At Last! Nigeria Bows to Indians’ Economic Miracle

by Taju Tijani

On my visit to Nigeria last year, I noticed the changing landscape of the Murtala Muhammed airport and Nigerian society at large. I was confronted by hundreds of casually dressed Asians, locally called Indians, sweating under the sweltering sun, mouth babbling away into their mobile phones. The scenario is like a typical East and Southern African airports.

In Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe such gathering of Asians is normal. But in Nigeria, this is a nightmare scenario. It is an ominous sign which portends doom for every Nigerian. Why? I have always regarded Nigeria as a fortress and quite understandably, impenetrable by the Indian ‘miracle’. We are clever, arrogant, educated, intelligent and hardworking.

We will never, like most East African countries and even Britain, allow our country to be run by Asians. That prospect makes hell look too real. The Vaswani case shattered all that and also exposed my naivety and ignorance. We have to accept that the history of Indian settlement across many countries of the world has never been a good one. The explosions of globalisation and their relative advantage in population have made them the most nomadic race on earth.

Among other minority races, the Asians are the most populous people in the western diaspora. And unlike the other races, they loathe the black race with intense passion. They are the most fixated of all known immigrants in the western world. Once they escaped the poverty and death of Calcutta, Mumbai and Delhi they never return home.

Consider these examples: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji Island, Mauritius, Seychelles, Guyana, South Africa and United Kingdom. In all these countries, the Indians have ingratiated themselves through bakshish, an Indian word for bribery and corruption in order to warm their ways into corridor of power and through guile, false decorum and patience win power and eventually dominate the indigenous population.

Indeed, Asians do not distinguish between politics and business. They go into business to do politics. And politics is always the ultimate aim of their sojourn abroad. It is a tried and tested orthodoxy in the countries listed above. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, an Asian commentator on race issue in the UK, confessed in her book, ‘No Place Like Home’ that it was the Asian open racism against Ugandan Africans which led to their ignominious expulsion by Idi Amin from Uganda.

Further, she said that their arrogance and open display of wealth caused deep resentment among the indigenous black population.

She also revealed that many Ugandan Asians were brought up to believe that black people were savages. Infact, her father refused to speak to her until his death because she played Juliet against a black Romeo in a school play in Uganda!

In Britain, there is a terrible racial prejudice against blacks among Asians. Many older Asians brought an anti-black attitude with them when they were expelled from Africa. The Asian antipathy to black people may be a residue of the evil Hindu caste system which still classifies dark skinned people as ‘untouchables’.

For Nigerians, the greatest danger to our nascent democracy may not come through the usual white man’s mischief but Asian mischief. Already, the Hinduja and Vaswani brothers who were once probed for financial crimes in India and Europe, have wide ranging business interests in Nigeria. They are buying into our petro-chemical, PHCN, NITEL, banks, stocks, steel and other blue chip industries with questionable money. The Asian battle to woo and own Nigeria becomes a reality farce with the Vaswanis controlling 30 per cent of our commodity market.

With a deadly combination of money and gift the Vaswani brothers have bought our former military thieves, businessmen and politicians from top to bottom and in return the nerve center of our economic life was delivered to these buccaneering foreigners! Then from The Compass newspaper of 21 November 2008 comes this:

“NIGERIA may soon benefit from a $12billion (N1.404trillion) investments from India. Already, some businessmen from the Asian country are presently negotiating with Federal authorities on the possibility of citing many projects in the country. The Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Anil Trigunyat, who broke the news in Abuja yesterday during a press briefing on the India-Africa Business Partnership Summit scheduled to take place between January 19 and 20 in Asok Hotel, New Delhi listed areas of interest by his country to include refineries, power plants, solid minerals, fertilizer plants among others. According to him, about 20 different draft agreements on some of the projects were in various stages of negotiation between relevant agencies and the Indian companies. He said that already, two power plants are being planned for the Niger Delta area because of the availability of gas to produce a combined 1,200mw of electricity, refineries with a production capacity of 180, 000 barrels per day at $5billion; and another $5billion fertilizer production company.

