…The bottom as position of advantage
By OSA AMADI
At any point in one’s life where one no longer has any problems, says Norman Vincent Peale, that person ought to cry out to God saying, “Lord, don’t you trust me any longer? Do you think I am no longer capable of solving problems? Please let me have some.”
Just think about it. Problems or challenges are actually what make life interesting. Alexander the Great, one of the greatest conquerors in the history of the world, grew up as a young man, weeping that his father, Philip of Macedonia, had conquered the entire world, leaving none for him to conquer. But Alexander later found other lands which he conquered.
It is a well-known fact that problems, challenges, or whatever they may be called, are conditions which lead to discoveries and inventions. The aircraft, motor cars and all the electronic gadgets in this world today came as a result of problems and challenges that faced men and women within their environments and to which they sought and found solutions.
Civilizations had crumbled in the past because the people no longer had problems to solve. They had reclined into the comforts of their wealth and wallowed in the feathers of their cocoons until some other tribes who had problems came and overran their cities.
The internet, for instance, could not have been discovered without the Cold War between the United States and the defunct USSR. The United States of America was afraid that USSR could bomb their computer centers and destroy forever, all their precious data. So they started looking for where to keep the data, a place that will be impossible to destroy from one source, and that gave birth to the internet.
Conversely, conditions without problems and challenges tend to retard man’s creative and innovative thinking. Most people who grew up in families where everything was provided for them often end up achieving nothing really spectacular. They may continue to be in money, riding on the crest of what had been left for them by their parents and nothing else. But try to find out conditions in which their parents who made the money lived, and you will see that it was not easy for them.
Not a few great thinkers in the world today, including Paul Collier, believe that the root cause of Nigeria’s social, economic and political problems is the rich oil deposit under her soil. The gift of oil has in fact, made the collective Nigerian mind redundant. Since after the discovery of oil, the people could neither find any necessity to think creatively and innovatively, nor reason to explore other viable means of economic prosperity.
It was expected that the erstwhile global economic recession in which price of oil had crashed, presented a rare opportunity for Nigeria to rediscover itself economically. The country may not have another great opportunity to cure itself of this affliction known as ‘Dutch Disease’ until perhaps the next 100 years when the global economic recession normally returns.
The potential agriculture has in sustaining Nigeria’s economy has only been scratched on the surface. With an excellent weather, soil, water resources, and one of the largest domestic markets in the world, Nigeria can comfortably feed her teeming population and her neighbours. Her agricultural produce can also supply raw materials to factories in the country and abroad. Secondly, the burgeoning telecommunication sector, described as investors’ heaven by those who should know, is another goldmine for Nigerians.
Then tourism, which vast potentials in Nigeria are yet to be fully determined, is also there. Take Rwanda as an example – a country whose budding tourism sector received over a million visitors in 2008 and raised an estimated $214 million, up from $138 million the previous year, according to Rwanda Development Board. Tourism revenue in that tiny Central African Republic, famous for its gorilla tracking projects is projected to grow to $224 million in 2009, and the number of visitors to that country is expected to increase to 1.14 million.
What is it, in terms of tourism that Nigeria does not have? Take a trip from the thick mangrove swamps of the south to the sparse shrubs of the arid north; the humid weather of the south; the semi-temperate climate of the Jos plateau, to the harmattan haze of the north, Nigeria is a wonderful land of variety and contrast!
The weather, wildlife, waterfalls, historical relics, captivating beaches and rolling hills existing in the midst of warm-hearted, culturally active population, make tourism in Nigeria another investor’s heaven for businessmen, and a dream destination for tourists all over the world.
The people too are fantastic – friendly and hospitable as they are. Cities like Lagos and Abuja have become melting pots of diverse cultures and people, where people from different ethnic groups and different parts of the world live as brothers, sisters and friends.
There were many people who had it on their timetable to start a business in 2009. But due to the negative predictions that dominated the newspapers which they read that year – not really due to the economic crisis – they suspended or postponed their plans. They were afraid that the global economy was at the bottom of the pit. They waited for a good economic condition to start. But one thing they did not know was that the bottom is often a position of advantage.
If you are at the bottom, says Norman Vincent Peale, there is no other possible direction to go but upward! So, now is the perfect time to start that business. Let you and the business ride the rough storm of the time, and nothing can defeat you in good times when the storm is over, because the storm will surely be over!