By Dr. Lukman A. Olorogun
A keynote delivered by his eminent Professor Chukwuma Soludo, which was published by Punch on 7/11/2019, is music to our ears for Nigerians in the Diaspora and reminds us about the next step to be taken in fulfilling our aspirations, which is our major objective for living abroad.
Respected Professor, you were once Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the sole entity responsible for the monetary policies of our dear nation. I confirm to you that no single Nigerian abroad will deny coming home to establish a grounded and operational firm or organization in Nigeria.
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However, there are endless factors that jeopardize our efforts and aspirations that must be addressed before you can see meaningful contributions from us.
I am not a delegate of any group or Diaspora section, but as a member of the Diaspora, I affirm to you that no single one of them would dispute the following points that I broadly classify as Physical and Moral Challenges:
The physical challenge is the availability of sustainable environments in general, which includes an adequate supply of electricity, water, good roads and so on. Additionally, a vital workable system from the authorities such as clear procedures for registration of companies without lobbying any special officer to help you do so.
These procedures must be stated clearly and published on the official websites of the respective authority. A clarified payment procedure and amounts to be paid at every point of the registration must be included on those websites.
This is to stop onslaught and undue advantage taken by those working in those entities on the unaware members of the Diaspora. Without mincing words, the exploitation of the Diaspora by those at home is beyond understanding. Every single officer see us as “hot-cake”.
They want to solve all their personal problems from your pocket simply because you are asking for something you are entitled to. The way to solve this problem is to make everything public and pinpoint a specific person by “Names and Title” to be held accountable for any failure of the process.
A time frame in which every step must be completed should be stated clearly. This is to avoid unnecessary and deliberate delay by the person in charge due to lack of side gifts or laziness.
This is attainable because it is applicable here overseas. Here abroad, there is a timeframe to deliver a particular duty. Failure to do would amount to incompetence on the part of the officer. Thus, promotions and incentives are based on performance evaluations of the effective discharge of official duties.
Moral deterioration is the worst of all, even if one succeeds in establishing the company or organization. You will need Nigerians to be employed.
You have the feeling you are contributing to Nigerians’ lives. However, the same people would be looking for ways to bring you down. Employees’ insincerity is a major problem for employers across the globe.
Nonetheless, Nigerians are hyper-insincere in many ways. In Nigeria today, our orientation is totally ignorant of OR unwilling to accept the fact that your inner family are worse than people outside. Imagine you establish a company and accounting for your return is unsustainable.
Nigerians, in general, see us like Automated Teller Machines (ATM). There is nothing you communicate from abroad or overseas that makes sense to them. For the sake of brevity, Nigerians need to reshape our moral orientation wherein sincerity would be our focus.
The belief that people can become a billionaire overnight or in a short period should be discouraged through sound government working policy and the enabling of business environments.
The problems raised above would need an urgent response, not long-term investigation and planning. It involves everyone making immediate changes to the current state of affairs.
This includes the government, parents, guardians, religious leaders and so on. The inclusion of morality and sincerity studies in our educational curricula is imperative for developing sustainable business environments.
If an investor has lost his capital due to one of these factors, how do you convince such a person to reinvest his wealth in Nigeria for another loss? Dear Professor, investors like me and others need physical and moral sustenance before any meaningful business financial commitments will be made.
Dr Lukman A. Olorogun is an Associate Professor of Business, FWC Higher Colleges of Technology, Fujairah, UAE.