In addition, Mr. Trigunyat disclosed that another Indian firm has just arrived in Nigeria to negotiate for the resuscitation and management of abandoned steel projects. He stated that the January summit being packaged in Nigeria by African Theatrical Project would enable members of the Nigerian business community to meet their Indian counterparts and discuss more areas of possible collaboration. Already, India has made a $100million bilateral line of credit available to Nigeria, which will afford businesses opportunity to import from the Asian country in addition to the $200 million issued to ECOWAS businesses. The Deputy High Commissioner also said that some of his country’s banks are preparing to open their branches in Nigeria, while Nigerian banks also exploring the possibility of extending to his country. Currently, Indian companies are the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria outside the Federal Government, he said, adding that the summit, which was instituted in 1927 by the late Sir Mahatma Ghandi would further enhance trade and cultural relations between the two countries”.

The weepy part of the Indian story is this. After 48 years of independence from colonialism, Nigeria is today owned and controlled by few Indian businessmen whose reach, influence and power could grind our economy to a halt. A spineless, tottering black African superpower brought on its knees by idol-worshipping Indians. How many Nigerian goods and factory products find their way to India? Aside from our oil, the answer is zilch, zero, odo, nating!!! Take this.

In 30 years time, our grandchildren will be slaving away for Indians. And they are lawless, notorious slave drivers! One cannot pretend not to feel particularly alarmed when millions of Nigerians rely on Vaswani operation for daily survival. For instance, if you eat salt, spaghetti, fish, ride or see any of the following brands of cars: Volkswagen, Hyundai, Honda, etc you have been Vaswanised. This grim scenario reminded me of Idi Amin’s Uganda of 1970s. Although, initially they were indentured labourers through British settlement, Idi Amin’s vision to encourage economic liberalization for foreign investors led the Asians to his door in droves.

In Nigeria, like Uganda of old, the Asians are now on the rampage, pillaging, accumulating and controlling our rulers with money and sometimes women prostitutes of Indian origin. The profound lesson of I learned through the massive strangulation of Uganda’s economy forced me to send an open letter to President Yoweri Museveni in 1997 rubbishing his humiliating apology and entreaties to UK based Asians to return ‘home’ and help rebuild Uganda.
I reminded Museveni that the idea that Ugandan economy could only lift off through the injection of Asians’ presence, money and expertise was a monumental insult to the highly qualified Ugandans in the Diaspora. Museveni, like other buffoons scattered across black Africa, may have found my letter amusing and irrelevant. Let me plead on behalf of Nigerians in the Diaspora that our economic destiny should be saved and spared from the dangers of monopoly in foreign hands.

We need to shield Nigeria from being seized by Asians as happened in many other developing countries. More than ever, we need to defend our democracy from Asian economic assault through strict monitoring of their interest in our domestic economy, tight immigration regime, taxation accountability, denial of participation in local politics, denial of citizenship, lengthy jail terms for economic crime and corruption. Also, there should be a fast track deportation for any behaviour that seeks to subvert our collective economic destiny. Only last December, the notorious trio of Sunil, Haresh and Mahesh Vaswani were declared wanted by the EFCC for defrauding Nigeria of over N4bn. They fled immediately. Femi Babafemi, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity tepid response was to say that “this time around we are ready for them”. Immediate subtext of his statement is that they had been defrauding and taking us all for a ride on countless occasions.

In East Africa, West Indies and the UK, the Asians have abused the spirit of laissez-faire and integration so much that they are now the monstrous Frankenstein that brings disaster to its creators.

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Dee January 15, 2015 - 11:46 am

Extremely racist and ignorant article. And I say this as a Nigerian living in Nigeria. Expelling Indians from our country will not aid our economy at all. What would be helpful is people like you coming home to actually put your money where your mouth is. Come home and contribute your own quota to your country instead of mouthing off from wherever you are.

Jay January 20, 2012 - 11:36 pm

Racist article considering its from a Nigerian living in the UK! There are tons of African students in India these days and even old African tribes. Search google for Africans in India or African tribes in India.

No author in India would write an article about banning more African students from coming over.

Amadu October 23, 2011 - 2:10 am

Interesting. Water flows from high to low ground. Electricity flows from high voltage to low voltage. It is natural to go toward prosperity. Drugs flow across the Mexican/American border not because drugs are grown or transmitted through Mexico, but because there is a demand for such in America.

Similarly my friends Indians and all hard working people (including Nigerians and others living and working and investing in countries other than their origins) flow toward opportunities and prosperity.

