Nigeria; leave or stay

Nigeria; leave or stay

For most of us, the question to leave or stay lingers in our minds. It’s a valid question that has kept me thinking for a while. #japa

The thing is, I’m quite passionate about creating the African narrative (starting with my dear country Nigeria), creating value for her people that can improve the standard of living and I know that all these won’t be possible without the African. Which is why I wonder who will do all the work if we all leave. But I then wear my objective hat, try to think deep to analyse the situation and this is what I conclude on

My 2 cents to the topic

Building a successful society is all about 2 types of people — excellent contributors and excellent leaders

Firstly, let’s talk about the Excellent contributors

Remi AdemijuI think every organisation and economy would always have team members (or players) and individual contributors. It’s important to note that these people think differently.

Individual contributors show strong loyalty to their talents & gift, over a place. They are very concerned about doing an excellent job (anywhere). Excellence drives them and they can only thrive in an environment where the platform and opportunity to express and grow is; hence they have to leave Nigeria for a better platform to do better work

Such kind of people tend to be very skilled, technically sound and deeply intellectually inclined to science, art and commerce (to mention a few)

For example, there are scientists working day and night to find a cure for cancer. They are not concerned whether it’s China, US or Kenya that finds the cure. They believe they are intellectually savvy to research the hell (or heaven 🙂 ) out of the lab to find a cure. This is their motivation

It’s actually fine if these people leave. Their excellent contribution to the world in their industry (Music, Technology, etc) would have a global impact (iPhone, the invention of new medicines, etc) to the world (we Nigerian ends up still benefiting from)

* These individual contributors cannot thrive in a bad environment that cannot give them an opportunity to create value. Hence they would be liabilities than assets if they stay in Nigeria (especially if the enabling environment isn’t there, such as a state of the art space ship, which we don’t have in Nigeria for now — but you can go work for Tesla in the USA and innovate on the space ship while making your contribution to human travel to space)

On the flip side of the coin, we have excellent leaders

These leaders are Outliers which makes them different from the norm and this is where I might have a concern. These outliers are not individual contributors. They are leaders, not just of people, but of narratives, of ideologies and of ideas for the country.

Excellent leaders don’t really have the skills set of excellent contributors. They might not have the scientific mind to create a vaccine for the medical breakthrough or strong vocals to make a 10,000 audience move to the beat but one thing they can do well is to influence the people, direct them to a common vision, for a commonwealth.

Excellent leaders have the tenacity to wait through the weight. To speak for the voiceless, see for the blind and walk with the people to a place of safety. Because of their love for a place, they are committed to creating and driving a narrative in their Universities, Communities, Associations and Nation.

To them, life could be all about God and Country

So where is my concern: this is when the leaders think they are individual contributors and decide to leave and not come back. In the case of the individual contributors who could be a liability if they stay, these outliers would be a liability if they leave.

We need them to stay and take the lead in creating the enabling environment through policies, the establishment of right institutions and entrepreneurial evangelism.

Woe to a country without right or committed leaders

An addition. I have a strong recommendation for the Excellent leaders. In as much as they would be required to stay and show the light, their desire to lead is directly proportional to their capacity to lead

So here is my recommendation, if you can (and I think you should) travel out. There is a certain level of excellence that is left to the adventure of exposure. Travel, experience and come implement (in Government, Media, Religion, Technology, Education, Commerce etc)

I have realised that almost every notable Nigerian who had or has a relevant National impact in the County had at least one international exposure experience.; Fela Kuti (Music). Enoch Adeboye (Religion). Nnamdi Azikiwe (Government) — they all went abroad at some point to get the knowledge to be exemplary leaders in their own field, to their own audience

Like Jack Ma who went to the US and experienced the internet for the first time then returned to China to create and lead an internet revolution (which resulted to the economic value that now competes with the US). The outliers too should return, … and return on time

To stay or not to stay all depends on who you are, AN EXCELLENT LEADER (then come back if you have gone, and stay) or AN EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTOR (biko leave, you would create value that could impact us here)


Hope with these few points of mine I have been able to make some sense

Would love to hear your thoughts

*My thought on the subject was inspired by the subject’s question to me from madam president @kemionabanjo @kemionobanjo 🙌 (Iron Sharpens Iron indeed)