Excerpt from Chapter Two of my book "The Prosperity the Nation: The Answer (Solution) to Each Citizen's Lasting Prosperity"
Contd from part 1 titled "Why 'am concerned about Nigeria (2)" published on Sunday Feb. 25 2018)
wo weeks have passed when My Engineer friend forwarded to my 'whatsapp' a video clip of Mr. Fela Durotoye's address at a Nigerian American Forum. I do not know the date (s) the forum was held but as I said in the first part, it could not have been long ago.
My friend certainly forwarded it to me because Mr. Durotoye's submission is in tandem to and in perfect agreement with a campaign I launched nearly twenty years ago, which he himself is a part of anyway, which is to make Nigeria great.
Mr. Durotoye, as I previously wrote, looking at his appearance in the video clip, his utterances and composure depicts certainly that of a successful, prosperous man. But in spite of his intimidating credentials, he was treated differently at one time when he wanted to board a US upper class flight from Gatwick airport because of the passport he carried. He then saw the frustration of being a citizen of a failed nation even when personally he has prospered and henceforth decided to work for the greatness of Nigeria.
Reflecting on the experience, he wrote two heart rendering statements bordering on one issue that has consumed me in the last nearly twenty years:
- Ordinary citizen of a great nation shall forever be treated better than a successful citizen of a failed nation.
- Individual success in the midst of collective failure will always be despised.
Let me add to his second assertion that not only will individual success in the midst of collective failure be despised but really it is a failure.
God had revealed this fact to me early as 1992, when I went to take a job in the Middle East.
In the year 2000, God inspired me and I wrote a book on the need to make Nigeria a great nation, where citizens can live in their own land with some levels of acceptable comfort. God gave me two titles for the book:
- The Prosperity the Nation: The Answer (Solution) to Each Citizen's Lasting Prosperity"
- Except the Nation Prosper, Individual's Prosperity is Short Lived (Won't Last).
It was first published in the year 2001, ISBN-978-35657-3-7
In the 2nd part of this rejoinder to Mr. Fela Durotoye statements at the American Nigerian Business Forum, I pull one section from Chapter 2 pp47-50 of my said book:
There was a slogan that was popularly expressed up to the early 80's that 'A Nigerian University Graduate is an averagely rich person'. This slogan is not only irrelevant today but a complete fallacy as the large majority of the graduates are unemployed.
Because of the economic situation of our country, we are looked down upon in the countries where we go. We are dealt with contempt and scorn everywhere we run to. We face reproach constantly. In fact our story is not different from that of the prodigal son, the story, which was told by our Lord (Lk. 15:10-32) who, though should continue a life of affluence with his father became a scornful and oppressed servant in another rich man's farm.
I have lived in the Middle East for upwards of 8 years, during this economic strangulation in Nigeria and I have learnt with sympathy for myself what it means to be a citizen of a powerful country and the object of ridicule, which one can be when one is from a country with weak economy.
Who cares or accords respect to someone from a poverty riddled country? While someone from a rich, powerful country will get a thing done in the shortest possible time, the one from a poor country may not even be looked at.
It is a common occurrence for someone from a powerful country with a much lesser qualification, doing a much lesser job to take more salary or double of another person from a looked down upon country like Nigeria, yet with a much higher qualification and doing a higher duty job-------
We are like the children of a rich man becoming slaves in another man's land.
The voice of our embassies in these countries carries no weight either. Any embassy is created among other things to serve the interest and protect her citizens living in that country. On several occasions, our embassies had tried to intervene with their host Governments regarding one problem or the other affecting one citizen or the other, only to be snubbed (rebuffed). Whereas, only one telephone call will settle the problem were it to be a citizen of a powerful country who is faced with a similar problem.
I just cannot understand how we can be so daft in the third world countries not to be bothered or be in a haste to catch up or at least move close to the powerful countries. Rather, everyone is extremely busy, occupied with how to stack wealth for himself with the resultant collapse of the Nation's economy and destruction of the future of generations coming behind.
We came out of our underground Church one Friday afternoon when we met a group of women. Two of them in the group had ended their contract. But it is usual at the expiration of one's contract to wait for weeks or months for one's final settlement, leading to several days delay in departure. So, I joked with the two women that they would be faced with boredom henceforth when they would have nothing doing other than waiting for their settlement. The one from South Africa replied me with absolute certainty that she would have her money only in a matter of one or two days. Of course, she did. How? The following morning, she called the South African Embassy and complained to them how the company that recruited her was wasting her time. Her embassy promptly called the company and within 24 hours, this lady's settlement arrived while the Nigerian fellow stayed extra weeks in order to have her money. This is the difference between coming from a country whose voice is power and another country which is despised. I ask: "which of the two women had true prosperity?" Though both of them were comfortable, cash wise, but certainly the one whose country's voice is a force to be reckoned with, has true prosperity. This proves beyond any doubt that National Prosperity is of an incomparable value to individual prosperity.
It is not how populous a country is, that makes her to command respect within the comity of nations but the strength of her economy, which also dictates his muscle flexes. We have sufficiently been objects of ridicules and it is high a time we ended it.
We should strive to make our country, a force to be reckoned with among nations. Japan, after it was bombed in 1945, was crushed to nothing. But between then and now, she is in the group of the most powerful eight countries (G 8) in the world. If her President only coughs, the whole world hears it and shudders. Her citizen is respected anywhere in the world. In our own case, in Nigeria, we have relegated ourselves further downwards from a developing country to membership of the club of the poorest nations of the world. How then can anyone from such a country tell me he is rich or that he is claiming prosperity. Let us claim prosperity for the nation first. The responsibility is on us to give a sense of security of the future to the generations after us.
End of Excerpt
I may as well here write just one of my own personal experiences while in the Middle East.
I was appointed the Radiation Safety Officer for the 400 bed state of art facilities Hospital. It has a big Radiation Oncology Department, a big Medical Imaging and a Nuclear Medicine Department among others.
A license is needed everywhere in the world to operate the Radiation Oncology and the Nuclear Medicine departments because of the large doses of radiation involved. One must be certified by the nation's regulatory authority before a license is issued to the facility to operate a radiation producing equipment like a Linear accelerator and the highly radioactive isotopes used in the Nuclear Medicine.
The license is written in the name of the Radiation Safety Officer, which was me in this situation. In fact your license must accompany any requisition to procure those highly radioactive materials. Those things cannot just be left in the hands of anybody. I was trained by both the British and US standards. But remuneration was based on one's passport.
One of my staff is British. In fact he was my Technician, with no degree at all, talk less of a degree in Physics. Of course he had a good level of 'on the job' training but there is big limit to what he can do. I evaluated him at the end of each year to determine his contract eligibility BUT he fared better than me when it comes to remuneration. Why? I held a Nigerian passport while he held a British's. However, the Medical Director of the Hospital is a very godly man. He eventually over ruled and he jumped me up. And has the Lord not said it that when you do good to a prophet, you will receive the reward and blessings of a prophet? (Matt. 10: 41).
The medical Director was eventually appointed as the Deputy Minister of Health before I exited almost 8 years ago.
To be continued
But do we not have everything to make Nigeria to be reckoned with in the comity of Nations? Of course we do. But those who are supposed to do either do not have the understanding of the importance of making the country great or they do not care, overtaken by greed and never satisfied with what they have but continued to accumulate the commonwealth for themselves to the detriment of the nation and the citizens.
To be continued