Editor’s Note: Nigeria, which has long struggled with governance issues and poverty, is in need of a profound economic transformation. Its economic growth path will be driven by how effectively it harnesses and rewards the efforts of its greatest natural asset—its people.
Jonah is like a typical Innovative guy. He has some smart ideas which he articulates passionately. He envisioned a Nigeria that’s self-sufficient in all aspects and where all sections of the society have access to basic amenities. But, Nigeria’s Economy potential has been reeling under the pressure of structural issues, including inadequate infrastructure, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, obstacles to investment, lack of confidence in currency valuation, and limited foreign exchange capacity.
Meanwhile, Jonah has realized(very wisely, in my opinion) that there is a path forward for Nigeria to make transformational progress. So he has made his choice. He has focused on the more important task of governance. He understands what precisely those obstacles are, and lean towards a proactive approach in confronting them. As a brand builder, this is the right decision.
Considering the fact that the playbook that drives economic growth and prosperity globally is undergoing some material disruption, a new clinical approach is needed to sustain development and new methods of training the next generation of development leaders. He has the courage to look at problems differently, and seek new solutions.
This is Jonah’s newfound strength, his ability to take risks, revisit old ideas, and find new solutions often contrary to what he had himself espoused earlier. Consistency is the hemoglobin of the mind and it takes a great deal of courage to contract oneself. Jonah has started doing that. He has realized that there are no enemies in the innovative business, only failed efforts that need to be bravely re-addressed.
Talking about learning by doing, Jonah chose the Innovative Capacity Measure to address a new political economy, the economy of the future. The benefits he announced for start-ups and his promise for the young people who were going from door to door begging for jobs will now hopefully rediscover their confidence, and go out to create new jobs for others. Young people look for jobs because they are scared to start their own ventures. They know how tough it is to cope with the current system.
Yet we are amazing people, we succeed under the most difficult circumstances. The two businesses I know, media and entertainment, are perfect examples. We have created, against all odds, a fiercely independent media. The emergency excesses did not set us back. In fact, it enriched us and gave us more strength to fight our economic inequalities. As for entertainment, it’s what holds Nigeria together. We make more movies than anywhere in the world, only second to India. We download the largest number of videos. As far as skill and tech go, we are on par with the best in the world. We have created, out of nothing, the world’s most exciting business, and the fastest growing. It began like a cottage industry with no help from any quarters. Yet it provides livelihood to thousands of people. Many of them unschooled, and untutored, it’s an amazing global showcase for our soft power.
These are actually the best examples of Make It In Nigeria and Skill Nigeria. It’s time we stopped chasing the old, outdated dreams of the Industrial Revolution, putrefied by history, and focused on modern brilliant Nigeria. Then, we can see the benefits of Nigeria’s economic growth. The Nigeria that can change the world. This is a true situation.