CORRUPTION AND FINANCIAL IGNORANCE IN AFRICA (THE CASE OF NIGERIA)

By: Ugochukwu Omeogu /www.africanakua.com, Nigeria

[Editor: RICHARD FIEBOR]

John Ogunlela wrote on his Facebook Page:

What astonishes me is that in all these stealing, our people have not the faintest idea of how to use money. I am getting scared we are caught up in an age of fools.

WHAT DOES THE NIGERIAN DO WITH MONEY?

He buys things.

Then he buys power and more power.

He traumatizes his community with his wealth, he makes the poor feel their poverty and the average person bemoans his averageness.

Then he builds things: some big towers here and there which become the talking points of lesser idiots whose place in life is to praise those structures even as they hope to build the same someday.

He then gets honoured by religious homes devoted to Mammon where he gets praised by the worshippers of the idol there who promise the money man life hereafter for a slice of his goodies.

Then he dies in hopes that people will be talking about him.

Soon he is forgotten like other fools.

Why do we Nigerians find it hard to understand the use and meaning of big money and are stuck on this selfish, this perverted notion of wealth?

All you get is, the man came to that party in a big jeep, he has an aircraft, oh, two.

He has an estate in Maitama or Lekki, he built up a street in London.

Then he unleashed that money to buy up consciences and to stamp down truth.

His shopping list will include judges and policemen.

He funds his political party and he is rewarded with even more money which he recycles the same old way.

Why is our idea of wealth so narrow and underdeveloped?!

The challenge is not money, it is a lack of the knowledge of what actually to do with it.

Where people have wisdom, they understand that once possessions go beyond a home and two cars with ample retirement fund, the use of money is to build your community and to build your nation.

You invest wealth in people, beginning with your own children and those in your extended family who can be raised.

Is it not wonderful that not a single man or woman among these people who have spirited away billions of naira has thought of establishing a factory manufacturing cell phones in Nigeria?

Hasn’t none of them thought he should put together something to address such a huge market and potential for homegrown development?

They cannot come together and say, ‘Let’s solve the electricity problem’.

None has said, ‘I want to make a dent on the housing challenge. I will go into affordable housing and build new cities’.

None has said, ‘Most of our universities have a shortage of hostel accommodation. I’d like to address that’ and put in two billion per school.

It is a proof of lack of sense, a proof of scandalous stupidity that with all those billions, there is no impact on society and people are mostly unemployed and there are no spectacular undertakings to fire the imagination of the younger ones.

Why haven’t these guys come together and built the second and third Niger bridge and the 4th Mainland bridge in Lagos?

Why can they not make their money work for the society and push people forward?

What is the use of money that does not serve society but only buys little things like cars and airplanes, just toys to flatter the little ego of the owner?

It is foolish to think this limited way and even more foolish to admire and applaud such people. It is like drinking from a gutter.

I hope we can start to discuss money in terms of impact, not consumption. And when I say impact, I do not mean those demeaning things politicians do when they give out ‘okadas’ (motorcycles) and wheeled barrows to mock the poverty of their people.

I mean real impact.

Let us solve the electricity problem’.

Let some rich people decide to fix the 48km road linking Ado Ekiti and Akure.

Let someone say, I want to train 500 corpers through an Oracle certification course and drop a cheque.

Someone should fund the development of the Nigerian automobile in a university or two with N4 billion.

Another should rise and rebuild all the houses in his village and connect them all to a potable water source.

Lets have some devotion to our country, to our people and put an end to this barbarism.

Let us make ourselves great on earth!

MY RESPONSE:

They cannot be of such usefulness because they did not create the value that yielded the money in the first place.

They violated the wealth creation process and as such denied their mind the opportunity to develop the value and virtues of eternal and intrinsic competence to develop other human beings that will help them multiply the money.

They have no need for anybody because their ways are discreet and would not want other mortals to develop who will in turn question their source and their ways

Thus, telling them to do such is like asking a woman who adopted a new born baby to breastfeed the baby. It is impossible because her body did not go through childbirth and therefore has not been prepared for lactation and cannot produce breast milk to feed the baby.

It is in the process of pregnancy and childbearing that the body and its hormones produce and prepare all the necessary resources and abilities to sustain the life of the baby after birth.

The same goes with wealth creation, it is nearly impossible to think about developing other mortals with your riches when you do not go through the process of value creation as to know its positive impacts on other people. The awareness of this comes in the knowledge of it.

Hence as the Scripture says, “As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid, so is they who make a fortune, but unjustly; In the midst of their days it will forsake him, in the end, they will become poor old fools.”

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