In the early days of internet connectivity in Nigeria, my curiosity was piqued by this new phenomenon and what it meant to my somewhat closed world. I saw a means of unlimited opportunity to feed my wanderlust with an unlimited supply of virtual everything; I practically lived on the net, both inside the café and out of it. On my own, I would imagine someplace where I would rather be, and fulfill my dream of going there at the very first opportunity to surf the net. Needless to say, these opportunities were far and in between then: internet connectivity was a novel thing then, scarce, and wherever it was available, it was poor and expensive.
It is not until recent times, over nine years later, that I’ve been able to acquire a personal computer and my own very internet connection. So much has changed now; for one, Nigeria, our own very dear Nigeria, has developed and (rightly?) acquired a quite distinct reputation as the rouge of the dotcom world. Another noticeable change is the dependence of the entire world on the internet as a means of interaction in all spheres-medicine, finance, agriculture, you name it.
Intercontinental, international and even intranational communications are nonexistent without the internet. The internet is one giant organism within which symbiotic relationships play out between the organisms it hosts. And one of the major systems of this organism is payment systems-talk about blood flow in a living organism! Is it therefore fair to deny on country access to one of the major players in that ‘circulatory’ system? Or has Nigeria taken the name and place of a cancer that must be radically purged from this system? What exactly is the magnitude of our ‘offence’ (and believe me, I’m not trying to downplay it) if put in the proper perspective? Did Nigeria and Nigerians invent internet scamming? Did we take out a patent on it, or was the ‘Registered Trademark’ of Country of Scammers thrust on us by an over-malicious outside world? Perhaps our status as 108th (as of now) most corrupt country had something to do with it.
I once read a quote, I don’t remember where, that said: ‘The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness!’ Perhaps we should revise that to read ‘The belief in Nigeria as a supreme source of corruption is not necessary; any country is quite capable of every wickedness! The obvious truth is that, like in every other area, Nigeria is taking the fall for every other country’s bad stuff; they’re all in denial. They gave us the technology, the information, the skills, showed us the techniques, and now put the blame on us. Its become a case of: ‘When the shit hits the fan, Nigeria gets dirty’. Sure, we’ve REALLY bad eggs, but who laid those eggs? Our leaders? Who taught them the greed and covetousness? Can u imagine- we sell our own oil and buy it back! Who stands to gain from this arrangement, Nigeria or ‘They”?
One favorite excuse of ‘Yahoo’ guys is the Slave Trade/Law of Karma line…..Our forefathers built their countries, their descendants should reap the rewards. The logic behind that, though wrong, is kinda hard to ignore, isn’t it?
But seriously, getting to the crux of the matter, we need PayPal In Nigeria. Or an acceptable, equal alternative. I only recently got to know of our ‘banned’ status when I tried to sign up for Click bank’s affiliate marketing program. Ever since, I have relentlessly tried to find a way around it, unsuccessfully. In fact, I soon found out that it isn’t just Clickbank I am excluded from, the host of online money making mechanisms have been engineered to exclude my unique status – ‘Nigerian’. I got various obnoxious messages, such as ‘the service is not available in your region’, ‘’Webpage not available’! (the exclamation mark is mine), etc.
If Nigerians are consistently denied access to legitimate avenues to participate in World trade, there’s only one alternative, and it isn’t a nice one at all. Can’t we have something like a National trade organization or some such body that will do something about it on an international level? It is frustrating to be a Nigerian! Yes, really. I hate that it is so, but I also have to admit it. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the best and 10 the worst, infrastructure in Nigeria rates a perfect 20. Any wonder then that infrastructure by other countries to Nigeria is nonexistent?