Being A White Businessman in Nigeria: Part 2

Malcolm X, in one of his speeches, talked of how the Chinese got rid of the Uncle Toms in China during and after the Chinese Revolution, turning it into one of the roughest and toughest nations on the planet. Such actions rid the nation of the enemies within. Many people may argue, such an approach won’t work in Nigeria. Nigerian public officials do not fit the profile of Uncle Tom. On the contrary, they are reproductions of a chameleon prototype, Uche Bisi Baraka; bureaucrats who help themselves, their families, and favourites with public funds, not the public. Uche Bisi Baraka’s success in the civil service depends on his or her proximity to European and similar persons. The label, redundant, goes to jobs that do not bring Uche Bisi Baraka into professional contact with foreign technical partners (TPs). This is where the deference begins. One can only imagine what actions would Malcolm X prescribe to handle such people? Continue reading

Being A White Businessman In Nigeria

 

A misplaced irony cuts through barriers in Abuja’s government as a dagger through groundnut oil. The irony is unstoppable. Only a few Nigerians worry about it; most folk ignore it. Thus, its discussion is rare in public, but everybody knows it happens. It’s a matter for civil servants and the beneficiaries of the irony. It brings back memories of the shame of colonisation felt after gaining independence. Who wants to remember? Civil servants may have learned the irony in government as a remnant of colonisation. Or fashion it as they go along to compensate for their lack of competences in managing the country. The latter is the more rational reason. Elected officials have a duty to develop their nation’s laws, skills, and resources. The government fails in that quest and leaves the nation exposed to many external influences and cultures. A vulnerable nation is inevitable. Where is the pride of independence? Besides identity, tribe, family, and money, what is there to be proud? The question may offend Nigerians, but will not hold their leaders and civil servants to account. Not even for the irony. Continue reading