Good job with all the conversations we had on this group in the last few months, I guess you don't know this but a lot of people are at the back ground and we read each mail and try thinking through each perspective. I want to commend us all and possibly ask for your help on something. My Name is Godwin and I live and work in Lagos, I've had reasons to travel to Kogi lately, it's amazing how you'll never really understand the extent of lack and un-harnessed opportunities we live with back home. On the job I've had occasion to be part of groups that seek to revamp businesses and one of the things we tell business owner is that you can not afford to live in the past in a fast paced generation. That brings me to the issue of the Igala economics:
it's so disheartening that the best of national economics as it concerns various industries are left in the hands of other ethnic groups. A quick look at the board and you'll see Zenith bank proudly affording the people of Delta and Edo State the opportunity to build careers in almost every sector of the Nigerian Economy. We cannot discuss the future of banking/business in Nigeria without the mention of Jim Ovie, Elumelu, Ibru etc, every time you mention this names, it might surprise us that we mention their states and tribes as well. To better understand how this works, I'll illustrate with the following analogy, if you live in a rented apartment, you'll often not understand that your land lord wakes you up every morning to go to work, he tells you not to spend too much and save hard so you can pay him, the long effort to save through a year which we often call Set-aside Invest able Fund (SIF) is in another light a form of compulsory adherence to the slavery of the landlord who you must pay by the end of the year to allow you stay another year.
If the basic reason for working is to have fulfilment; in that we want to be part of a system that is geared towards making positive impact in this nation, then I guess that basic reason is rather jeopardized cos all we seem to do by paying the land lord annually is helping your land lord live a better life and not the nation as it seems. The land lord happens to have studied that need that would never cease. The need for accommodation and as a person thinking ahead of the masses, he or she just keyed into that need and became a god in this regard- that he now becomes the sacred reason why you save all year.(Plan to own a house today) The likes of Zenith bank, Globacom and Dangote are just another form of land lords but this time around they don't manage your house, the manage the life of over 140million persons.
The are economic lords, my friend calls them principalities; you'll never see them mingle with issues that don't affect their immediate business objective... So they all fight to manage the Nigerian Foreign Reserve (NFR), do you think its because they love Nigeria or the fact that they'll make money from doing so. Anyway my point is this, if Nigeria currently seems too complex for us to take on, I guess Kogi -Igala land should not be a problem. I understand from a couple of projects my office is working on currently that from the profit MTN made in its first year in Nigeria, at a time when little or nothing was expected from a country that was barely getting back into democratic rule, its obvious that Kogi State definitely has a lot of profit to offer any one that had a good business model, I want to believe that the time for building filling stations and one star hotel is long gone. In many states we hear of financial misappropriations and later the said thief ends up becoming a legitimate (If I can call them that) business entity in that the funds are diverted into starting viable corporate organizations that rank global standards. It would show you that stealing in itself requires a good use of style accompanied with a VISION- then the stolen money is used to fund a vision that translated in to a big company; now don't get me wrong, I don't support the idea of stealing government funds.
I am only trying to show us that VISION is often enhanced by CAPACITY and from what I see the so called igala top shots do when the have resources, its obvious we have a big problem of outdated business models, for its never really a problem to build a hotel as much as the hotel lacks finesse, neither is it a problem to build a fuel station but the extent of competition within that sector makes it worthless seeing that the population in Kogi state don't have the economic capacity to turn around that investment in a short period. The need for careful study of the igala population then creating a relevant business model that rank high standards has never been so required as much as now. The projects/strategies used that our supposed civilized or high capacity indigenes have financed in the last ten years makes it impossible for us to boast of a viable business unit that can employ 100 igala graduated globally; Let me be more specific, we do not have a company in the world that is majorly owned by an igala person that can employ 100 igala university or poly leavers with the ability to pay them on an interswitch or starcom pay standard. I did not bother mentioning the likes of globacom cos even our governor's legitimate income cannot rank the income of some friends I know back at the company.
To effectively become a rallying point in the economy of any nation, we'll need to address our understanding of style and quality, it has to be better that what is obtainable in our local system,in other words you need to begin to dream as an igala man or woman. You cannot allow the seeming absence of resources to hinder your mind from projecting into the world of business. The average cost of an imagination or a dream is still =N=0.00 and I can assure you that in 100yrs it would not change. As cheap as that might be, it's the most important instrument needed to lunch you into the world of possibilities. For only when we have dreams that are taller than us can we begin to evolve to reflect the kind of character needed to achieve it? You'll say we have dreams but no money, I'll say the people who have money have only showed the possible dept of our dream as people in the Nigerian Economic Context (NEC), we should be able to dream and let the passion cause us to develop in character to support the dream; so we look at buying up an insurance company as and example, you'll need to understand the workings of an insurance company,cos it would be unwise to seek to buy what you don't understand.
Secondly you might need to work in one to understand the problems the encounter currently, after that you might need to go back to school so you can project yourself from a more global perspective as an international student of the insurance sub sector. You quest to buy up a Nigerian insurance company would require a lot of work but permit me to say the first step is in dreaming. Doing business in Lagos with credible companies made me understand that waiting for kick backs or seeking for contracts from the government reduces you in to a man or lady that survives on pennies when you can own the entire system. If you want a contract from the government, you need to show that you have capacity, not only by putting papers together but you need to build a brand that reflects capacity, you need to imagine becoming a JB or PALAPINA or Coscharis within the sector you so desire. You cannot keep thinking you'll get far with the connection mentality cos even the god fathers would find it difficult to sell you as a brand when there's really nothing to sell. The economics of Igala land is currently in the hands of illiterates and shop owners, there are endless opportunities and we seem not to see them.
The ibo boys open shops and we all follow, we need to begin to up the standards and let them fight to catch up. When next you go to a major store in Lagos, Abuja, Uk or in America, try asking your self how possible it is to replicate this superstore in Kogi state even if it has to be on a small scale but let the quality and finesse be high enough and you'll see that Kogi State or Igala Land is as profitable as any other state, we just need to deal with the needs and up our standards and the people would evolve to reflect their unending desire for class and exclusive service delivery. I strongly believe igala land and kogi state as a whole have intelligent people who can key into the opportunities that currently exist within, the question is how…….? Thank you for your time.