I have met very smart and well educated Nigerians in the US that would not go back home to work or invest. I have met Indians that are looking for opportunities any where in the world to go work.

If foreigners come to your country to work and invest then it is your duty to monitor and control their activities. If you don’t then you can’t blame them.

I agree with the author that most foreign AND domestic business in Nigeria is conducted with the help of bribes, bakshish, goro, dashi, etc.

If the Indians and Chinese have mastered this art, then don’t just blame them; there is enough blame to go around.

As we say – mek u first look ur face for mirror b4 u correct others.

If you are just toward your brother, then no other can come in and take your food away.

adewale August 8, 2011 - 4:05 am

@saadfasdfasdf: you have the audacity to be boasting about your ‘success’ here. have you forgotten you’re morons who have been given undeserved chance in nigeria. one day, we are going to declare a day of rage against you indians in which the nigerian youths will stand up to defend their rights. so, know that your days are numbered.

zoba April 25, 2011 - 12:02 pm

Dear Sunil

great answer of yours. i’m nigerian too and leave in switzerland. you are so right. we our people of nigeria have failed and now are looking for someone to blame!!

we should sell our entire nation to someone who will feed us!!

saadfasdfasdf January 10, 2011 - 4:15 am

I think you are partly jealous of their success, but I will admit that it is very true that SOME Indians have “taken over” many things in Nigeria, and as a Indian person, I am sorry that it has happened. But it is not entirely their fault, and it also demonstrates that the monetary system has it’s major flaws.

uzo Aamaka October 18, 2010 - 10:18 pm

indians are just a bunch of selfish, arrogant, greedy things. No explanation can justify their continous disregard for people with darker skin. They have a business model based on selfish, greedy, corruption. Nigeria should be vigilant, 99% of those indians are out to control, and subject nigerians to second-class citizen. How many Africans can own a house or own a busniess in india. Indians should not pretent as if they don’t know all these things is the true nature of who they are.

Essel ria September 22, 2010 - 4:24 pm

why do u live in London….start a business in Nigeria and work against Indians…. London is belongs to British…there are many British youngsters struggling for a job… u may be taking their opportunity…U have no right to blame Indians while u r living in another country

Nimesh Verma January 7, 2010 - 12:10 pm

And what about all those Nigerians commiting crimes in U.K? What about all those 419 scams? Why are there nigerians in Europe and China and America? What about the fact that the Indian drugs market (cocaine, opium etc.. kind of drugs) in virtually in the hands of Nigerians. Indeed many Nigerians come to India on student visas and immediately start dealing in drugs. If you can go to other nations people of other nations can come to Nigeria too.

Rick September 28, 2009 - 4:18 am

what you call to Indians who give your economy a boost, I lived in America for 7 years and you know what white people called Africans, “Shit” I see that Blacks in US are selling drugs, one of white cop said that if they leave crime what I would be doing, I will have no work, this black people should sell drugs and do crime then only we white people will be busy.

I guess Indians in Nigeria does not do such things.

kossinaa September 25, 2009 - 10:08 pm

I cant stand indians!If it was down to me,there will be no indians in africa.These gypsies are just a curse for africa.How many africans live in india?The black race is the race of fools.

Sunil April 19, 2009 - 11:10 pm

Dear Sir,

I am an Indian working in Nigeria in an Indian owned manufaturing company for last 7 months.I found ur article quiet attractive and also little bit aggresive towards asians specifically towards.May be we Inidans due to our hardship in our own coutry and lack of resources leave poor cities of Delhi and Bombay to green pastures like Nigeria ,London and New york.But what made more intersting is the fact after not having any big resources in our country we are exporting each commodity to Nigeria as per ur article.Lets compare India got independence in 1947 with in 10 years Nigeria also gained its independence.In the 50 years of our independence we never had a military ruler and in nigeria it was more than 3 times.,it was not asians fault that Nigeria gone into hands of military dictators.In same period u discovered oil in ur country as in case of middle east.But still i am coonfused why nigerians export crude oil and import petrol and diesel from Asia.It was also not our fault.when u found oil in the country ,your people completely ignored agriculture.Once rice bowl for whole Africa is now importing rice from thailand.It was also not fault of Nigerians.

