigeria and Nigerians, both young and old, are setting up businesses.
Interest has shifted away from the petroleum industry and government contracts. People are now genuinely being creative and matching global standards in their business pursuits. Every week I see new businesses (check Venture Capital for Africa) by youths who are working tirelessly to be the next Facebook, Amazon and Google. They are not seeking jobs but looking for investors. And that is a good sign. More university students now have people to look up to among their friends who left university and started a foreign investment backed business straight away. And soon, like the music industry exploded, the entrepreneurship trend will explode. Parents will soon stop lobbying to get their children into oil companies and government jobs, but to help them start their own businesses. They will become envious of their friends whose sons/daughters got a funding from an international investor and are making waves.
I think we are already at the turning point as a nation, both politically and economically. Our priorities are getting straightened. People are now extremely hardworking and want to see the results of their hardwork. They work hard at their jobs and take every opportunity to leave for a better job. They want more from their labour. Employers now know that no one stays forever, especially their top performers, so they are forced to shape up or lose every talent they have. People are also less fearful to start businesses. They now have friends who they've seen struggle hopelessly at the start of running their business but are now living like kings. At every corner, people with the education are no longer constraining themselves to getting a regular job. They now want to start something revolutionary. They want to put their ideas to work and have all the credit.
Though things still look tough, but our people have gotten tougher. No one is waiting for a miracle anymore, they are going out with all their artillery to get that miracle they want. People are no longer waiting for some mystery man to lift them up, they are now building their own doors of opportunity and forcing the hand of opportunity to knock it.
If you ask me - Are we there yet? My answer is YES.