Living in Nigeria is hard, I am suffering the effects of the Falling Naira on the parallel market as the prices of goods and services have continued to rise. It continues to get worse everyday and I tell you living in Nigeria just got tougher. As if, it is not bad enough, the two biggest political parties have been throwing blame games and I wonder how that will save our currency.
The simple reason why we have Falling Naira is ‘NOBODY WANTS NIGERIA NOT EVEN NIGERIANS’.
I am not here to go into details of how we got here but to help us look at things differently. Everywhere I go, all I hear is complaints with little or no solutions. Almost everyone I have spoken to about this issue keeps asking “Why are we not producing ordinary toothpick in Nigeria?” but none of them has written a business plan on the production of toothpicks in Nigeria. This makes me worry as I am 110% sure complaining doesn’t solve problems.
Falling Naira is a problem, we all must come together and do something about it. We cannot keep complaining and do nothing about it. In the spirit of doing something about it, I have decided to blog about it. I will not go into details of what the government needs to do to save the Naira but will list something Nigerians can do to save the Naira.
Patronize Made in Nigeria: Nigerians need to understand the reason why we need to patronize ourselves. Let me try to explain with this simple example. If you own a barbing salon, majority of your customers will live in Nigeria, so if you don’t buy what Nigerians make, the less likely your customers can pay for a haircut. So look at it this way “Buying Nigeria makes Nigerians richer. Richer Nigerians means business growth. Dangote
Talk about Solutions not Problems: I see this as one of the greatest challenges of Nigerians. I find it funny that most government workers go to work to talk Nigeria’s problems but never talk solutions. These are the closest people to the government and should only talk, think and make solutions. We all need to understand ‘For every problem, there is a solution‘. Talking problems leads nowhere but more problems.
Start or Support a Business: Nigeria needs to be self-sufficient before we can export. We need to reduce our importation and the only way to do this is to create businesses. If we have to stop importing toothpick we need to start producing toothpick. The economy looks scary but this is the best time to start a business in Nigeria.
Think Positive and Believe in Nigeria: This is the most important of all. We need to think positive. We need to believe in ourselves. I find it scary that an average Nigerian thinks negative first. A Nigerian will tell you 2 billion reasons why it won’t work, forgetting that there are 10 billion reasons why it will work. If we can switch our negativity to positivity, the world is ours.
Nigerians are Good People: I really wonder how we got this wrong. I wonder why we think Nigerians are bad people or fraudsters. It is no doubt that about 1% of Nigerians are bad but why should we allow the actions of 1% or less make us conclude that the remaining 99% are bad or fraudsters. We need to change our first impression from “First treat a Nigerian as fraud until proven otherwise” to “First treat a Nigerian as good until proven otherwise.”
I really love Nigeria and wish us the best. These are trying times but what we do now determines what we become. We cannot continue complaining and expect things to change, we need to take actions to save the Naira.
About a year ago, I started this blog and promised myself I was going to blog every week. I was so determined and happy when I wrote my first post. While trying to make myself keep to my promise, I decided to share my goal and dreams as my first post believing it will keep me focused and determined. Unfortunately, I failed at blogging. I got over the excitement of blogging and before I knew it I abandoned my blog. After the second post I got lost. Did not know what to write about. I ran away from my blog. I disappointed myself and kept telling myself every week “I will look for a topic and blog next week” but never did. I am forcing myself to write this even though i am not sure what to write.
I think it will help me say why I failed at blogging and what I should have done differently. As I state why I failed, I will explain why i failed at blogging and how I should have resolved it.
1. I was trying to be PERFECT: This is the greatest mistake I made. I forgot I was human and prone to errors. I wanted my blog to be the best, without errors and every post better than the previous post. This is not a bad thing but I tell you, it is the wrong thing. It is alright not to be perfect just seek perfection and learn as you grow. I forgot I could only become perfect if I keep blogging and learning as I blog. There is no perfect blog.
