NIGERIA: THE CYCLE OF PROSPERITY written by Japheth J Omojuwa

You can save a life by one act of giving... little drops make the rain

I stated in previous articles the fact the PDP being what it is will never do better than it already has done. In essence, Nigeria can only be worse off with their continued demonstration of total disrespect for the voice of the people, their total disregard for the betterment of Nigerians and their epidemic desperation to feed their depravity and kleptomaniac urgings with our common wealth. Having said this, I should also quickly state that all hope is not lost. We can achieve national prosperity even with the PDP holding forth till 2015 after which they will be sent packing with their short sighted tenure elongation quest and clique oriented policies.

Nothing will be achieved by the Jonathan administration except we daily tell him through the mass media and his Facebook account what he needs to do. He has come out to say the most telling action of his government apart from signing the FOI bill into a law is not his idea. The draw back in having millions of people advising the president is that governance stalls on indecision. The president is sitting somewhere in Aso Rock hands on his chin waiting for the arrival of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala whom many expect would be the saving grace of the administration to come and deliver the goods. Her arrival would also reduce the effectiveness of the president’s petch seekers on Facebook. Irrespective of who is coming or who is going, we have a responsibility to continuously demand good governance from these lot.

You could be the saviour they await...

In demanding good governance from a party like the PDP whose default setting is corruption and illegality, let us also remember that we as citizens of Nigeria must look out for the interest of one another. No matter how well a government performs, prosperity would be an isolated reality except the people take it upon themselves to make that quest theirs. Let us face it, the average Nigerian does not think he has succeeded until he sees the poverty he rose from and instead of looking to do as much as he can to reduce or halt that line of shame, he simply doles out cash for the people to scramble for when in his heart he knows that would never solve their problems. What is wrong with providing dependable means of survival to ones people? Dogs are being overfed while children are dying, some folks’ children are paying top dollar for walking lessons amongst other luxurious sessions while the majority find it hard to afford the fees for basic education. The reason we have more poor people than necessary is not as much about government’s policies as it is about our age long desire to be “the only one out of a poverty stricken lot” making sense. For most, they are richer if the people in their circle of influence are poor. Like I always say, you are just a poor buffoon!

I believe in earning ones living, you create value in the form of goods or services and get paid in return. The truth of the matter is, you also need the numbers to work well for you. Sometimes you need an introduction to play in the big leagues and a few times your excellence introduces you. When you succeed to an extent, you don’t sit back to caress your new found relative prosperity, you instead look for a way to make someone in the quest for his/her own success find it. We always look to the United States for most of our arguments and that will serve as one here too. The U.S. outgives all other countries in terms of philanthropic generosity, estimated to annually commit as much as $300 billion. Just recently, Warren Buffet the legendary investor gave the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 23.31 million shares in his investment company Berkshire Hathaway. The shares were passed to the foundation on July 6, and they closed at $76.52 on this day. That is $1.78 billion! Warren Buffet alone has donated over $11 billion worth of shares in Berkshire Hathaway for philanthropic ends. The 80 year old is worth an estimated $50 billion and has a concrete plan to give 99% of his wealth away. Beat that! With fellow billionaire Bill Gates, they both inspired and got several other billionaires (and some non billionaires have joined) to give at least 50% of their wealth to charity. Some 60 plus American billionaires have already pledged their commitment to this. Michael Bloomberg,Ted Turner, David Rockefeller and even our contemporary Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg amongst others have joined the giving frenzy. They could raise as much as $600 billion and indeed more if it is sustained. They raised a relatively massive amount from Indian billionaires. This is where copying America would not be a bad idea. Irrespective of where debt has left the Union, I believe her strength lies in her citizens’ willingness to always find better means of livelihood beyond what is obtainable. America will be fine.

Warren Buffet, Bill and Melinda Gates...The world's biggest givers...and richest

That is why I weep for opponents of capitalism. You wail about its lack of morality, yet you cannot survive without products off its shelf. The best inventions of man were achieved out of capitalistic tendencies. Look at most of the billionaires in the Gates and Buffet Giving Pledge, they are in fact atheists in large numbers. If there is a Heaven for Givers, these ones will be the rulers there.

Fellow Nigerians, we can blame the government for its entrenched culture of waste and they are indeed wasters, but we have as a people wasted more resources engaging in things that count for nothing. An old man dies, millions of naira get spent to cater for his death after which his survivors die trying to get a few thousands to earn a means of livelihood or find even lesser sums to go to school. We must look out one for the other. The N700,000 you are about to blow on a Brazilian hair that in most cases leave you even uglier could be the difference between a boy becoming a productive member of our society or the one that’d kill you someday in a fatal robbery attack. It is not just about visiting Children Homes, it is about making telling contributions to people’s lives every day. Start where you are, start with those you know, start today. Gather your old clothes (it is the height of wickedness to continue to keep clothes you no longer wear just to see your wardrobe full all the time, please do something about this) give someone in need. Imagine if we all decide to fill in the gaps of poverty left by our governments. We are indeed a good people and I know we can make a difference by doing more. If this piece gets one man to make that difference, I would have succeeded in starting a cycle that I believe is the path to our common prosperity.

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