Yesterday, I was browsing through Punch online newspaper, and I read that the Nigerian Naira has fallen even deeper against the dollar and now stands at ₦500 to $1. To say I was saddened is an understatement. I felt helpless, and at the same time, angry. How long will things keep getting worse? This is what every Nigerian is asking right now. No one knows the future of the country if things continue this way.
My country, Nigeria, is in recession. For some months now, up to a year, prices of commodities have been sky-high. People can’t afford the most basic of foodstuffs anymore. Inflation has flooded the Nigerian market. To say conditions within the country are impossible is barely shedding light on the actual crisis. I mean, people are actually dying!
I’m not a politician or an aspiring politician (well, no one knows the future), but I am a budding entrepreneur that’s learning at the speed of light. And one thing I know is that even the darkest cloud has a silver lining. Nigerians can choose to sit and watch as things get worse, or we can choose to make the best out of the current situation. How we go about this? By digging out the root of the problem. And what is the problem? The problem is that Nigerians don’t patronize homemade products. 99% of what we consume are foreign made. Even the oil we are so richly blessed with is shipped abroad for refinement. The problem is a fundamental one.
This is why my partners and I are starting up our business, because we want to redefine the state of the Nigerian market. We are social entrepreneurs who not only want to make profit, but also want to change the consumer behavior of the average Nigerian. Why do Nigerian prefer foreign goods to homemade good? I’d tell you why, Quality. Nigerians don’t trust the quality of what they produce, it sounds crazy but it’s the truth. The problem isn’t that Nigerians are not productive (there are over 1.2 million registered business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), I’ve done my research). Therefore, anyone who’s bringing a solution to the table at these trying times first has to tackle the issue of diversity in productivity, quality, and then awareness, because the reason why Nigerians are overdependent on foreign products is that they have more appeal compared to their local counterparts. These giant global companies know how to brandish their products in people’s faces by force.
I don’t know how many Nigerians are going to read this, but there is a loud wake-up call disturbing Nigerians to unite and solve this pitiful crisis. More entrepreneurs need to spring up. Every Nigerian must ask himself/herself what he/she can produce. In what way can you as a Nigerian add value to the Nigerian economy? In what innovative way can you influence the Nigerian market?
Please comment your ideas below, let’s all be productive together.
Victor Enesi is an entrepreneur and a blogger with a belief that anyone with the right push can become a successful entrepreneur. Like and follow the Facebook page ‘Life of a Budding Entrepreneur’ for instant updates. Stay tuned as we learn together. Cheers.