While Nigerians are busy with the lame excuse of lack of enabling environment in every critical sector of our economy, the foreigners are busy scrambling for every available space of land to build factories and companies, and other nature of investment.
PEGASUS REPORTERS, LAGOS | FEBRUARY 15, 2022
Ask every Nigerian, on one of the major challenges affecting the economic growth of the Nigerian nation, he is quick to point to you the big Uncle called LACK OF ENABLING ENVIRONMENT.
Are Nigerians and blackman especially those that currently resides in the African continent lacking the needed right environment to grow its economy, or are Nigerians and the blackman especially those resident in the African continent created with low instincts that makes it impossible for them to see opportunities rather than challenges?
NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY
Nigeria is a beautiful country found on the West Coast of the African continent. It has an estimated population of about two hundred million people. Her strength ordinarily should have been her diversity in culture and population size which represents a huge market.
Besides Nigeria’s huge market size, the Sub Saharan, Central, East, and other African nations look up to Nigeria for their goods and services. Her three major ethnic groups which are made up of highly intelligent people along with other ethnic groups are some of the most sorts after in the world of medicine, IT, Invention, commerce, education, etc.
Nigeria’s estimated land mass is put at about 80000 square kilometers. Nigeria possesses a great amount of solid minerals. It is estimated that Nigeria has over 40 different solid minerals at its disposal. Notable among these solid minerals are, Gold, Diamond, Coal, Uranium, Bitumen, and many more. Nigeria has an estimated 40 billion barrels of crude oil in reserve. It’s also estimated that Nigeria has about 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is still being flared.
Different types of precious metals are also found in commercial quantities in Nigeria. Sadly, with all these listed, Nigeria is still a sleeping giant, a crying baby in twenty-first century. Worst of all, Nigeria is regarded as the poverty capital of the world, a title which it does not deserve.
Why and how Nigeria got to this level could be traced to many factors. However, one of these factors is the ever lingering LACK OF ENABLING ENVIRONMENT. Because of this lack of enabling environment, billions of dollars legally and illegally acquired have been starched in overseas banks rather than being used to invest in profitable ventures locally. This, in turn, has created a huge unemployment gap which also has contributed to many societal ills we are witnessing today.
The argument is that if Nigerians have been able to invest the huge billions stashed outside the shores of this country perhaps, Nigeria might have been better off. Again, if Nigerians could not find the right environment to invest in their own country, how then do foreigners find it easy to invest in the same economy despite operating in the same environment?
While Nigerians are busy with the lame excuse of lack of enabling environment in every critical sector of our economy, the foreigners are busy scrambling for every available space of land to build factories and companies, and other nature of investment. From Lagos to Ibadan expressway corridor hardly will you find free land as the foreigners have nearly bought over every space. The same goes for all Nigerian cities.
While our citizens are busy stealing and looting billions of dollars and everything possible without seeing where and how to invest it in our economy, foreign Banks lend these same loots to their citizens who in return find their way to Nigeria to invest these funds. Sadly, four hundred years after slavery our men and women, young and old kneel at the feet of these same foreigners for salaries less enough to take them home and call them Masters.
How can we claim to be independent, yet we don’t believe in ourselves and our own? Nigerians must believe in themselves and their country. Granted that leadership has not been fair to Nigerians since Independence and an average Nigerian has been stripped of every possible support for growth. I believe that the so-called lack of enabling environment has become a myth, that has held us down for far too long, because even those that have the means, still a majority do not invest in our economy.
The question I ask and will continue to ask until we get it right is, how come we who are the owners of the land fail to find an enabling environment for growth while the foreigners find it with easy?
Nigerians, needs to reassess their priorities. Which is better, to own properties in all choice areas all over the globe and have billions of dollars in foreign Banks which most of the times, are never recovered after the demise of the owners due to the nature of account opening? Moreover, this same owners comes to Nigeria and live like fugitives because they can not walk about freely without huge security attachment. The same freedom they so live with and cherish while abroad.
Which is better, to see opportunities even in the darkest situation and take advantage of and invest in our economy which will lead to millions of jobs being created? With this, comes the rest of mind because no one will be after you and your wealth.
Nigerians, time for us to see how we’re through our actions and inactions are self inflicting pains on ourselves and the nation at large. The time for us to begin to see opportunities rather than challenges just like the foreigners, have come.
Let’s do it, if not for our sake then, for our children and unborn children.
Shadrach Chidi N Onye Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos, Nigeria Founder, Interdependent Community
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