Thursday, 26 March 2015


I decided to make this post because of the pertinency of its nature. As every business man, Entrepreneur or Investor will know: there is need to keep a diligent and vigilant watch for all the factors that may affect the success of his/her business or investment. And one such very important factor is the stability of a fertile socioeconomic environment on which his business may grow. Politics is involved - It is such an integral part of everyday life.

The Government makes policies, and these policies will either work for or against the business man. History has shown that incidence such as war, embargo and sanctions: impoverish and destroys some business, while on the other hand, others become overnight billionaires when such incidence occurs. When you look at the bigger picture, you get to understand that; 'it is always about the money'.
My point exactly- I am extremely concerned about the fort coming election in Nigeria. Nigeria was recently voted as the second foremost emerging market in Africa, only bested by South Africa. In-fact it is expected to lead soon due to its recent growth rate. This coupled with the opening-up of its digital economy; is more than enough reasons for investors to become interested in the happenings of this nation.
{Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is ranked 10th on the list of world’s top internet users, according to eMarketer; with 57.7 million users at the end of 2014, which is predicted to rise to 84.3 million by 2018. The second African country on the list is Egypt, at 17th, whose year is predicted to end with 36 million internet users. South Africa had 20.1 million internet users at the end of 2013, which is predicted to grow to 22.7 million at the end of 2014 and 30.9 million by 2018.}
Like I pellucidly stated earlier on, I am not a politician, and I do not intend to dabble in, or, with it. I am merely concerned as to how this forthcoming elections will affect SME's (my business in particular), also how it will affect foreign investors and their investment, and the overall economic potential of Nigeria as a country. For a business person such as me, the forthcoming election in Nigeria isn't about political parties, religious sentiments or even the president who wins. It is about the policies that will be put in place, the policies that will be adopted, and which will have positive influence on businesses such as my own.
Some say the devil you now is better than the angel you don't know, but when you think about it literally, you realize the devil is also an angel (Just saying). The question then becomes: How does the everyday business man or foreign investor/stake-holder make his choice as regards the aspirant or candidate with the best policy for SME's and Corporate business?
Some say the devil you now is better than the angel you don't know, but when you think about it literally, you realize the devil is also an angel.
'Again I beseech you, do not get me wrong, I am not a propagandist, nor a supporter of any party. I am merely concerned about the success and survival of small businesses in Nigeria.'

Currently vying for the presidency post are two strongly acrimonious political parties: PDP and APC, represented by acting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Gen. Muhammad Buhari respectively. The battle is a grueling one, with both parties and candidates dealing each other fatal blows. Many Nigerians have even transcribed it to a battle of Christianity against Islamic religion - it is such a battle where the cost of victory can only be ascertained in generations to come.


How will all of these affect the everyday Nigeria business man?
There are long term effects as well as short term ones. Let me quickly highlight some few ways in which the electoral process has facilitated some small businesses in Nigeria.

MEDIA  - Presently the media industry is raking in the sum of the money, huge amounts have been sunk into all media outlets, if you are a blogger or avid Tweep (Twitter user) with a considerable follower base; you get paid to become a propagandist. Facebook, Google and even LinkedIn have all been harvested for promotional purposes. Traditional bill-boards are all occupied with the faces of political aspirants, almost every television and radio station has been overridden with one political campaign advert or the other.

TECH  - Tech companies have also received some of the dividends, it has dawned on many politicians that the traditional methods of campaigning would no longer suffice for this age of Digital Information explosion. And who do the politicians consult? The Tech companies of course (I just might do a whole new post on Tech companies and politics). Politicians need to be branded online, and this starts with a well designed website, complete with standard social media accounts. Issues such as SEO and database management are carefully analyzed, a good tech company can transform an obscure politician to become an online celebrity as long as the tech company is good at what it acclaims to do, and if the politician is ready to spend good money.

OTHERS  - Other Industries have also benefited immensely from the current political upheaval in Nigeria, for example during political rallies, vast amount of T-shirts face caps and apparels are distributed to supporters, also the party symbol of either an Umbrella or a broom has become expensive commodities in the everyday market.

Foodstuff items such as bags of rice, tubers of yam, books, pencils and even voucher cards have now become souvenirs that are customized and produced en masse for distribution to the ever thronging masses. Manufacturing and branding companies are reaping immensely from this strategy employed by the Nigerian politicians.

It seems as if the dividend of democracy is only available to the struggling Nigerian populace during election periods.


The real Entrepreneurs are in for the long haul. After all the hype, hustle and bustles of the ongoing electoral frenzy, things settle back to normal, or abnormal as the case may be- (that is if the wrong candidate is chosen).
If the eventual winner is not prone to enacting policies that can effectively sustain SME's, then the new dawn being envisaged by investors for the Nigerian emerging market may be thrown back into the dark ages. Nigeria as a country has had one too many presidents whose sole focus is on siphoning what he may from public funds, especially from crude oil revenues.
Why do the majority of leaders focus on reaping, without focusing an equal emphasis on sowing..
Such an attitude is not entrepreneurial in nature, and what the average business man needs is an entrepreneurial president as leader. An entrepreneurial president would clearly realize the current potential of Nigeria and the role it can play in the global market. Nigeria's key position in the map of Africa, shows how crucial it is in catapulting the entire continent to a new era- An era of self dependence, economic growth, innovation and technological advancement.

The outcome of this forthcoming election is so vital to entrepreneurs, foreign investors in Nigeria, Africa and the western world at large. Nigeria is well positioned to becoming the next China or India- but this is possible only when the right choice is made in occupying the leadership position.
The Nigerian elections will come and go, but the average entrepreneurs dream will remain, it will seek out every conceivable avenue to expand and grow.

The intent of this post is not to verify any of the contesting candidates, neither is it to propagandize. It's simple aim is to give voice to the thought and concerns of Nigerian politics as it affects the average Nigerian entrepreneur.

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