Why Government Employees Should Be Internal Entrepreneurs

Why Government Employees Should Be Internal Entrepreneurs

By Chinedu J. Ihekwoaba

Do you tremble at the word “Entrepreneurship”?

Yes, I once did. Perhaps the fear of not earning a monthly paycheck is a scary place to be because of the monthly bills.

Entrepreneurship is the only medicine for poverty. No wonder successful people like Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote, Mark Zuckerberg and many more are entrepreneurs. If you care for the unborn generations, start thinking of entrepreneurship.

I wrote about the Nigerian minimum wage in one of my articles and I got mixed reactions from the audience. One of the standout reactions from the audience is a masterpiece from a LinkedIn connection, J.O.

J.O. said, “You get paid for the value you bring to the table and not what you want. The result is VALUE. It is not how hard you work but it’s by how much value you bring from the skillset that you have acquired.

That is the reason why it is called MINIMUM WAGE because you bring minimum value due to less skill.”

He further emphasized that, ”A McDonalds  worker works hard but the value he/she brings is little and replaceable compared to the CEO or manager. A load carrier at main market works hard but what is the societal value of his/her contribution?”

This illustration shows why many employees are scared of going into entrepreneurship. Many government employees bring little or nothing to the table when it comes to value.

The government parastatals are one of the places we get minimum satisfaction for our money. Take, for example, the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), before it was privatized, they gave zero satisfaction to the citizens. NEPA failed in the distribution of power supply to the country. That prompted the government to sell to a private organization.

Think about NITEL, National Population Commission and many other government parastatals. These sets of people running the organizations are employed by the government. No wonder the government finds it difficult to pay above $90/month for the least paid among them. It’s obvious the government cannot see any value they bring.

Most people blame the government for not providing adequate funding but the question is, what have you done with the limited funds given?

The Nigerian education system is still the same way it used to be back in the 1970s. The same sets of people are still in the running, doing the same thing, using the same curriculum.

  • Where is the value?
  • Why do you think you deserve more?

A big question only a few can answer. Those who bring great value had left a long time for greener pastures. Those who brought nothing are still behind agitating for an increase in pay. There is no disrespect to any professional. I am only writing the way I see it.

Entrepreneurship is scary to people who don’t bring value because it takes a lot to convince people to pay for your service. If you think otherwise, answer these questions:

  • Why should I pay for your service?
  • What will I benefit?
  • What is the value or satisfaction?

Remember, not every citizen of Nigerian can actually get an answer from the government parastatals.

If you wonder why people are scared of going into entrepreneurship, it’s simply because they bring little or nothing in value.

Who are scared of entrepreneurship? Many; and I will like to challenge government employees to become INTERNAL entrepreneurs in the government institutions. It is only when they exhibit such capabilities and productivity that government will have money to pay them better. They do not have to resign from their jobs, for the external entrepreneurship of owning companies, but they can innovate and be internal entrepreneurs in any government parastatals they are employed.

An internal entrepreneur is known as an intrapreneur (makes part of intrapreneurship) and is defined as “a person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.

If they do just that, government will have resources to pay public workers better.

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2 thoughts on “Why Government Employees Should Be Internal Entrepreneurs

  1. Comfort E. Isaiah · Edit

    I strongly concur with the challenge you gave Chinedu.

    By becoming internal entrepreneurs government employees will be more productive and their productivity will in turn provide government the resources needed to pay them better wages.


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