tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post2386575620837514145..comments2016-08-20T19:14:01.630+01:00Comments on naijablog: A crisis of values..Jeremy[email protected]Blogger49125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-5853001822080104892008-06-21T05:45:00.000+01:002008-06-21T05:45:00.000+01:00I learned a lot about myself. It was great, to liv...I learned a lot about myself. It was great, to live 2 months with a Nigerian family and see how they live here. I will never forget these people, with their open hearts, with their zest for life. <BR/>-Andrea Tanner, Switzerland. <BR/><BR/>Everything was fantastic. The food was beautiful, my room was comfortable and my hostess wonderful if a little over-protective from time to time, which is understandable of course. I will miss her and Yinka a lot. The programme has broadened me in ways that I never thought possible. My confidence has grown from being coerced/forced to deal with what seemed at the time difficult or unfair situations. Overall it has made me a more balanced, humble and appreciative person. Nigeria is in need of so much but we in the developed world are in need of a reality check and the opportunity to experience the sheer joy that simple things like sitting on a stool on the side of the street to have a coke can be. I will miss it so much. <BR/>-Laura Naple, Ireland. <BR/><BR/>Three best memories of Nigeria:<BR/>(1) Walking everyday to and from my workplace, people greeting me and knowing me spontaneously heartwarming.<BR/>(2) Being in a workplace that does so many good things for society, I had a very enlightening view through them.<BR/>(3) My stay with my host family, when it became very more familiar and I felt very well at home.<BR/> <BR/>-Karin Denessen Hoffmann, The Netherlands. <BR/><BR/>I will miss "Oyinbo" callings. I will remember the different impressions of Nigeria. I'll remember the friendly people, also the situations when they paid me (someone paid) for my bus or cab fare even if I didn't know them. I'll remember the orientation because this was the time I was confronted with the people and their culture the first time. I'll remember the time at Kokodome with friends. I admire the Nigerians how they live without light and water,... the beach was great, Abuja too ... the friendly people. <BR/>-Jacquelline Uschmann, Germany <BR/> <BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>http://www.sytonigeria.org/comments.html<BR/><BR/><BR/>"...open heart, zest for life, friendly faces, friendly people..."<BR/><BR/><BR/>Na so-so this mad poster wey say we no friendly suppose examine hin own head first. You say we should ask the visitors to Nigeria - we have asked them. Na only you wey get this argument of us being unfriendly and arrogant-to-mask-shame (whatever that is supposed to mean, since we have nothing to be ashamed of, as every country has its own skeletons).<BR/><BR/>But no be so for you - when the word Nigeria is mentioned, na so so reason go be the first victim. Na waa o. Mschewwwwwww.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-67720375982462091562008-06-21T05:37:00.000+01:002008-06-21T05:37:00.000+01:00For anonymous 7:57, http://goafrica.about.com/od/n...For anonymous 7:57, <BR/><BR/>http://goafrica.about.com/od/nigeria/Nigeria_Travel_Guide.htm<BR/><BR/>Nigeria Travel Guide<BR/>This Nigeria travel guide offers information about hotels, sights, maps, travelogues, safety and more -- for visitors to Nigeria. Tourism is still in its infancy since Nigeria suffers from a reputation of being corrupt and prone to violence. But travelers who do make it all report that the people are among the friendliest in Africa.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>* Well, well, well... travelers reporting that the people are among the friendliest in Africa. I think it is safe to conclude that the poster 7:57 obviously has had a terrible experience in Nigeria. This is generally what happens to those who travel to Nigeria expecting to be treated specially. For the vast majority of visitors (I assume goafrica.com has a large enough sample size - at least larger than one), the people of Nigeria are some of the warmest, kindest and most welcoming people you'll meet anywhere. That, at least, has been my own experience. And yes, I am white but that is not the reason I am treated differently or well.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-17141545578698036512008-06-21T05:30:00.000+01:002008-06-21T05:30:00.000+01:00From the BBC's African Diary:http://www.bbc.co.uk/...From the BBC's African Diary:<BR/><BR/>http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2005/07/05/sarah_collins_africa_feature.shtml<BR/><BR/>The hotel is fantastic, of course friendly.. all Nigerians are friendly! And funny too with a great sense of humour (phew!). The hotel is decorated in true African style with bamboo furniture, African wooden chairs and the rooms have art work in there too, almost like a mini art gallery!<BR/><BR/>---------------------------------<BR/><BR/><BR/>I'd rather take the word of a well-traveled BBC reporter than one of a disgruntled Nigeria-phobe, making sweeping generalizations about Nigerians cheating him.<BR/><BR/>Maybe if you got the stick outta your arse, Nigerians would actually stop being so unkind to you.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-16576551752989539492008-06-21T05:07:00.000+01:002008-06-21T05:07:00.000+01:00Funny that I should see a discussion on the friend...Funny that I should see a discussion on the friendliness of Nigerians as perceived by foreigners. I just came across an article that actually touches on that (it's from a Sierra Leonean):<BR/><BR/>--------------------<BR/><BR/><BR/>Concord Times (Freetown) <BR/><BR/>COLUMN <BR/>12 June 2008 <BR/>Posted to the web 12 June 2008 <BR/><BR/>Sulaiman Momodu <BR/>Freetown <BR/><BR/>In the first part of this article, I stated that I was visiting Nigeria for the first time with a small share of the huge global perception that I was visiting the land where fraud, better known as *****, was born. So for every move I've made, I've suspected every Nigerian to be a ***** or a potential fraudster. Also, I have found myself answering the recurring question: Are you a Nigerian? <BR/><BR/>As previously stated, it was also during my visit to Abuja that I heard on the BBC the revised edition of President Koroma's promise to declare his asset. