Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In Lagos, the 1% Takes Stock

An interesting piece on Lagos. I want to draw the reader's attention to the following:
Even though the district is one of the wealthier areas, many of the streets are rutted and the sidewalks cracked – if they are there at all....

he can’t produce clothes on a larger scale inside Nigeria, because the substandard power grid can’t support factories...

Chief Sonny Iwedike Odogwu invited me in for an audience at his labyrinthine gated palace with hand-tooled Moroccan filigree ceilings, on the palm-lined but rutted Queen’s Drive.
This is a common theme when I see stories about various African countries. You have this very rich elite and then you have these massive infrastructure fails. Why haven't these rich folks spent on public roads? Seriously.
Odogwu, like many of the old guard, is a very religious man. He has donated millions to the Catholic Church and is particularly proud of photographs of him and his wife in the Vatican earlier this year, renewing their marriage vows in front of Pope Francis. He believes they are the first African couple to have the Pope officiate at a marriage renewal ceremony.
I don't care about Pope Francis. Pope Francis and the Catholic Church doesn't need Nigeria money. The vatican has a steady power supply and decent roads. Why not spend that money to fix up the road right outside your home?

This is one of the major short sighted fails of many of Africa's elite. They are still too concerned about showing off what they have but not thinking in terms of nationalism. Fix the roads people. Finance power generation where the government is unwilling or unable.

I'm not hating on these business owners at all. I want them to succeed and to grow. But I need for them to see the larger picture. Someone should ask these returnees whether they would have found it acceptable to see power instability and non-existent roads when they were in London. If not, why they tolerate it in Lagos.

And here's the thing, Should these individuals create the businesses to say provide solar power where the grid is spotty and the build and maintain roads, they will create a class of people who will be their customers.