Continued from Part 1.
I simply buy into the fact that, the Nigerian state has failed its people and has killed many of its promising talents and perhaps have lost control of its core duties as the conscience of the people. But I think that we as Nigerians are also to blame for many of our woes. The reason can be found in the fact that, before the pre colonial period for example in Great Ife, we had no modern form of electricity, coordinated road networks and modern transportation system but we simply excelled in trading. Then, our fore fathers did not rely on any government to give them the basic amenities, they believed it was their duty to survive legitimately and excel and they held this believe vividly and diligently. Fine, that was then, but the reality is that we have been spoilt by the thinking of shifting responsibilities.
Based on this reasoning, I think that thousands of our unemployed graduates and youths can create their own way of life through thinking and creativity that defies all odds. Without relying on our inexistent government, both the young and old can paddle Nigeria with their own desired oars. The fact is, we have no competent and responsible government and this may likely be the case for another 8 years. Therefore, if we're to rely on our government, Nigeria and Nigerians may not get anywhere in another coming 10-15 years of our hard work.
For many of our present day Youths and Adults, business and enterprise has become no option, but show them the way to prostitution, 419, Yahoo-Yahoo and all ill-manners of money making and they'll be on top of their game. In case you don't know, Yahoo-Yahoo is the coinage for internet fraud and all manners of swindling on an international scale. But that was then, a huge number of Nigerian Youths who are self employed in the world of Yahoo-Yahoo have now graduated to another world of 'Yahoo-lization'. And that is called "Yahoo Plus".
In Yahoo plus, the business of the day is done not only by the endearing spirit of the Nigerian 'Yahoo-Preneur' but accompanied by a series of strongly prepared traditional medicines. Normally, when there is a new prey around the corner called ÔÇśMaga'. The Yahoo-Preneur commands the Maga with his well prepared traditional charms and concoctions to remit a certain amount of money into his account in Nigeria. Guess what? It works, and in case you don't believe it, that's your Bad!
For the Yahoo-Preneurs, failure is not an option simply because they are enduring, well prepared and can give it all it takes. If you think Yahoo plus is perpetuated by the olds and those with long experience in such. You're simply wrong because the best guys in such trade are in their teenage and sometimes early 20's to mid thirties.
If many of our present Yahoo-Preneurs can build mansions and buy luxuries when desired with their ill-gotten wealth, then I wonder why the same positive spirit cannot be dedicated towards legitimate enterprise and creativity.
Like Yahoo Plus, a legitimate enterprise requires the same dedication, tenacity and time towards achieving results. But, let's face it, this trades are disgusting and disgraceful.
For the successive governments in Nigeria, business growth, entrepreneurship and private sector development has never been on their top lists simply because; they misplace their priorities and embezzle the little funds allocated for development. If any government will be serious about changing our presently failed economic and political landscape any time soon, such government must be ready to win back our lost enterprise glory. Such government must be ready to support local businesses, encourage the start up of new ones and make doing business very easy. Presently, the Doing business yearly index of the World Bank puts Nigeria at the 120th position of 183 countries of the world and that shows how bad we are.
This means we are one of the worse places of doing business in the world, yet, we are craving for investors, growth, employment opportunities and economic development. The fact is, none of this can happen until essentially; the government creates the favourable environment where local and international investors will have no fear and things will go smoothly.
To achieve the needed results, the federal government can for example, direct all its local governments to use a fraction of its budget for enterprise growth. For example, every local government can be directed to have at least one government owned but privately controlled business park where budding entrepreneurs can have access to offices, workshops, business tools and a vast range of networking opportunities. The government can initiate a yearly start up funding program managed by competent private enterprise to support new and growing businesses all across Nigeria through a very rigorous but encouraging and motivating process. The government can give tax relief to start up's in their 1st to 2nd year of operation. It can build labs which will be privately managed for young and budding entrepreneurs who are scientifically oriented to start their scientific voyage; given this opportunities, entrepreneurs can develop some of the greatest invention of modern times.
Our governments in states, federal and local can partner with micro finance banks and give them more leverage to support, fund and sustain local businesses. Enterprise teaching can be included in our school curriculum from primary schools. But ultimately, the government must as a matter of urgency find every possible way to generate electricity for our dying businesses to come back to live.
In Nigeria, most of the mechanics, carpenters, electricians and so on that make a large proportion of our business world are all out of trade simply because of the lack of electricity. Mr. Jonathan, I bet not, but if you're reading this, Nigerians do not have to wait till 2020 to enjoy a stable electricity regime. In this 21st century, modern technology has made it possible to achieve what you think is hard to achieve. To generate abundant light, you can tap into solar energy. You can look into Wind turbines; most recently, just one standalone wind turbine can generate 5 Megawatts of electricity. Imagine 2,000 of these turbines carefully laid offshore in the waters of Badagry, Epe, down to the waters of Ogun and the rest. Bang! You'll be a hero and here comes light for Nigeria to shine.
I know it is easier said than done, but the fact is, it can be achieved with thorough planning, discipline and focus. The government should also look into resuscitating our collapsed manufacturing industry as this industry alone can spawn an impressive growth for our ailing economy. Like we had in previous times, manufacturing don't have to be done in the archaic ways. Nigeria can simply encourage advanced manufacturing systems whereof, we design and produce our machines and tools in order to produce exact products that fit our needs. Through advanced manufacturing, we can be the engine room of Africa and claim our long battle for economic success.
With advanced manufacturing, it simply means we have ruled out importation of ordinary goods out of our economic dictionary, because then, we have the capacity, wherewithal and the authority to produce, export and built up our shattered sectors.
While, the government plays its own parts, Nigerians also need to play a huge role by thinking right and planning well. Most businesses fail in Nigeria in the first to second year and that shows the lack of adequate planning. In the past I've been approached by several Nigerian folks who need funds to go it alone, but when I make a request for business plan and financial projections, it becomes a big problem and one becomes a bad person. It is a simple and universal law: If you fail to plan then you're doomed to fail. Young and Old Nigerians should know that, you can't simply seek out to do a proper business without a coherent and well researched business plan.
For our Dear, diaspora entrepreneurs, they should please stop shipping used furniture, dead cars and crap spares from Germany and other parts of europe. Whoever wants to be a real-time entrepreneur should come down to Nigeria, do his business planning and fill one of the very profitable business gaps.
In Nigeria of today, the opportunities are endless but it takes very careful planning, research, focus, and the Nigerian spirit to excel. The Nigerian spirit is the strong-will and determination to succeed irrespective of whatever the odds are.
Finally, Nigerians must realize that as entrepreneurs, it does not mean that one can manage everything..There are managers and there are entrepreneurs..And before rounding off. Here is a little token from Michael Gerber.
The Manager builds a house and then lives in it forever, the entrepreneur builds a house and the instant it is done begins planning the next one. The Manager creates neat, orderly rows of things, the entrepreneur creates the things that te managers puts in rows. The Manager is the one who runs after the entrepreneur to clean up the mess. Without the entrepreneur there would be no mess to clean up.
Without the manager, there could be no business. No society without the entrepreneur's vision and the manager's pragmatism that creates the synthesis from which all great works are born.