Nigeria And Potential – Harnessing Our Potential As A Nation

It’s interesting how people who own or create something are rarely ever the ones who maximise the potential of that creation. One of my favourite arguments in this regard is the argument of the text messaging function on the average mobile phone.

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I strongly
believe it wasn’t the guy who created the mobile phone that created the texting
function. I think someone else looked at the phone and thought: “Well if I can
receive calls on the fly wouldn’t it be a grand idea to receive and send
messages on the fly?”

 And text messaging was born.

We can all bear
witness to how communicating has evolved over the years to the point we can
have video conversations with people over the phone as we commute. This is what
is known as innovation.

I told you that
story so as to tell you this next one. Nigeria has to be the most
underdeveloped country in the world. It has so much potential yet, for some
reasons, all remains just that – potential.

Apart from the several natural/mineral resources we have, we also have some of the hottest tourist destinations in the world. I won’t be going into specifics; that’s why there’s something called Google and it’s readily available.

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But here’s my
point.

We spend so
much time coveting and envying other countries and how much they have their act
together. We spend so much time away from home – in fact most of us have built
homes in other lands. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, the problem
starts when we complain and nag about these problems yet we’re too far away to
do anything about them.

If you stop for
a moment and consider how many Nigerian-owned businesses are actually making a
difference here in Nigeria, if you stop to consider that most of the
top-earning businesses are owned by foreigners, if you realise we’d much rather
spend money on things just because they weren’t made or bought from around here
– not because we know for sure they’re good, you can start to imagine just how
much trouble we’re in.

But I didn’t
come here today to beat us over the head with information we probably already
have. No o. I would just like for us to take a moment and reconsider our stance
– our attitude on things concerning this great nation of ours that is home to
so many of us.

I mean, as Sound Sultan sang a while ago, it shouldn’t matter where you go, there’s no reason good enough for you to forget home. And to those of us who remain here, isn’t it time we stopped complaining and started doing things a little differently? Is it not funny that the average Nigerian keeps saying the country is broke – yet foreign companies are investing in more branches by the day?

Would you invest in a country with no money if you didn’t stand a chance to make even more money?

Don’t allow anyone pull wool over your eyes. More importantly, do not become willfully blind. Nigeria is a great country with great potential, but until you and I start to invest in that potential; until we start to view and do things differently, that’s all this country will ever be – a great country with potential.

Excuse me, but
who has potential helped?

Of the many lies I promised to never repeat about Nigeria, two of them resound most stridently in my head. One of them is Nigerians don’t read; the other is Nigeria doesn’t have money.

Two of the biggest
lies ever sold to mankind.

And I do this – tell myself these truths so as to constantly evaluate my thinking and thought processes, and as a way to keep myself grounded. I am not interested in running away from the ‘suffering’ and ‘poverty’ around me. I am invested in creating a better life for myself and those around me.

That’s my opinion of and plan for Nigeria. What’s yours?

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