My recent vacation to Dubai and South Africa were not only eye openers to the opportunities that existed outside our shores, they were also opportunities to see how we as a nation differ from the other countries. It was an opportunity to identify what we have that can move us far, and what we have that currently still stands us ahead.
I have tried to express passionately the visionary leadership that Dubai possesses, I have also tried to describe some the closest things to a man made heaven. From the visions they still have however, the best is even yet to happen. Just two days ago, I got informed that the world project is being sold already. The world project is a man made island patterned after the map of the world, with each continent as an Island. I quipped, that at least if one cannot be president over the real Nigeria, he can at least try to administer the Nigeria Island in the world project. South Africa also was filled with breathtaking sites, and great entertainment parks. I thought I had fun at the Wild Wadi Waterparks in Dubai until I experienced the Anaconda and Golden Heights at the Gold Reef Park. I don’t know what world South Africa is classified as, but I’m certain it’s far beyond our world.
Having seen all these, when I look back home, and see our current state my countenance falls, however when I think deeper and see what we could be, my heart is refreshed, for their is yet hope for Nigeria. Did you ask why? Let me show you what I see.
One of the clearly distinguishing qualities that sets nations appart, is the quality of it’s leaders. The people who shape it’s future and steer it towards the dream. Sometimes, these leaders have the priviledge of elected office, sometimes however, they occupy leadership positions by the fact that they have influence. Many atimes positional leaders occupy the front position, and stretch into the future without followers ending up with a mere stroll, while the leaders of thought and the philosophies that the people buy into, leave their homes with the intention of a mere stroll and movements are begotten. The visionary leaders of Nigeria are emerging, they are men and women, born in the secrecy of a village manger, born without fanfare, without the royal army blood nor the geneology of relationships with the powers that be. They are artistic teachers who with their quotes and words paint the pictures of the future’s in our minds with ink that cannot be erased. Our visionary leaders are in the cocoon, waiting patiently for their wings to develop. Watch the film 300, read the story of Gideon in the Bible. The medicine does not need to be oversized to do it’s work. Those that bear the fulcrum on which the future of our nation hinges are already with us, it’s an army of few, and you are one of them. 70% of our population are under 30. Imagine what can happen if we take charge of this generation!!
The chinese language is fast becoming a language of the future, with the impending economic takeover by the chinese economy. One of the key elements that pushes China ahead, is it’s workforce. With a seemingly disadvantageous population of over a billion, China has positioned itself as the worlds manufacturing center. The cheapest prices of whatever you want can be found in China. That shirt that costs you N15,000 was probably made in China, and left china at N300 without the logo. Nigeria is the most populous black nation on the planet. With a little tweak in our policies, we can position ourselves to take the maximum advantage of our numbers.
The Nigerian Spirit
In any country on earth, it’s easy to know a Nigerian appart. We are cocky confident, passionate, diehard optimists and sharp. You know why stories of suicide are never rampant in our nation? It’s because the broke gate man, believes that as long as there is life, there is hope. His motto is, “no Condition is permanent”. He believes strongly that if he ends up a looser today, he starts on a fresh page tomorrow. I marveled at the laissez-faire attitude of the average South African, here is a guy with a National Passport that is Visa free to 95 of the choice countries in the world, languishing with a degree and sitting at home. Contrast that with Nigerians I have met, who practically made their way by road (car, camel and feet) from Nigeria to Morocco just to get over to the United Kingdom. Our will to survive is strong! If we put this spirit behind the emergence of our New Nigeria, we are unstoppable.
Guess it’s hard to be judge in my own court, however a survey of any of these fields, Medicine, Engineering, Technology, Economics, e.t.c, will reveal that some of the best brains in the world are Nigerian. An informed professor I was opportuned to listen to, categorically said that in any one of these fields if a meeting of the top 10 would be called, there’ll be Nigerians amongst them. That if the No 1 Citizen in America had an emergency operation today, a Nigerian will be on that operating table. I am yet to hear from any of my friends and classmates who went for any part of their education outside our shores who is not top 1-5% in his class. As far as I’m concerned, we were blessed not only with numbers, but with intellect. When we pass through the international checkpoints and say we have nothing to declare, we lie. There is sufficient between our ears to declare. Yahoo yahoo is an abuse of intelligence, it’s a perversion of business acumen. We only need to channel and harness this latent energy for the greater good of our nation.
One of the other key things we are blessed with that distinguishes us from other nations is our networking. We sincerely care about getting in touch, socializing with family and friends and actually relating with our neighbours. There is a lot we can achieve via the power of synergy, and we have a culture that draws us together, making us more powerful.
I understand that a CIA report has it, that the most precious natural resource that Nigeria has is surface table water. Not oil, not gold, toumaline or tantalite. Surface water. There is still much oil in the land neither do we have a scarcity of arable land. We are also still discovering new precious metals and gemstones. If we tap 1/4 of our resources, and channel the funds aright we can become a wonder to the cities around us.
The Nigeria of our dream will not arrive without effort, neither will it emerge by solo effort, but as we align and create the picture of what we would have it be we’ll get there. Slowly but surely, the snail also made it into Noah’s ark
Three hearty cheers to a Nigeria that celebrates 1yr+ of uninterrupted power supply, a Nigeria without potholes, a Nigeria with 8 lane highways, a Nigeria with banks that fund the real sector, a Nigeria where the common man can get bank credit, a Nigeria where things work, a Nigeria whose passport and residency is sought after, a Nigeria that it’s citizens are proud of associating with. Let’s bring back the glory!