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Should I call this a very effective way of fooling the impoverished and gullible masses? The idea is simple. <BR/><BR/>You make a promise today and after several months of not fulfilling it, you come up with a revised edition, or "a remix". The hungry masses love to hear good promises, so you make the revised promise and deliver it very passionately. The result? Rounds of applause. <BR/><BR/>Once again, the people become hopeful of better days to come; the politician goes back into his well-guarded tinted car, smiling. <BR/><BR/>You know, Nigerians will tell you that they are never ever impressed by promises politicians make. To put it succinctly, if promises were horses, every Nigerian will ride. Incidentally, during my early days in journalism, a politician once told me in Makeni that politics is all about making promises and constantly fooling the people. He said this during an interview about a failed promise. The next day the story made it to our front page: "We fooled Makeni people." Naturally, Mr. Politician didn't like my story but he was on tape so there was no "I was misquoted" balderdash. <BR/><BR/>Going back to my trip, after a long and exhaustive flight, I woke up on Nigerian soil fully refreshed to explore Africa's most populous nation of over 140 million people. To move around, I walk or use taxis and buses. I also cherish a ride on an 'Okada' but do not feel comfortable with the way riders abuse traffic rules. <BR/><BR/>Abuja, the federal capital is a beautiful, roadside-rubbish-accumulated-free city, created in the 1980s after the decision to move the Nigerian capital from congested and crime endemic Lagos. The federal capital boasts of many beautiful work of architecture, paved road networks including flyovers and a relatively impressive sanitation. I could not help but notice a construction boom in this administrative capital. <BR/><BR/>Taxis as well as buses are painted in the country's national colours. However, some taxis I have hired do not have the green, white and green painting. One cab driver explained. "Taxis are not allowed to enter certain areas, so if I paint my car as a taxi I will not go to some offices". <BR/><BR/>Here, I've found prices of some goods disturbingly very high in a style that is akin to fraud. Prices of most goods are four or five times their actual price and one is expected to haggle or pay through the nose. <BR/><BR/>With my Pidgin English, I have easily adjusted to the system. What do I mean? Tell me the price of something and I will offer a paltry 10 percent price and we start negotiating. But are all Nigerian businessmen really money hungry cheats? In one instance, I inadvertently overpaid for an item. To my pleasant surprise, the businessman returned the excess money. I thanked him for his honesty and subsequently bought two items instead of one. <BR/><BR/>Nigeria is undoubtedly famous for Nollywood. Perhaps, my interest in watching Nigerian movies goes back to 'Living in Bondage', the first movie that opened up Nigeria's movie industry. Although I may have some reservations about the quality and originality of some movies, once in a while I still do find time to watch them. I have also met a number of leading Nigerian actors and actresses. Perhaps, one item that is not overpriced is Nigerian movies. <BR/><BR/>Generally, one VCD goes for 200 Naira, less than 2 USD. In one movie shop, I was delighted when I saw the part 2 of a movie, the part 1 of which I had watched before. Before I could pay, the young seller asked whether I was looking for part 2 and told me to return it, disclosing that Part 2 had been mistakenly written on the box but it was actually Part 1 - another honest transaction. <BR/><BR/>Added to my impression that Nigerians are not all that dishonest as is widely believed, I must reiterate that I have found many Nigerians very helpful as well. In my previous article, I stated how a young lady assisted me at the Murtala Mohammed Airport to get to a domestic airport, and how a civil servant assisted me to get to my Abuja residence several kilometers away from the airport and even paid the taxi fare. <BR/><BR/>Coming to Nigeria has given me an opportunity to think deeply about the whole issue of ***** or fraud or taking money by false pretence, or call it what you will. Is this vice only made in Nigeria? <BR/><BR/>Growing up in Sierra Leone under the old APC system, I still have vivid memories of a perennial no power supply and how we had to, most times, rely on kerosene lanterns. Whenever I had gone to filling stations to buy kerosene, somebody standing by the pumping machine and claiming to be the salesman would collect the money and would actually go to their office to bring the pumping equipment. <BR/><BR/>After sometime, another person would walk up to me and ask what I wanted and would demand for the money. And when I had replied that I had already paid, he would then ask: "Did you pay to me?" I still remember these ***** incidents with bitterness. It was pure organised crime in a system where people had been publicly encouraged by late President Siaka Stevens to be corrupt, and where we were told that our education was not a right. And where was I to report that I had been robbed at a kerosene station? To the corrupt police? Or go to court where injustice was permanently waiting to further exploit the poor? So my experience of ***** goes back to my childhood. <BR/><BR/>Contributing to fighting the ills of society partly spurred me into journalism. But even working as a journalist had not saved me from becoming