Asians who are in trading in Nigeria are here because nigerians are capable to producte there own requirements.In Nigeria even, a small candle or match sticks also is imported from China and Nigeria.

Now some Indians have invested in manufacturing and are providing jobs to fellow Nigerians.You are asking that this people should take there investments and go back to India while leaving the so many people jobless.I will really applaud Nigerians if they can take over these industries without closing it down and keeping the jobs going on.

In that too I found that Nigerian diaspora like who stays in London Or Newyork are not confident to invest there money in there motherland in manufacturing or farming.Even some of the Nigerians had invested there money in India while.If u speak that indians are using cheap games like indian girls for getting the business then I felt amused why people of such a strong nation become an easy prey in this manner.

When whole world talks abt bringing investment home u are talking to block that small investment also which is coming from a poor nation like India.U where even praising Edi amin to expel asians from Uganda.after expelling them how much growth ,they achieved?for coincidence Edi has to take shelter in Asia his last days becuase he was too expelled from the country.U also mentioned hindu caste system.the same I also seen here inform of tribalism and in name of youruba,ibo and hausa hatred.

Indians or asians are not the reason for the miserable condition for ur country.But its u and people like urself who talk and write ,sitting outside the coutntry while do nothing for its progress.

I assume it should not hurt feelings or ego but that is what i learned from this Nigeria is that it is rich in resource but lack hard working man power.

I will be looking for ur reply on

Thanks and regards,


Ativie March 13, 2009 - 7:58 pm

Excellent. Can you blame them when we are willing to sell our souls to the devil for what amounts to nothing really. When I went to the Nigerian Embassy in the UK 11 years ago for a visa the place was full of Indians. I wondered what I was missing out on! You forget to mention the Chinese who I heard on the BBC World Service two years ago were selling gari in Calabar. Yes we shall continue writing and continue talking while our rulers sell our birth right to the highest bidder. Fela must be turning in his grave! He said it we are now experiencing it.

jimmy toriola March 10, 2009 - 5:59 am

I believed that we need to wake up and invest in our country and do not allow other nations to invest for us. If we dont do it, then our future generations we have us to blame.

Reply March 10, 2009 - 2:24 am

Mr Tijani,

Thanks a lot for this heartbreaking, but enlightening article. You are completely right in your analysis. This is the handy work of the north and the corrupt, incompetent, visionless and morally bankrupt leadership – which has its roots both from the military and the north. Coincidentally, my next article “How the Niger Deltans can get their freedom (part 9)” deliberated on this very serious problem too. WE ARE REALLY IN BIG SHIT. THIS IS NO EXAGGERATION AT ALL. THE NORTH HAS SOLD NIGERIA AND NIGERIANS TO THE INDIANS.

While we are trooping out of the country because of mismanagement by past rulers, the Indians are coming in droves and taking over our economy. It’s an alarming situation!

Unfortunately Mr Tijani, I am just afraid to admit – as you probably know too – that WITHIN THE PRESENT POLITICAL STRUCTURE DOMINATED BY THE NORTH AND RETIRED REDUNDANT CRIMINAL MILITARY OFFICERS, THERE IS JUST NOTHING WE CAN DO. This is why I strongly believe that the salvation of the Yorubas and the south in general, lies IN BREAKING UP NIGERIA. The problem with most of us is that we approach many issues based on emotion instead of rationality. There is a science called POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND FORECASTING. Based on my analysis, NIGERIA IS DOOMED. 50 years is more than enough to take stock. And we should not forget that the south has been with the north, defacto, since 1814. I want to reccomend my series “One Nigeria: To be or not to be?” and “Oodua republic: To be or not to be” – available on this site for you to read.

Our responsibility now is to tell our people that Nigeria is a failed country/experiment. It is a seeeking ship – and if we want to survive, we must leave that ship now. Trying to force the south to co-exist with the north is like trying to force water to exist with oil. It’s just not possible! This is the task that I have set out to achieve with those series. This is not about tribalism, but REALITY AND OUR SURVIVAL. We need our own country so that nobody will savage our efforts in confronting these Indians and bringing sanitation to our land. We can’t do this being in the same country with the descendants of Usman Dan Fodio. Tomorrow may be too late.

It will be great if you could get your article published in a major Nigeria’s newspaper. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT. PLEASE TRY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.


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