NIGERIA @ 63: THERE IS STILL DIGNITY IN LABOUR by Osifeko Mark Olaniyi. - LagosTrend

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Monday, October 2, 2023


As Nigerians celebrate Nigeria's 63rd Independence on Sunday October 1st 2023, it coincided with the final of one of Nigeria's popular TV reality show "Big Brother Nigeria". I felt the urge to write about something I have recently observed. The winner of this particular show I learnt went home with prizes worth 120 million naira. I then silently asked myself if this is thesame show where all the contestants couldn't answer one current affairs question correctly including a lawyer who couldn't answer "which body interpretes law" Sincerely, I don't have any beef for the winners of these shows but my crux is the quick win and lottery mentality these things are selling to Nigerians especially the youths. When you visit most junctions, you see young ones flocking betting shops and spending thousands daily or weekly playing their life in anticipation of the false hope these businesses sell to them. I have both read about and met the owners of the 2 major sport betting companies in Nigeria. Bet Naija (Hon. Kunle Soname) and Nairabet (Hon. Akin Alabi). They are both young, focused and hardworking businessmen who are only making their money from the betting business. They didn't make it through betting itself. They rose through the ranks and coincidentally, they are both average politicians with very rich credentials. Who then told you sport betting is the way up? How many betting or lottery winners have remained rich or become billionaires through it's proceeds? How many past winners of reality shows are still rich and famous except for those who are into creative arts? I don't even want to go near the drug scourge and other social vices that are destroying our youths. We won't exhaust the long list. Currently, Nigeria doesn't just have a huge population of unemployed people, we also have a huge population of unemployable people who can't be trusted with businesses and opportunities because of the "get rich syndrome" that has now been enmeshed in our lifestyle. I have personally closed some lines of businesses because of outright shortage of labour or lack of trusted labour. Same is the story from friends running businesses. I wouldn't carpet all youths in Nigeria as we have so many creative, innovative and hardworking youths in Nigeria but unfortunately, they don't have a support systems to propel and enhance them because apart from the failure of the government to put in the necessary support systems, our private organisations are also becoming irresponsible in the choice of ventures they put their monies on simply because they also want quick monies so the chain continues. Where are the seed capitals, grants or loans for budding entrepreneurs? What support do innovators get from the government and our private organisations? What is the volume of CSR these companies splashing cash at reality shows giving to their host communities at least? We can't continue on this trajectory and not get our fingers burnt. We can't continue to downplay creativity, hardwork and dignity of labour and expect a miracle. If you have relatives abroad, ask them how they make their monies. They make money from working hard in 2 to 3 different organisations doing the jobs they won't even touch in their home countries or studying hard to become professionals. Why then are we selling a hoax to our young ones that wealth can be miraculously made in Nigeria? Youths, let's roll up our sleeves and get back to work to build dignifying wealth for ourselves and Nigeria. There is still dignity in labour.

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