How One Billion Naira can make Nigeria a Super Power

by Austin Imoru

This is not just my dream, it is my obsession; if I have a billion naira only, I will change the fate of Nigeria and Nigerians forever. This is no daydreaming, it is a well thought out passionate appeal for proper management and accountability of our endowed human resources. We don’t need billions of dollars to change the fate of our beloved Nigeria. We don’t need trillions of nairas every year on budget, only to ask for supplementary budget and achieve nothing. Ours is a blessed nation, not just of natural resources but of capable human resources. We have allowed our mineral resources to becloud our human resources, such that the mineral resources are more of a curse to us. We must see beyond the so-called “Nigeria black gold” and learn to mine our mind-gold which is capable of lifting all our national loads.

I must let you know that those that will build Nigeria will not be importable from other nations, neither are they the smart Nigerians in Diaspora. Believe me, they will be homebred; on the streets of Naija. We don’t need more money, we have it in abundance, we need more ideas. Yeah, every great nation was built upon solid ideas. If we have all the cash in the world without good ideas, they will grow wings and fly into the hands of those with ideas. Nigerians will keep going to other countries with better ideas to invest a huge part of their resources except we realize that above all we need great ideas.

Have you noticed, that great nations like America magnetized great ideas? Ask any young Nigerian with dreams and ideas, where he or she hope to go and try his/her ideas out, the answer will be straight and sharp, America. They call her, the land of the free and the brave, others call her, the land of opportunities, but researchers call her, the land where great ideas are nourished. What does it takes to nourish ideas? Is it to talk about what is wrong with everything and not have the power and technicality to make a change or is it to grant everyone opportunity to express their potentials?

Every great nation became great by maximising great ideas from the depth of human resources available to them. First, they invested in their human capitals and then harvest and mine the unending human gold alive in the human minds in form of great ideas. For our nation to be great, we must learn to invest in our human capital; we must refused to be copycats, and decide to encourage our originals; we must refused to feed on the crumbs that fall from the table of the West, we must dig into the depth of our Nigerian solutions and find the cure to our own diseases. What work for Wall street might not work for Lagos State. We must find our own solutions, to our own challenges.

Creating the environment where great ideas can germinate and be nourished to great success is easy. First it must start with firm belief in originality; because it came from the West doesn’t make it first. We must resist the urge to borrow or duplicate what we see in the West. If we must borrow, let’s learn how to improve upon what was borrowed. Like the Chinese, we can borrow and make it better. Second, we must learn how to import knowledge and turn them into great ideas. You don’t copy knowledge; if you don’t know it you don’t know it. This is the cross of our challenges; we learnt how to copy in primary schools, and as adult we remain copycats. We must learn how to import knowledge and build great ideas with the same. Our value must be on know-ledge and ideas.

However, I found goodnews in a nation of goods and no services. There are many Nigerians with great ideas that we as a nation have refused to harness. This is true because almost all fortune 500 companies in the world have a Nigerian as the head or among the board of directors. It is great ideas that put them there. But back here their ideas wilders and die. The ideas are there in commonplaces, on the streets of Nigeria. Let’s make our world better, by generating solution proffering ideas. If I have a billion naira I will harness them and make Nigeria a better place.

If I have a billion naira, I will ask no more. With my one billion naira, I will put Nigeria on the map of the super power. If I will lay my hands on a billion naira, this is what I will do. I will harvest twenty great ideas from the streets in Nigeria and empower them with fifty million naira each. I will built a network comprises of great minds (achievers) all over the world to mentor and coach these twenty ideas to success. Believe me, one billion naira is enough to change Nigeria forever. Investing fifty million naira each for twenty great ideas is the greatest idea that can change Nigeria.

Not just any idea will be selected for the touch of fifty million naira. Ideas will be called for short-listing and only those ideas that proffer solution to everyday problems will be short listed. Four ideas each will be selected from five works of life. These five categories are what matters to a country most. Categories like, Leadership, Management, Informat-ion, Education, and Economy. If we can find solution to the problems of leadership in Nigeria; problems of management and maintenance; problems of information and mass media; problems of education as it relays to science and technology; and finally problems of economy and finance, then all our problems will be solved.

Four great ideas will be picked from these five categories and the fifty million naira will be awarded and mentors and coaches assigned to help such ideas mature to greatness. Trust me, these ideas are there on the streets of Nigeria and with a billion naira we can put them to work. And if we can have one thousand Nigerians who can spare one million naira each, then our dream will be on its way because we will have a billion naira. Together, we can make Nigeria a super power, the homebred ideas are on the streets and ours is the big idea. Nigeria is a great country, endowed with great human potentials, let’s not throw it away.

These five categories will do the miracle many Nigerians have prayed for. When leadership is taken care of, tribal conflicts will be a thing of the past; politics will run on true policies of public interest; the grassroots will be empowered etc. When management is taken care of, civil service will be reformed; true maintenance will become a culture; sanitation will be a civil duty etc. When information is properly managed, there will be no need for rebranding; the media will function patriotically; value will be placed on solid ideas etc. When education is taken seriously, discoveries and development will be a normal occurrence; our culture will be reinvented; agriculture will not be forced on people; science and technology will flourish etc. When national economy finds it solutions, naira will appreciate in value; SMEs will leapfrog the economy; sound financial policies will takes care of inflation, NSE will flaw London stocks etc.

These and many more are the miracle that a billion naira will accomplish. It is my great idea for a great nation. Without becoming the president of this potentially great nation, I can affect the change with a billion naira that no president can boast of. All it takes is a great idea, with the support of more ideas like offering where to find one thousand Nigerians who can spare a million naira each.

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