2. I thought no one would read it: Sometimes being behind the wheel does not mean you believe in the engine of the car. I forgot the power of the internet and doubt my internet presence for no reason. How this happened and why, I really can not explain. All I know is I just thought you were not going to read this.
3. I was not documenting daily activities: I will call this the root of my failure. I didn’t know the power of documentation. Because, I did no documentation I had nothing to talk about. By weekend, all the great things I did during the week were not interesting again because I could not refresh my memory. I have learnt from my Boss and friend JR Kanu to always document and as I have started I am not looking back.
4. I gave myself stupid targets: I keep asking myself why I gave myself that kind of target. A blog post every week!!! I am not saying it is impossible but it highly depends on my schedules. I will take back my promise on my first post and say I will blog whenever I feel like. My commitment to weekly took the fun from me and made it feel like a job I didn’t want.
5. It does not have to be long: I later found out the shorter the better. People do not want to read long stories. I thought the longer the better but i was wrong. My bad.
6. I feared what you will say: After missing a week, I was afraid what people will say if I continued blogging afterwards. All I can say is fear kept me silent till today. Fear is dangerous, we all need to get ride of it.
This is why I think I failed. Since I know why I failed, my problem is half solved. I look up to myself to ensure the six things above don’t stop me again.
Yes, the elections are here again and the political tension in Nigeria is high. Four years ago we elected some politicians to guide us towards a better future. The 4-year tenure is over and it’s time for us to elect new leaders who will lead us towards a great future. The aspiring leaders keep making promises on Agriculture, infrastructure and education, they always manage to ignore Information and Communications Technology. Since the elections are really close by, I will like to talk about what we in the ICT industry want. In the next four years whether GEJ or GMB we need an improvement in the ICT sector.
From my findings, it looks like the ICT industry has done more for the Government that the Government does for it; the economy has advanced more in the past 10 years as a result of ICT, especially the Banking and Telecommunications sector. I was shocked when I searched on Google for “What government can do for technology” only to get more results answering “What technology can do for government”. Here in Nigeria our government has not been able to benefit much from ICT and the reason is not far fetched from points to be discussed in this post. I have listed a few things that the government can do to support us.
Government should use and support Nigerian Technology: The quickest way to grow an industry is if the government patronises the industry. Take a good look at China, South Korea and Japan, those guys are causing chaos positively in the ICT world. Government is seen as the biggest spenders and their interest to spend in a sector always results in investment and growth of the sector. So many of our National ICT projects are done outside Nigeria and that has resulted in the poor growth of the ICT sector. An example is the National ID Card project. Even with the huge number of cards to be produced, the project was contracted to a company outside the shores of Nigeria. Our Government could have used this opportunity to promote our indigenous companies.
Provide or Finance ICT hubs around the country: I must say i give my respects to CcHub Nigeria for their contribution to ICT in Nigeria. But many more hubs are needed all over the country. This can be achieved by Government providing soft loans and direct investment. Hubs will help provide electricity and internet to youths interested in ICT at affordable rates. The hubs also provide training, networking and financing to interested youths.
Redesign our Nigeria’s Official Website: This might not sound related but our website looks awful and projects our ICT industry in very bad light. Our website is supposed to be our pride but with what we have there currently i must say i am ashamed to be a Website Designer in Nigeria. I won’t mind working with our government to redesign the website to something much more appropriate. I laughed recently when someone said INEC has an online database that was going to be hacked, it was ridiculous. Our Nation needs to move forward and improve on data collection, handling and storage in all sectors of the economy.
Well, i hope i said it well for ICT sector. I hope the elected officials get to read this post. If you feel i left something out, please add a comment so our government can know.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.
Before I leave for this week, i don’t want to end without saying thanks to some people. Thanks Akinyele Olubodun for the inspiration, your words gave me the energy to get started. I can’t stop writing without saying Thank You to my lovely, beautiful, wonderful, sexy Wife Atilayo Ayokunle and to my daughter i say “If i catch you”.