by Olayinka Oduwole
I recently read a Tekedia brief where the writer mentioned that Nigeria is the best place to invest. The author mentioned that open friction exists within the markets which therefore gives rise to various opportunities. In his words, ‘in Nigeria, there are acres of diamonds everywhere. From our food systems to our healthcare systems, from our road systems to our power systems, from our educational systems to our aviation and indeed everything, you see frictions everywhere. That is why Nigeria is the best place to invest.’
I pondered about these statements for a while and got to the realization that it requires a different level of thinking to make these assertions. To an ordinary Nigerian, there is no power. Individuals and families therefore need to purchase fuel to run their generators. The health care system is broken. Food prices could skyrocket at any point. ASUU could go on strike at any point. To the average Nigerian, these are problems and problems that the Government needs to fix. As a matter of fact, they cannot see beyond these problems. And it is indeed frustrating. And in that state, all you can therefore do is lament and complain about how broken the system is and perhaps think of a better destination to relocate to where life may be better.
But, for an individual like Prof, who’s on a different wavelength, he sees these problems, not as problems, rather as business opportunities. The inadequacies of the Government means that Individuals with foresight and the right vision can therefore step in, look for solutions to these problems and enjoy the diamonds that indeed exist everywhere. The catch is that not everyone can see the diamonds because the diamonds lie beyond the problems. That is, you hit a diamond only after you successfully proffer a solution to the problem.
He also mentioned that few things work in Nigeria which therefore makes it a country with the biggest problems to be solved in the world. This statement alone can cause some families to consider relocation to a different country with perhaps the smallest problem in the world. The issue here is, from my experience, comfort destroys creativity. When you are very comfortable, your brain automatically goes into sleep mode. A country with the smallest problem also mean that the problems have been fixed for you and therefore present the smallest opportunities for finding diamonds. But in a country with the biggest problems, if you can see beyond the problems and get creative, then you realize that the biggest problems in essence presents the greatest opportunities.
He further mentioned that the new set of Nigeria leaders need to be bold to fix these challenges. We are indeed our biggest fear. And the moment an individual can overcome that fear, then we shatter whatever glass ceiling lies and suddenly realize our strengths.
To conclude, even though we see the same things, we however see them differently; you may choose to see problems while someone else sees opportunities. Therein lies our differences and opportunities to either grow or reduce. If one can see the bigger picture in situations, then one can indeed make lemonade anytime life throws you lemon.