a victim of *****. One of the so-called chiefs of Lumley in Freetown once collected my hard earned money and issued a receipt for an apartment that he said would be empty the next day as the occupant was moving to his own house. Everyday, the chief (the thief actually), told me come tomorrow, go and come day after tomorrow etc. <BR/><BR/>One day, after many weeks of promises, his biological son was so upset that he informed me that his father had no place to rent at all. I believe in the rule of law so with the speed of lightning, I went straight to the police. After he was squeezed, he coughed up part of the money. And just in case you think I am the only victim of Sierra Leone *****, ask Osman Benk Sankoh and Idrissa Conteh (Atomic Pen), both of whom are former editors. They had been perfectly duped of good money by so-called well-respected people. <BR/><BR/>Annoyingly, in some cases, even the involvement of a lawyer does not save one from becoming a victim. You see, ***** are thieves who make their ill-gotten wealth from a rotten system. Their actions are rooted in the fact that those who are supposed to make the system work sit in air conditioned offices using their pens to steal big time and deprive the masses - you and I. I call this official *****. <BR/><BR/>Other ***** fool apparently greedy people who just want to make quick money through dubious means. Tell me, what business will I have for instance with someone who will come up to me and ask that I give him or her money with a promise to double or triple it? Why will anybody indulge in drug trafficking if he has no accomplices and willing buyers? Make no mistake, big Nigeria may have fraudsters, but small Sierra Leone also has its own share of rogues who steal on a daily basis making a naturally endowed country the laughing stock of the world. Like many Nigerians who support anti-corruption moves, some of us will always support any move to minimize corruption in Sierra Leone, but not political rhetoric - saying what people want to hear and they clap for you? <BR/><BR/>Well, my sojourn to Nigeria has almost come to an end and I must point out that it has been limited to Abuja and Lagos. By and large, I have found many Nigerians to be friendly and a happy people who are especially passionate about clothes and parties during which they 'spray' cash as we see in Nigerian movies. One thing I have also observed in Lagos unlike some other African cities is the traffic. While the place is still dark at dawn, a heavy traffic is usually seen crawling along some main roads. It's time to leave oil-rich Nigeria now, but memories of my visit will linger in a long time to come and how many Nigerians actually thought I am a Nigerian. I am off to Accra for few days but do hope to visit Naija in future for a much longer time. Take care!<BR/>--------------------------Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-9725819025832296392008-06-19T21:09:00.000+01:002008-06-19T21:09:00.000+01:00@ anonymous 7:01, the jury is out on your conclusi...@ anonymous 7:01, the jury is out on your conclusion. This naijablog post has been packed with data and links painting conflicting pictures of life in Ghana and Nigeria. having visited both countries recently (this May), I am not sure I can pic out the difference in quality of life between the two - and i would be a liar to claim that the average ghanian has a better life than the average nigerian. <BR/><BR/>next, the diversity in ghana cannot really be compared with nigeria, where there are over 514 ethnic group (ghana has about 70).<BR/><BR/>lastly, nigeria hasn't vast amounts of oil - as ngozi okonjo iweala put it, if you make 140 million dollars a day from oil, in a nation like nigeria which sells oi at ~2 million barrels a day, that's a dollar a day for each nigerian. you do the math.<BR/><BR/><BR/>@ama, discussion is an exchange of ideas, argument is an exchange of emotion. End of. <BR/><BR/>@anon 7:16, there are not that many Lebanese in ghana - it is not correct that the lebanese have a significant share of Ghana's economy. they don't. and nigeria doesn't either.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-27080320465848740662008-06-19T19:31:00.000+01:002008-06-19T19:31:00.000+01:00This Ghana versus Nigeria boxing contest is not wh...This Ghana versus Nigeria boxing contest is not what Jeremy's post was about. It's not doing anyone any good. Let's drop it!Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-85571744297123502192008-06-19T19:01:00.000+01:002008-06-19T19:01:00.000+01:00Ghana is not homogenous. We have many ethnic grou...Ghana is not homogenous. We have many ethnic groups, the largest being the Akan Speaking group, the Ewe in the East , the Gas and the Hausas in the North. There are many other small groups.<BR/><BR/>I see you find a lot of excuses for the dismal economic situation of Nigeria ( heterogenous, large population etc) you failed to mention the advantages that Nigeria has over Ghana namely lots of oil.... a piece of advice look inwards... don't bash Ghana... it won't make the situation any better.<BR/><BR/>Like it or not, the quality of life for an average citizen of Ghana is better than that of Nigeria.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-90542506291240919812008-06-19T18:52:00.000+01:002008-06-19T18:52:00.000+01:00@ ANON 7.16You are a typical example of an empty b...@ ANON 7.16<BR/><BR/>You are a typical example of an empty barrel uninformed ignorant loud mouthed Nigerian, luckily for Nigeria you are in the minority.<BR/><BR/>I believe you must be suffering from stress induced dementia as you seem to be greatlty exagerating your existence.<BR/><BR/>I won't bother to get into a debate about the so called "slavish attributes" of Ghanaians, as it is obvious from your post that you are angry and slightly delusional.