Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The premiere episode of Dragons’ Den Nigeria commenced on a very promising premise. The den had come alive as a Mecca where good business ideas meet great opportunities. The presenter, Nwaji Jibunoh captured the feeling that would permeate this episode in his introduction, “when the entrepreneurs come into the den, they can ask for as much money as they like but in order to convince the dragons to part with their hard-earned cash, they must be willing to answer some tough questions (and defend their business proposals)…also, the pitchers must get the exact amount they are asking for or they leave the den with nothing…”
From his picturesque prologue, Nwaji proceeded to introduce the dragons through an exciting montage; a beautifully captured show of business savvy and material opulence in yachts, luxury cars, and expansive offices; creating an appetite for success in the would-be entrepreneur. The dragons were doing big business, living the good life, and loving it!
Nigeria and indeed Africa needs all the job creators she can get. Until our education and labor policies are directed at creating business owners instead of job seekers, we will remain in one long funk of poverty bred insecurity .
Labels: venture capital
Thursday, October 01, 2009
What I think is currently wrong with Nigeria and my thoughts on possible effective solution(s) to address the problem. May 2008.
Nigeria is a large country with a unique character. Some of us wish it to be a very great country as well – to wield real power on the world stage or perhaps to be at peace within or to have moral authority without. One challenge is to define to some extent what “good” we want, following which it is natural for us to apply the nation’s resources as well as our will and power to make that dream a reality.
In this essay I’ll focus on objectives that are almost indisputably good, bearing in mind that we often get mired in disputing what is “good.”
Lagos is a mess. Although I have fond memories of the City and even love its character, its danfo buses and all, it is overcrowded and has no apparent plan. The obvious solution is to help the people with mass transit (trains) and to also decongest naturally by having other successful economic centers throughout the country.
Nobody is leading the millions of Nigeria’s young people. What is the path to success? What should their plan for life be? Hooliganism has become a popular career path: from Yahooligans to area hooligans. Mourn with me the waste of enormous intelligence and energy. Now attack with solutions on the scale of the problem: develop an economy or industry – your own company - that employs many people. Champion tourism. Upgrade a university. Insert your own brilliant idea here. You can be rich and successful while making Nigeria’s socio-economic development your career.
So far I have emphasized that we need more and wider paths to a better life for Nigerians. Next I’ll make additional comments on what I think is for the country’s good.
1. Some people are highly critical of government and they should continue to voice constructive criticism and protest. Their voices are important.
2. Some people are highly religious. They should focus on the personal aspect of religion, which helps govern your own life and be a good part of community.
3. Instead of ganging up people of other beliefs, we should gang up on our problems. We must not ignore the suffering of others, though class and tongue may differ.
4. We should honour our heritage, revel in our arts and culture, and develop our own stories for self-knowledge and for future generations.
5. Please join me and kill the bribery culture. In our country, let money flow through other channels, such as in reward for doing useful work that solves real problems.
As always, voice your own comments at www.UPNAIRA.blogspot.com
Happy October 1st.
Labels: essays on Nigeria solutions
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