Dear Nigerians in Diaspora,
I’ve been looking for a way to tell you this without making it look like we do not appreciate all that you’ve been doing for us over here in Nigeria. Honestly, we truly appreciate your wonderful gifts of clothes, phones, laptops, cash, and even cars. We know that things are not so rosy over there as some Nigerians think, but you still share from the one you have. I want to say a big ‘Thank You’ on behalf of all of us here, who have been benefitting from your generosity in one way or the other.
I know you must be wondering what I want this time. Oh well, you have been giving us so much already, but Oliver wants some more. This time, we want both the fishes and the lessons on how to catch them.
Please, don’t blame us for wanting to learn how to catch fishes. You know how bad things are in Nigeria. Our education system is poor, NEPA is still doing blink-blink (even though they are now privately owned), the rate of unemployment is increasing, recession is still hitting us badly, our population is growing out of proportion, corruption is still dealing with us, and insecurity is getting out of hand. See, there is hunger in the land (even kidnappers are accepting yams and palm oil as ransom. Lol). I’m not saying all these to discourage you from coming home; I’m only trying to make you see that we still have plenty of works to do. We need your help before hunger and frustration send all our young intelligent ones out of the country.
I know you must be wondering what I wanted you to do. Don’t worry, I have a comprehensive list of some of the things you can do to help alleviate our pitiable conditions and heal the country. The list is not too much, so there’s no need to fear. Some of the things I have in mind that you can do for us are:
1. Bring Home the Knowledge from the Global North: You know, the Igbo people always say: “Onye nje nje ka onye isi-awo mara ihe”. This means that a traveller is wiser than the elderly that hasn’t travelled out of his locality. Your journey to the land of the wise man has exposed you to the wise man’s knowledge. Because of this, you are wiser than those of us here, irrespective of age, education and social standing. We, therefore, need you to come home and teach us those wisdoms.
We want to know how they do their things there. We want to know how they plan and manage their education system. We need knowledge of their technological advancement. Their medical discoveries are also important to also. Tell us how they do their security stuffs. In fact, come home and teach us everything you have learnt over there. If you are wondering how you can achieve this, then continue reading because we will get to that.
2. Invest in Start-Up and Established Local Industries: There are so many local industries that are trying to raise their heads above the sea level. Examples of such Nigerian companies are the textile and fashion industries, shoe manufactures, plastic manufacturers, hi-tech, crop and animal farming, and so many others. You can invest in them to make them come up a little bit closer to the international standard.
Our start-ups also need a lot of touches. They need partners, loans and grants. They also need supervision and mentoring. Most of them do not really understand the intricacies of running a sustainable business. You can decide to take some of them under your wings and nurture them. Trust me, there are so many people with wonderful innovative ideas that need people like you to help them put these ideas to reality.
3. Exporting our Products: I know that some of our products are not up to the international standard, but I believe that the story will change if the producers know that they will compete with international companies. So you can decide to be the exporter of our local products.
We have so many things that will be profitable out there. One of them is our food. I heard that Nigerian foods are ‘hot cake’ there. You can help our local farmers by buying from them and then selling them out there to make your own profit. Even our fashions make good sales there. Anyway, just ask around, I believe Nigerian Export Promotion Council can help you with the right information.
4. Establishing Companies: This will be very wonderful, especially if the companies will also help in bringing home the knowledge acquired from the Global North. The advantage of this can never be overemphasised considering that it will reduce unemployment and, hopefully, insecurity in the country. Some of our brothers and sisters in the diaspora have already taken up this venture, but we need more. And please, don’t bring down the quality of goods and services because you are in Nigeria. Make your products and services to be of the international standard. We need good things in Nigeria, and our local companies also need to learn from you.
5. Awarding Scholarships: We have a lot of brilliant young ones who couldn’t afford to sponsor themselves through primary and secondary education. There are also those who would love to go for courses that are not available in Nigerian universities. You can, please, organise yourselves and find ways to sponsor these people.
6. Pick-Up Jobs in Nigeria: I have noticed that most successful establishments in Nigeria have people like you at their managerial levels. We need more of this, even if it’s on a temporary basis. Come to Nigerian and pick up some jobs. You can go for the private sector or the public one. But if you ask me, I’ll say you should go for the public sector because a lot of changes need to be made there. But if that proves difficult, you can then consider the private sector. Whichever one it is, just give us the privilege of working with you.
Ok, I think I’ve given enough ways through which you can help us here in Nigeria. Please, I’m not saying that the cash and other gifts brought home don’t solve problems. The truth is that we need to find ways to earn from here other than waiting for you to send almost everything we need.
More so, we need to rebrand Nigeria and make it a safe haven for all of us. Nigeria can be healed if we act now, and fast too. As far as I can tell, this will not be possible without the combined efforts of all Nigerians, whether home or in diaspora.
So, keep the gifts coming, but please consider my ideas.
With love from,