<BR/><BR/>Suffice it to say that as much as you seem to have a very low regard for Ghanaians, we in turn have a low regard for foul mouthed,uninformed boastful Nigerians such as yourself. And we certainly do not want your kind here in Ghanaama[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-11888583225187487412008-06-19T18:47:00.000+01:002008-06-19T18:47:00.000+01:00anonymaus, I wouldn't use the UN for the very same...anonymaus, I wouldn't use the UN for the very same reason you bashed the CIA.<BR/><BR/>In addition, that Ghana is higher up in the UN HDI than Nigeria was already mentioned (see one anonymous above).<BR/><BR/>Finally, Ghana is, relative to Nigeria a united and - yes - homogeneous nation, with one dominant language and one dominant people. Compare that with a nation with three dominant peoples moving in three different directions at the same time, still unable to overcome suspicion from a war that ended 40 years ago, and which is still on the list of failing states and you must understand the reason Ghana has, with its advantages bestowed by nature, been a massive failure. Peaceful, united, far more homogeneous, muc fewer mouths to feed and the best they can come up with is a poor, aid-dependent nation like Ghana?<BR/><BR/>It should be more like Gabon and less like the poverty-stricken mess that it is. <BR/><BR/>And I am not connected with Nigeria or Ghana.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-10757468919440344402008-06-19T02:49:00.000+01:002008-06-19T02:49:00.000+01:00Anengifyefa, eloquent and incisive - thank you for...Anengifyefa, eloquent and incisive - thank you for your words of observation, I'm in total agreement.<BR/><BR/>Also Kola and Bamsant, who chipped in with some choice statements.<BR/><BR/>Respect to you.<BR/><BR/>@ Anonymous 8.06pm, I wouldn't use the CIA stats unless I had to, because they are not perceived as being as neutral as the UN. Using the UN data for the human development index, Ghana is still ahead, (like it or not). <BR/><BR/>check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index#Complete_list_of_countries<BR/><BR/>Ghana is in the middle tier, and Nigeria, you guessed it, is in the bottom tier. <BR/><BR/>Ghana relatively homogeneous, I don't think so ... <BR/>(I've no connection with Ghana either).<BR/><BR/>Nigeria is not so "huge", that it can't be managed, there are nations many times larger that can manage their populace a whole lot better, so size is no excuse for bad management.<BR/><BR/>Thanks Jeremyanonymaus[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-59570128776665483902008-06-18T22:37:00.000+01:002008-06-18T22:37:00.000+01:00@ Anonymous 8.26pm, my take on it is this...when w...@ Anonymous 8.26pm, my take on it is this...when we lay the correct foundations for development in the real sense of the word, then and only then can we embark on the road towards real progress. There can be no excuse for the fact in 2008, most Nigerians can still not count on a reliable supply of potable water, or a constant and uninterrupted supply of electric power; there is no reason why adequate healthcare should continue to be a luxury, available only to the well heeled. The advances within the private sector that you have highlighted are hindered by the matters that I have mentioned here. And these failings are by no means exhaustive. <BR/><BR/>We Nigerians have a tendency to view our situation from a superficial perspective. You talk of the booming telecoms and banking industry, your brother who is about to graduate and is entering a job immediately after graduation. You talk of an emerging middle class. But I will point you to the woman in Akwa Ibom State or Taraba State, or almost anywhere else in Nigeria, whose child is dying of malaria because she is unable to afford the necessary treatment. Malaria is not a disease that anybody should die of, because it is 100% curable. I will point you to the thousands of Nigerian children who instead of having the opportunity to go to school, are forced into peddling petty products on the street; I will point you to the thousands of the disabled members of our society who are condemned to a life of begging in the streets. And the sad truth is that although most of us ignore these things and go about our business, they are an indictment of all of us. <BR/><BR/>The real problem in Nigeria is the almost total absence of a sense of social responsibility towards other members of the society. Our thinking is so insular that it has become self-defeating. Nigeria is not a poor country. We need to get the basics right first and foremost, and other things will fall into place.Anengiyefahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12680156670687593504[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-78222680608309389992008-06-18T20:26:00.000+01:002008-06-18T20:26:00.000+01:00anangyenifa, what can I say? Nigeria is heading in...anangyenifa, what can I say? Nigeria is heading in the wrong direction? I think not. For the first time, we are seeing macroeconomic development in Nigeria - not just in the flourishing private sector, the hope for the youth again, the re-emergeing middle class, the foreign reserves that have ballooned in years, the hope that banks can promote SMEs...etc. I can go on and on - I don't agree with the top-down model of development OBJ's regime (read: iweala) favored (hence the bank consolidation and emphasis on fiscal responsibility), but there is no doubt that the private sector in Nigeria today is booming. The one hinderance is electricity - if the same revolution we witnessed in telecomms, in banking and in trade can be repeated in the power sector, the sky is the limit.<BR/><BR/>I have to quietly beg to differ that we are heading in the wrong direction. Yaradua's government is the first one in years with no reason to fail: no debt, masssive reserves, a non-oil sector that continues to grow at more than three times the rate of the ever-shrinking oil sector, greater emphasis on diversification, etc.