On the Epidemic of Greed in Nigeria

by Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth

Like the British Psychologist, Oliver James put it in his book, Affluenza, I could conjecture that there is a correlation between the increasing access to satellite television and the epidemic of greed we are witnessing today in Nigeria .

Just with the press of a button or the click of a switch we can instantly bring the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Mumbai, Shanghai and Dubai into the sitting rooms in Nigeria with the result that television might be making a lot of Nigerians dissatisfied with their lives. Television fed Nigerians’ dream of owning the clothes, cars, private jets and mansions they see not only on satellite TV but also in glossy magazines. These might seem to make many Nigerians receptive to the gospel of prosperity to the effect that consumerism has become the new religion. Various brands of goods are now to be worshipped as gods with the result that on a yearly basis, tens of thousands of Nigerians are on “pilgrimage” to the shopping “Cathedrals” of London.

The new evangelists are the advertising men, the sales men and the brand consultants.

Today in Nigeria, its people stealing money they do not need .

Scientific studies suggest that it is our interactions with our friends, family, community and meaningful work that make us happy, not the size of our bank accounts. We have all heard the phrase “The rich also cry” but the typical capitalist would say “it is better to be rich and unhappy than to be poor and happy”.

As the American author Carol Graham put it, we live in a world “of happy peasants and miserable millionaires”.

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