PositiveNaija Q&A Forum

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And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

– Philippians 4:8

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2 thoughts on “PositiveNaija Q&A Forum”

  1. This is a question.

    We know that Nigeria and Nigerians have umpteen qualities, qualities one may be profoundly proud of. For instance the most generous generosity I ever encountered. The most empathic empathy. To name just a few. These qualities confer esteem, which regrettably is overwhelmingly depressed by countless faults that have befallen the country and which have the place of descriptors for the country in general: Lack of electricity, lack of education, lack of honesty, lack of governmental care, lack of equitable share in resources, lack of economic progress commensurate with the country’ capabilities and resources…. the list goes on and on and on. Things one shouldn’t be proud of or accept. Hence our struggle and striving, inclusion the striving to rebuild self-esteem.

    But here’s a disparity that is confounding conventional wisdom. And I wonder whether it bear a relation ship to the subject of this forum: Why are the people of Nigeria so confident of a prosperous future when so much remains to be righted? See this 2015 survey by Bloomberg http://www.africanbusinesscentral.com/2015/07/27/the-worlds-most-optimistic-people-live-in-africa-infographics/

  2. Dear Felix, thank you for your insight and keen observation of the Nigerian realities. Your question is indeed an excellent one albeit, mysterious as well.

    I will try to give some possible reasons as to why the people of Nigeria are so confident of a prosperous future when so much remains to be righted. Nevertheless, I also believe individual answers to this by Nigerians would provide significant understanding as well.

    First, in reference to the 2015 survey by Bloomberg (which you have shared), considering a number of unknown elements as regards the conduct of the survey, here is my thinking:
    – The survey was conducted between March-May 2015: This period witnessed a new government (of President Buhari), one that gave a sort of generally fresh and high levels of optimism to the Nigerian peoples and their prosperity.
    – Although, it might seem insignificant, and with all due respect to Bloomberg’s effort, I however believe that the survey methodology of telephone interviews might have also contributed to such optimism. It is not easy to get Nigerians to talk about the harsh realities of the country over the phone – in-person, yes but not over the phone. Most of the time, this is as a result of security issues – of their various interests.

    Secondly, the following:
    – Natural optimism: It is difficult to explain this but Nigerians are very optimistic about the prosperity of the country. Nigerians really just love being Nigerians. Majority of Nigerians cannot imagine a non-existent Nigeria.
    High level of tolerance: This point might seem not to be the case, but it is true. The political sphere rather makes this appear unreal.
    – Game-changers: This point refers to those Nigerians who are resolute in their industry to make a difference in seeing the prosperity of the country come into full manifestation. They believe in their work, skill and experience to have the Nigeria of our collective dreams by doing as much as possible what is right all the time.
    – Religion: Nigerians are very religious people and sometimes to a fault, with little or no effort into doing the required work and the right things where such is needed. So there is an overwhelming ‘faith’ in God saving the country of its mess and redeeming its destiny. It is a tough faith I must say.
    – History/Culture: Nigerians take a lot of pride in their history (sometimes, mostly tied to their ethnicity). It gives a string sense of who they are and what they can become.
    – Short-shortsightedness: This reason can be seen in how much instant gratification we celebrate or short-term successes and thus, a belief that we can always reproduce this even amidst challenges.
    – Ignorance: Really, most Nigerians cannot really tell why they still believe in the prosperity of the country. For this group, they genuinely do not have the insight of how societies evolve and advance neither do they fully comprehend the consequence of their actions to the society at large. These group look at such prosperity from the view point of just their immediate family or clan and are very confident of well they are advancing (even though otherwise but this is largely influenced also by culture). Therefore, ‘prosperity’ assumes different interpretations.
    – Fear/timidity: This is a point not to be overlooked and indeed real. Some Nigerians (if not most), are really having a confidence not born out of joy but rather fear. The spread of helplessness, breakdown of unreliable societal institutions/systems, etc. contribute to this whereby the only choice they have is just to be ‘hopeful’.

    These are some points I believe could shed some light to your question.

    However, while I feel and share this confidence, I also perceive a huge and growing distrust at the moment to the collective prosperity of the country.

    You question has also raised in my mind, the need to conduct a more recent survey to ascertain this. I will try to see to this.

    Thanks again and best regards.

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