<BR/><BR/>When my brother graduates from college this July, he expresly told me that he doesn't need anyone's help to get a job. One of the new private engineering firms already recruited him. This was impossibnle 10 years ago, when we didn't have a private sector! <BR/><BR/>I have to beg to differ with your claim that we are moving in the wrong direction, thank you very much. The government is one thing, the people another.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-46568668253080983972008-06-18T20:06:00.000+01:002008-06-18T20:06:00.000+01:00At anon 6:59, I look to the CIA instead.Links (GDP...At anon 6:59, I look to the CIA instead.<BR/><BR/>Links (GDP per capita according to the CIA factbook): https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ni.html<BR/><BR/>https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gh.html<BR/><BR/><BR/>Ghana: $1400<BR/><BR/>Nigeria: $2000<BR/><BR/>According to your logic, the average Nigerian (whatever the bloody hell that means) earns 1.5 times as much as his Ghanaian counterpart. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Having said that, GDP per capita has never been and will never be an indicator of lifestyle. You should instead have pulled up information about the HDI, where Ghana does better. GDP per capita is useless as it gives no indication of spread. I'm guessing the GDP per capita in Nepal or Albania may be higher than in China, but no serious economist is storming to these countries ahead of China. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Finally, you speak of independence. Ghana got three years on us during the independence movement, not to metion the 4 years we lost during the pogrom/Biafran war days. When you combine this with the fact that Ghana has a smaller populace, a relatively homogenous people with far more in common than we have in Nigeria, never had a civil war, regained democracy before we did, has fewer mouths to feed and arguably more resources per capita than Nigeria, Ghana should be like Singapore now. <BR/><BR/>Instead, it is still comparing its GDP per capita with the likes of Nigeria and other failed African states like DR Congo. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Tufiakwa, that very Nigerian saying.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-16327937318378915722008-06-18T19:30:00.000+01:002008-06-18T19:30:00.000+01:00Let us face it, our country is heading in the wron...Let us face it, our country is heading in the wrong direction. We need to go back to the drawing board, and start afresh on a clean slate. We need to start this journey of nationhood all over again, because it's so obvious that we have lost our way, and we are not heading in the direction of progress and development. Nigeria is currently enjoying a windfall from oil revenues, and this may be our last chance to put things right. Sometimes, the truth is harsh, but it's still the truth, and acknowledging it is the only way forward. It is nothing short of a national disgrace that our country, which is one of the world's leading producers of petroleum oil, is regarded as one of the least developed in the world. We should be hanging our heads in shame. I cannot see what we Nigerians have to be arrogant about.Anengiyefahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12680156670687593504[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-62694004684753039892008-06-18T19:08:00.000+01:002008-06-18T19:08:00.000+01:00@ anonymous 6:21p.m. Things work in Ghana, you say...@ anonymous 6:21p.m. <BR/><BR/>Things work in Ghana, you say? That's strange - every other Ghanaian I know complains that things don't work in Ghana. And that's why they voted with their feet. <BR/><BR/><BR/>But if you insist, I am sure you are right.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-49625829939982374642008-06-18T19:06:00.000+01:002008-06-18T19:06:00.000+01:00@ama, count your lucky stars that you have EDUCATE...@ama, count your lucky stars that you have EDUCATED Nigerians in your universities. <BR/><BR/>We are often stuck with the poorly-educated Ghanaians: the shoemaker Kofis or Kwabenas of this world, who change their names to Kayode or Kunle upon arrival in Agege, or the wheel-barrow-pusher Atta (very common in Lagos) that becomes Aima, or the Awo that becomes Awe, and blends in with the Nigerians until his accent one day gives him away to the observant Nigerian. Thank your lucky stars you can tell Nigerians apart, because ghanaians in Nigeria blend in like melted butter.<BR/><BR/>yes, the 'aggressive' Nigerians like the 'slavish' Ghanaians very much. <BR/><BR/>Zenith bank likes the slavish Ghanaians, who were sitting on their docile, slavish arses until Zenith came in to liberate them from the chokehold of foreign-owned and pathetic domestic banks. Despite its many flaws, a bank like Zenith has opened the Ghanaian banking industry to competition, and it was not a surprise that GTB, Intercontinental, First Bank, etc - other 'aggressive' Nigerian banks upped the ante. Left to the Ghanaians, of course, their white masters would still be in control of their banking sector. But no, the aggressive Nigerians came in and took over. How you must love us. <BR/><BR/>You sit all day in Accra and watch these 'aggressive' Nigerians in Nigerian movies, yet your own movie industry, when given an equal opportunity to compete, struggles massively. Right - it's because there's more of the aggresive Nigerians, right? Right. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Just recently Globacom, lately enthroned the numero uno in Nigerian telecoms, moved into Ghana. It's only a matter of time before these 'aggressive' Nigerian folks from Globacom muscle into the market that is dominated by white South Africa's MTN - something the 'aggression' of the very Nigerian globacom has successfully done in Nigeria.