Why Nigeria still remain backward in ‘Entrepreneurship’ – by Obinna Uche

Obinna Uche Uzoije

By Obinna Uche Uzoije

Do you know that if Mark Zuckerberg is from Nigeria, he’ll probably be one corper serving at the NYSC frustrated with his head filled with ideas but nobody to invest?

And you know when he comes for the CDS, the zonal or local government inspector and their ilk will go and hire a marketer that’s either trying to sell a book or issue meagre certifications to him and he is forced to watch them talk about ‘entrepreneurship’.

The marketer begins with candle production. Talks about how you can go to the market and buy the wax, the rope for the candle nipple and so on. Then he goes over to how you can make dettol or anything like that. He concocts and concocts and churns out the dettol and every corper in the hall is amazed. They applaud the wonderful magic of ‘entrepreneurship’.

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Then the marketer starts glorifying his book as the the panacea to poverty and the only rout to becoming like Dangote in Africa. These corpers, even Mark may join to jump at the book, buy and start the life of ‘entrepreneurship’.

That Nigerian Mark is now from a country that isn’t Nigeria, a country that knows what entrepreneurship is and he just bought the Whatsapp for 22 billion dollars whereas the richest man that is used as yardstick in the Nigerian CDS is worth 13 billion dollars.

I’ve seen many programs imploring Nigerians to be entrepreneurs but I’ve not seen any conference telling people to invest. 9 out of 10 of all these businesses that spring up here and there will fail due to lack of investment. And our thought patterns, the things that get our attention here defines why we remain in the 3rd world.

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Other countries have steady supply of electricity but in Nigeria, we teach our future leaders how to make candles. Many of the corpers there have ideas of how waste can be recycled and how the environment can be clean but they are taught how to make insecticides, I mean tusa tusa. The world is light years ahead of us and we don’t seem to understand.

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If one person’s idea gets a world class investment, it will employ thousands and everybody will not have to go to the market to get chemicals for making candles and dettol. That stress is archaic. Bigger ideas will begin to emerge and exportation is considered. Our economy gets competitive in extension. These little things hardly move the economy, only big moves do. If everybody will be doing petty businesses like that, we will not achieve much.

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But our problem is that investors are attracted towards building night clubs and hotels in Nigeria but building companies abroad and investing in foreign economies. Some people will say Nigeria is just beginning but if you see a photo of Dubai in 1969, compare it to Dubai of now and think again. We cannot begin forever.

Change what you listen to and what you teach.


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