As Nigeria’s GDP plummets and the condition of life deteriorates, Nigeria has become unbearable to most of her citizens. The unemployment rate is now 33% and would be 40% by 2023. We have 100 million people who live in poverty and that is the highest in the world. Over 15 million children are out of school and they will grow to join the army of kidnappers, arm robbers and miscreants that have made life unbearable for others.
The youths live in a state of anomie and they are moving out of the country in droves to a journey of no return. In 2016, 602,000 Nigerians tried to migrate to Europe via the Sahara Desert and 2,007 died enroute of which 6% were university graduates. In the same year, Nigerians accounted for about 21% of the total 181,000 migrants braving the Mediterranean sea to Italy. In 2018, International Organization for Migration (IOM), said that 60,000 Nigerians were held in Italian detention camps. Thousands are held in Asian countries for either migration offenses or drug related matters. Our youths are taking a jump of death and something must be done to ameliorate it.
The UN General Assembly at its 2018 autumn session warned that by 2050, if the African countries continue the way they are going, they would become home to 80% of the world poorest people. Two African countries, Nigeria and Congo DR would contain half of such people.
But this ugly trend can be reversed or slowed down if our youths can realize that every human problem is an opportunity to create wealth because wealth is the reward for solving human problems.
I will demonstrate this with the story of Nnamdi Ezeigbo.
Nnamdi Ezeigbo graduated with second class upper Degree in Computer and Electronics Engineering. He searched for job but could not get and opted to learn how to repair computers in Ikeja. He later opened a small repair shop of his own while squatting with a friend.
His clientele grew because of his honesty and premium on customer service. One day, an old customer offered him some computers to sell. From the proceeds of the sale, he set up a new befitting store and began to sell computers. As the business grew, customers began to demand for more outlets and for mobile phones. He seized the opportunity and expanded to selling mobile phones. After a few years of hard work, he built his brand, SLOT, into the most reputable mobile phone retailer in Nigeria.
Wealth is the Reward for solving Human Problems
Nigerians use more than one phone due to unreliability of the networks. Nnamdi identified this problem and approached Nokia, the leading mobile phone brand then. He persuaded them to produce dual sim phones for the Nigerian market but they ignored him because using several phones meant more sales for them. He persisted and went to China and sold the idea to another mobile phone company. They teamed up with him and registered a company in Nigeria called Tecno. Their first phone, Tecno 101, did not do well but the second, Tecno 201, gradually picked up and more people embraced it because it was cheaper and functional.
Today, Tecno and its spin off brand, Infinix are the fastest selling phones in the Nigerian Market. Thanks to Nnamdi Ezeigbo, the visionary founder of SLOT Stores and the co-founder of Tecno and Infinix, who saw opportunity to solve problem and seized it. He became a billionaire in the same country he could not find a job by solving a problem.
Every human problem is indeed an opportunity because problems are opportunities. Africa and Nigeria are saddled with myriad of problems and they are opportunities waiting to be harnessed like Nnamdi Ezeigbo did. Our youths must be adventurous, prudent and willing to turn problems into opportunities. That is the key to success and greatness. Henry Ford did it, Bill Gates did it, Mark Zuckerberg did it and Nnamdi Ezeigbo also did it. You too can do it.