<BR/><BR/>Need I go on? Omatek computers moves into the Ghanaians market, and in a few years, the same story we heard with the banks will be in play. <BR/><BR/>When Nigerian merchant traders move into Ghana, you relentlessly raise the minimum capital requirements for trade in Ghana, in a futile effort to keep out the Nigerians. When that fails, you turn to buring their shops. Like an aggressive hydra, these folks keep coming back. It is all, of course, much to your chagrin, you prefer the Lebanese traders to the Nigerian ones. One foreign master over another - yet people wonder: what are the lazy, slavish Ghanaians doing about all this? <BR/><BR/><BR/>"Anything foreign in Nigeria is accorded a higher price"<BR/><BR/>Exhibit A: Hollywood movies. Definitely 'accorded a higher price in Nigeria', but most definitely not what the majority of the populace consumes. We prefer our own people and our own content. Nothing wrong in that. It's about pride and the reality of the people.<BR/><BR/><BR/>Nigeria's government has its flaws not least being its insistence on keeping the oil industry in it own very dirty hands, but laughing at the ambition (you say aggression) of the Nigerian people in order to make a point is priceless: we are buying up your real estate, educating our kids in your schools (as well as harvard, princeton, yale, etc), sending our multinationals to your country, etc. You'd rather have white (or lebanese) masters than black ones. Why not just come out and admit it: Ghanaians were happier doing business with their white-owned banks than they are with Nigerians. Guess what? The Nigerians are here to stay. <BR/><BR/>The last decade has seen the birth of the Nigerian multinational, and the story you painted has been played out in every West African country - from Gambia all the way to Cameroon, even. As long as you live, ama, there will be more Zeniths, Globacoms, Nollywoods, Real estate develpers moving into your country to take over. The mistake you make is to assume that this trend is exclusive to Ghana - it is not. Notice that Globacom moved first into Togo and Benin before Ghana. <BR/><BR/>And in all these, you'll find that the Ghanaian corporations that dared to venture into the lucrative Nigerian market invariably find that their lazy and slavish attitudes get them nowhere fast. Most pack up shop and admit that they are unable to compete in a West African market dominated by 'aggressive' Nigerians.<BR/><BR/>The anti-Nigerian sentiment common amongst Ghanaians will continue to live on, for as long as we have the Wole Soyinkas, Globacoms, Nollywoods, Omatek, Adichie, Achebes and what not. Problem is, there is nothing you can do about it. Well, short of stripping naked, placing your clothes on your head and walking to the market square - naked - as the mad man that you have become. Nigeriaphobia-induced inasnity. Wouldn't be a first, really.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-41327390804388813292008-06-18T18:59:00.000+01:002008-06-18T18:59:00.000+01:00Kody, thank you.That is my point Nigerians want to...Kody, thank you.<BR/><BR/>That is my point Nigerians want to be in the fast lane with the big boys a la US and G8 and all that.<BR/><BR/>Their justification is the having the most mouths to feed in Africa and are Africa's second largest oil producer (yes, Angola have now eclipsed them). This I'm afraid is wholly inadequate. The basics have to be addressed first, I remember 10 years or so ago, about economists talking about the economy of China, they were saying it is doing well (now), but will they be able to keep it up for decades? The implication was a definite NO. Now we know better.<BR/><BR/>Nigeria has to do better than, extract raw materials. Self-sufficiency in food and energy would be a starter.<BR/><BR/>The road to economic lift-off (success) lies in economic diversification, implementing independent credible institutions, rule of law, education, health-care, playing to your strengths, etc. These are all very unpopular terms in Nigeria, because it implies a long drawn out effort of hard work, which the political elite view as poison (and increasingly many Nigerians do also). They'd rather swizz the populace out of their right dues (ie misappropriating oil wealth and embarking upon some non-productive hair brain schemes, and skimming off what they can get their hands on), rather than do the hard yards, like road construction and MAINTENANCE, etc.<BR/><BR/>The results of a long and steady path to recovery are slow, but patience is needed, if it all comes quickly, it can certainly disappear quickly. The Germans took time to re-gain their wealth after World War II.<BR/><BR/>Poverty is not the reason why Nigerians have let slide their cultural integrity. As others have pointed out, poorer countries have managed to retain theirs. Even if oil was $1000/ barrel and the oil derivation means of wealth distribution was increased to say 90% to the oil producing states, people would still be experiencing depressing poverty. Why? Because the correct fundamentals about planning for tomorrow, and concentrating on the basics for human development have not been properly addressed. Only silly schemes like building airports up and down the place that aren't properly maintained gain traction.<BR/><BR/>Nigerians want to impress the world, indeed they have a rich cultural heritage, but we are no longer living in the past, but today. What does Nigeria produce (I mean produce, not extract - extraction is for raw materials) that the world relies on? What centre of excellence is there, that makes it a major player on the world scene? Is it in engineering, science, technology, agriculture, service sector, medical sector, arms sector - no none of the above. So hence maybe a degree of modesty and recognition of the task that lies ahead is in order.<BR/><BR/>It takes more than bravado to join the g8 or even the g20. <BR/><BR/>I agree with Jeremy's diagnosis, the reasons for the slide in values in Nigeria are complex.<BR/><BR/>Pssst, anonymous (@5.41pm), the average Ghanaian earns twice as much as the average Nigerian.<BR/><BR/>Here's the link: http://hdrstats.undp.org/indicators/5.html (GDP per capita according to the UN).