Business world in America will not forget the shrewd business mogul from Nigeria in person of Late M K O Abiola who fell prey to Khaki men in political gab fueled by ethnicity, religion as well as the oligarchic unwritten constitution of his country. His victory in the general election described as the freest ever in the country had immediate salutary effect on the economy before the result of the election was annulled. If he had not ventured into politics his business success would have possibly remained a model for Africa and the world to see. Asian Tigers would have remained in business as Asian industrial cats, if the US had not partnered with them. By the same token, look at how Vietnam bounced up industrially after the devastating effect of the Vietnam War of 1968.
In Africa, there is a preponderance of political ideology that promoted enlightened self interest rather than seeking the greatest good of the greatest number.
Objective Partnership: One needs to suggest some guiding principles, even though, before America speaks out through the mouth of the President the blue print must have been prepared and revised from time to time. Such would have ensured that America does not stand to lose in the partnership.
- There has to be objective partnership within a framework of balanced equation.
- The partnership must respect the sovereignty of the host country with a view to not causing political upheaval that can become counter productive to both parties.
- There should be rigorous straining the host country’s eligible entrepreneurs if the partnership is to worth the while.
- Business should be business. No ethnic bias or sympathy or religious bigotry can ever make any company run efficiently and effectively.
- The Chinese have been unsuspectingly penetrating African countries even to the level of rural areas in each country. China has a shorter socio-economic history with Africa than the United States. It is needed to be mutually satisfied concerning the bigger brother and the junior in the field of democratic governance. Why should the US allow others to out do her in spite of her open door policy? Let us get it straight that the young shall grow, come what may.
- Unscrupulous entrepreneurs must be exposed and possibly ostracized so as to guard against explosion of time bomb swept under the carpet when it ought to have been detonated before any damage could be done.
- It is no news that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of 175,000,000 millions. It had long been estimated that for every five Africans, one would be a Nigerian. The country has become a new haven for Chinese businesses. Say what anyone will, coming up with strong economic ties with African countries will heal past wounds in African mind as it did in the erstwhile foes of America that are now enjoying best relationship with her. Oh! US wake up before it is too late.
- Let the print and electronic media start beaming positive pictures of situation of things in Africa to the unsuspecting news hungry Americans and not over playing the effect of wars and droughts. These tend to scare the citizenry and more so the potential investors from investing in Africa for mutual benefit.
Oil business in Nigeria has yielded unscrupulous multi-millionaires and billionaires. Most of this category of rich Nigerians can never have any business acumen to show for their wealth like DuPont in the paint industry or Ford in automobile industry. (This is a continuation to be concluded in next post)