Tuesday, February 10, 2009

IGALA ECONOMICS

Hi,



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.



Godwin


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