<BR/><BR/>So size isn't everything. Ghana have stolen a march on Nigeria before, when they got Independence.anonymaus[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-18302673923131980722008-06-18T18:21:00.000+01:002008-06-18T18:21:00.000+01:00Ghana is a better place to do business, because th...Ghana is a better place to do business, because things work.... electricity, water, law and order, etc. etc. <BR/>Business is not just about the population of a country..... yes, Nigeria may have a huge market, but its also a very risky place to do business.<BR/>Accra is only 30 minutes flight time away from Lagos, closer than Abuja.... so it's also convenient!Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-72850379633497926022008-06-18T18:15:00.000+01:002008-06-18T18:15:00.000+01:00Me oh mi. There's a lot of confusion out there. ...Me oh mi. There's a lot of confusion out there. Let me try to clarify my position:<BR/><BR/>1. I don't believe, as others do on this thread, that either the economy of a country, or the strength of its legal system, have wholly determinative effects on the ethics and values exhibited through collective patterns of behaviour. Blaming the economy, or hoping that legal reform would be a quick-fix, are both way too simplistic.<BR/><BR/>2. Neither do I believe Nigerians are more or less friendly than elsewhere. This is similar to the fatuous claim that Nigerians are the 'happiest people on earth'.<BR/><BR/>The behaviour of Nigerians in Nigeria is conditioned by the structural conditions of Nigeria (but not wholly so). It is no wonder that, for instance, Nigerians drive with more regulated behaviour in countries where there are more regulated forms of traffic control. Again, because these structural conditions are not wholly determinative, there is plenty of space for agency: for people to behave differently, and for heroes and angels to emerge (as they often do in difficult social conditions).<BR/><BR/>3. The idea that different national groups are more or less friendly is therefore to my mind a simplistic take on the world. A welcoming attitude to foreigners - which is what we are talking about - is culturally and socially articulated. In Ghana, social conditions are less 'stressed' (I am using the idea of stress societies from Sociology), therefore, one's experience there as a foreigner tends to be more relaxed, more welcoming.<BR/><BR/>4. All this is to go back to my original point: there is I believe a crisis of values in Nigeria which contributes to the generalised lack of integrity one finds in both the private and the public sector (as well as in the private and the public sphere). This can partly be explained by structural social conditions, but not wholly so. There must also be room for an aspect of explanation which involves some internal narrative dysfunction: cultural-spiritual alienation, a loss of cultural-national confidence, and ultimately, a crisis of identity.<BR/><BR/>If this identity crisis could be 'fixed' in some way (that's a big if), then everything else - including a functioning legal system - would fall into place.<BR/><BR/>In short, in my view, ethics and integrity stem/flow from a sense of individual and collective self-worth. Without that, everything will continue to collapse, be imported etc.<BR/><BR/>I hope that is clear...Jeremyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07506241936615649754[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-13118911181674470472008-06-18T18:11:00.000+01:002008-06-18T18:11:00.000+01:00Anon 10.14 amGhanaians slavish??? What exactly doe...Anon 10.14 am<BR/><BR/>Ghanaians slavish??? What exactly does that mean? You don't have to put Ghanaian down in order to defend Nigerians.<BR/><BR/>We are certainly not slavish.... maybe a little more well bred) polite, patient, soft spoken, less aggressive) than the average Nigerian. Just because a person doesn't yell at high decibels, boast profusely, cheat foreigners amongst other things does not make a person slavish.<BR/><BR/>I am Ghanaian, and I happen to admire the zest for life that Nigerians have. But to call Ghanaians slavish is plain stupid.<BR/><BR/>As I write, our capital city Accra is being overun by Nigerians looking for real estate to buy. Our Universities are full of Nigerian students.<BR/><BR/>It seems Nigerians like living amongst the so called slavish Ghanaians.<BR/><BR/>Finally, who says Nigerians don't worship foreigners? Anything foreign in Nigeria is accorded a higher price..... from shoes to university degrees to accents ... please try again!ama[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-11172647329574344512008-06-18T17:41:00.000+01:002008-06-18T17:41:00.000+01:00Ghana a better place to do business than Nigeria?s...Ghana a better place to do business than Nigeria?<BR/><BR/><BR/>surely this is a joke. the sheer size of bring-your-own-infrastructure nigeria makes it a far more attractive place than ghana or any of its sub-saharan african counterparts (except white south africa) to do business. it's the reason the non-oil fdi has started to outstrip oil FDI by a country-mile. the MTNs, multichoices, Nandos, etc have started a trend. and it's nigeria - not the more 'attractive' ghana as you claim jeremy - that the brits are asking to lift restrictions on everything from telecoms to foreign ownership of banks.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-61054625075730976412008-06-18T17:31:00.000+01:002008-06-18T17:31:00.000+01:00@ bamsant - I find your response fascinating becau...@ bamsant - I find your response fascinating because I am a foreigner (Liberian) who lived in Nigeria from 1998 until 2004 and I could not disagree any more with your comments. I think Nigerians are the friendliest people I have met. Admittedly, it took nearly two months of living in Nigeria for the people to open their hearts to me (after I picked up some decent Yoruba), but the friendliness of the Nigerian people has been unparalleled, and well beyond anything I have seen anywhere else on the African continent outside Sierra Leone before the war. (Note: I have been to no less than two dozen African countries in the past 30 years)<BR/><BR/><BR/>In a world that prefers its people of negroid species to be unquestioning, 'humble' and docile, it is no surprise that other black africans who - with the possible exception of Kikuyus in Kenya and a few other peoples scattered across our continent - fit this bill will be more 'open to foreigners' or 'friendly' or 'welcoming' or (insert phrase here). <BR/><BR/>When I speak with other black Africans, they repeat the same story: Nigerians are loud, arrogant, ambitious, etc.