My mother is an avid watcher of the Richard Quest show on CNN, her favorite news channel. Recently the show did a segment on Nigeria, reporting on the current economic situation in the country. For those of you who aren’t aware, Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producing country, and since oil was discovered in 1956 its economy has been hugely dependent on the natural resource, unfortunately to the detriment of many of our other industries. So it’s no surprise really, that as a result Nigeria’s economy has suffered a great deal.
To remedy the economic crisis there, it has been the aim of the Nigeria’s new government to reduce the country’s dependency on oil and to tap into our other natural resources, of which there are many, especially in agriculture and mineral production and exports, and more recently in the growth of our technological and communications industries.
Personally, I’ve long been conflicted and pained by Nigeria’s seeming inability to maximize even a fraction of its many blessings in natural resources, cultural strength, business acumen, and artistic creativity. Countless times I’ve asked myself why? Will things ever change? But I have to say that for the first time in a LONG time, while watching Richard Quest’s program in Nigeria, I felt that Nigeria is capable, and even on the verge of a change for the better - HALLELUJAH!
But politics and economics aside, can we apply such an attitude to our personal lives for a minute? Do we often look inwards and ask the right questions of ourselves? I believe that as human beings we all contain massive potential, but also a myriad of flaws. And I guess life is a journey in which you work out how to maximize your own potential, for example your artistic creativity or your financial acumen, without being hindered by your personal flaws. We all have those darn flaws… pride, stubbornness, doubt, low self-esteem, laziness, and selfishness. Sometimes it can seem we’re made up of more flaws than potential. BUT that’s only because we’re not maximizing our potential! Surely potential can grow and take over, just like light can overcome darkness, but we gotta figure out how to raise the blinds! Doing just that is hard work, AND it’s a work in progress. Still, like Richard Quest highlighted in Nigeria, I guess the first important step is to acknowledge and highlight that fact in ourselves.
So thank you Richard, for visiting Nigeria, and for raising not just an awareness of our problems, but an awareness of our potential, the natural optimism of our culture, our work ethic, and our industriousness as a creative and enterprising people. Thank you for reminding me that problems that have seemed insurmountable forever, can be overcome if looked at through honest eyes and a real desire for change.