<BR/><BR/>And the same question immediately comes to my mind: when did it become a bad thing for people to be be ambitious, loud or indeed arrogant? All nations are arrogant to some extent - Nigerians have their own level of 'arrogant' as do most other nations. Ambition was never a bad thing. So, where lies the problem, I begin to wonder.<BR/><BR/>I returned to Nigeria briefly in 2006 for my business, and I found the people as warm and welcoming as they had always been to me, and my other friends. One only needs to go see the refugees from across West Africa, living, laughing and loving their communities in Ogun State. One needs to go see the poor in Oyo State open their hearts to the first 3,000 refugees who arrived there in 1991 after they fled the war and came through Benin. I cannot speak for all foreigners - nor can you - but my own experience has always been pleasant, and so has that of all my foreign friends to Nigeria. <BR/><BR/>We are always met with a happy, kind and generous people who are always willing to make you feel at home and will do all it takes to give you a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on when times get rough. This has been my experience and that of my family and friends. And they expect nothing in return (no swindling as somebody suggested). It's the 's'eni loore (!)' culture in Nigeria.<BR/><BR/><BR/>@ jeremy 11:09, you spoke about context, and this is one of the many strange things I notice about European visitors. An inability to see past infrastructural deficiencies (Americans, mark you, hardly have this problem - at least not from my own experience) and a tendency to equate this with the intelligence, friendliness (insert whatever quality here) of a people. <BR/><BR/>If getting a taxi, hotel, etc are the problem, then I would say Nigeria is difficult and unfriendly. However, many of the responses here have been to counter the suggestion that the Nigerian people (as opposed to their infrastructure) are inherently less friendly than their West african neighbors or other people in general. If we were to include infrastructure, then from my own travels, I'd say Indians, South Americans and most Africans are far less friendly than Europeans, something which is not true because I find Germans cold, the French nasty, etc - something I cannot say of the people in any of these other countries. Infrastructure is one thing, the friendliness of the people quite another.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-72030516893596762152008-06-18T17:19:00.000+01:002008-06-18T17:19:00.000+01:00Jeremy at 3.28If you are stating that there are ca...Jeremy at 3.28<BR/><BR/>If you are stating that there are causal factors involved in determining peoples' behaviours this supports Kemikal's initial point that there is a societal context which often determines how individuals act.Anonymous[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-11565856975853306292008-06-18T16:44:00.000+01:002008-06-18T16:44:00.000+01:00@ jeremySo this is what I am saying - If Nigeria h...@ jeremy<BR/><BR/>So this is what I am saying - If Nigeria had the economic prosperity of say a 'Norway', our morals would be quite high and certainly would be better than it is today, based solely on economic prosperity, the confidence that your children and grand children will inherit a fair and prosperous country.<BR/><BR/>And this is what you are saying - You disagree. The implication being that Nigerians are naturally and inherently immoral and dubious, to say that with national prosperity even, 'we' would not be morally upright is not a good reflection of your thoughts about this country. Can I just say that I do not believe that you feel this way, but this is the implication of your position.<BR/><BR/>Kindly, Mr Jeremy, mention one country on earth which is economically prosperous but whose citizens have an unacceptable moral standard? I am arguing in the positive while you are arguing in the negative, to say that there are other poor countries where their people have high morals is arguing in the negative against Nigeria.<BR/><BR/>Anyway, If I were president, I know what I would concentrate on - The Economy. Economy, Economy, Economy. If you were president, I suspect you would hold all sorts or crystal ball conferences to find out why we are dubious, and in the process waste another 10 billion man hours in futile pursuit of a non existent solutions, so that the boys (lefty, greeny, lets save these people consultants) can keep on 'chopping'.<BR/><BR/>Oh ok I might be wrong, but I'll need some convincing on this one.Controversial Anon[email protected]tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8686769.post-42108274046894157632008-06-18T16:20:00.000+01:002008-06-18T16:20:00.000+01:00You may mock but my first policy towards a better ...You may mock but my first policy towards a better Nigeria would be to ban anyone within 6 (biological) degrees of separation from a past leader from ever contesting for a post in government. If you do your research, you will find that the same cliche has been ruling Nigeria since independence.<BR/><BR/>Jeremy, you are quite right, poverty is not an excuse for total lack of integrity. Our disease in Nigeria is shortermism - we simply lack the patience for a slow build. Individual or collective progress can never happen overnight, but we have little or no patience to lay solid foundations for growth.Kodyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00106067984982518231[email protected]