Friday, 24 May 2013

Nigeria is an amazing country

Nigeria is an Amazing Country- Mustafa Pulat

The new Turkish ambassador to Nigeria, Mustafa Pulat who recently presented his letters of credence to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja was in Lagos recently. He attended the Lagos Motor fair and Spare Parts Exhibition at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. He spoke with Yemi Olakitan on Turkish business interests in Nigeria and many other issues. Excerpts:


  • Question: Sir, Didn’t you have some apprehension in being posted to Nigeria, In view of the present security challenges in the country?

Every country has its own problems. Nigeria is not an exception. Turkey has problems. I am not new to Africa. I have served in Sudan and Germany but this is my first time in Nigeria as an ambassador and it is amazing. Nigeria is an interesting country, I have made a lot friends. I have met many Nigerians who are ready to partner with Turkey in businesses, manufacturing and other issues of trades. It is very interesting because Nigeria has enormous human and material resources. There is a lot of Turkish presence in Nigeria. We have 16 Turkish companies in this auto parts exhibition for example.

  • What advice do you have for Nigeria on her security challenges?

Terrorism is a global phenomenon. Each country has to tackle it as best as it could. They all come down to one thing; providing adequate amenities for our citizens. The government must accede to the yearnings of the people and provide justice for all.

  • What is the extent of Turkish business interest in Nigeria?

We have many business interests in Nigeria. We have established the Turkish international university in Abuja. We are working on the establishment of an Hospital in Abuja. Turkish business men are also building factories in Nigeria. I have a mandate to set up a consulate in Lagos that will take care of Turkish business interests in the southwest. The only challenge we face is the dearth of property in Lagos and that has been limiting us. We are going to establish a joint Nigeria-Turkish Commission to promote economic cooperation between the two countries

  • It has been observed that there is a consular constraint in getting Nigerian business men to obtain visa to enter Turkey. How will you be able to address this problem?.

We are going to establish E-visa regime soonest so that Nigerians can apply for visa online. We have already started the programme already with few countries but Nigeria is not included yet, Now we will include Nigeria. We are not restricting Nigerians entry to Turkey.

  • What is responsible for the delay in Turkish entry into the European Union?

We have almost fulfilled all the requirements. The delay seemed to be a blessing in disguise. If Turkey had been admitted during the present economic crisis rocking Europe, Turkey would been affected. We have no political issues with any European nation. The suspicion about our economic status has been removed by the delay. We are now poised to entering the EU since we have no problems with any European country..


  • With Turkey as a pride to Islam. Is not limiting for Turkey to join EU since Turkey is a leading Islamic nation. One would think that Turkey will stand out and lead the developing countries?

The two scenarios are working together. Turkey will serve in both roles. We will join the European Union and we will also support the developing nations to fulfill their destinies. We are also a developing nation.

  • What has become of the legacy of Bulent Ecevit?

He was a great Turkish Leader and reformer. His legacy is continuing. His party is now in power. His economic policies are still been pursued in Turkey. He gave Turkey rapid economic development. His policies attracted foreign companies into Turkey. Turkey has no car brand and we manufacture Toyota and many other brands. The people of Turkey are very demanding. If the politicians do not satisfy them. They will change the government.

PERSEVERANCE SUSTAINS YOUR AMBITION

HOW PERSEVERANCE SUSTAINS YOUR AMBITION
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Perseverance isn’t about talent or time. It is about finishing whatever is started. Talent gives hope for the accomplishment of your ambition. But perseverance guarantees your success. Thousands of people have talent, but do you have the staying power for the accomplishment of your goals?
        No matter how talented you are, there cannot be great success without perseverance and courage. World War I flying bomber Edward Rickenbacker said, “I can give you a six-word formula for success, think through then follow through.” Many people think things through but few follow through. If you desire to succeed, then understand these about perseverance.
One, perseverance means you are determined to succeed not destined to succeed. The difference between great people and others isn’t lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of determination. You can find this determination in great people everywhere and in every age. Hannibal, the black Carthaginian general who fought the Romans in the Second Punic War, asserted, “We will either find a way or make one”. He went on to lead a campaign that took him over the Alps to defeat the Roman Empire.
        Two, perseverance recognizes that life isn’t a long race, but a series of little daily victories. Three, perseverance gains you your life’s rewards. Walt Disney’s request for loan was rejected by 301 banks before he finally got a yes. The loan he received enabled him build Disneyland, the first and most famous theme park in History. Many life’s failures are those who did not realize how close they were to success, when they gave up.
        Four, perseverance draws a sweetness from adversity. Confronted by adversity, many gave up while others rose up. The winners succeeded through perseverance. Winning over adversity makes you wiser than ever. Five, perseverance compounds your gains. Going beyond your limits is the secret of lasting success. Doing this takes relentless perseverance, with success rebounding over time. Six, perseverance means never stopping until the task is done. Success is like wrestling, you don’t quit when you are tired, you quit when the task is done. Fatigue and discouragement are no signals to quit; they’re signs to draw on your reserves. Seven, perseverance demands all you have. It doesn’t demand more than you can give. But perseverance means more than trying, it is an investment in the future. Besides perseverance is an attitude of tenacity of purpose. All you need to win is to be persistent and consistent. Then you can win the trust of your fellow travelers.
        Eight, failure is caused by the wrong belief that success is a destination. Complacency takes root when you feel good about your present success. It is ironic that past success can be the enemy to future success.
Nine, make resiliency your way of life. Harvard Professor of Psychiatry George Valiant, in his book, Aging Well, he identifies resiliency as a characteristic of successful people who live to old age. He writes: ‘resilience reflects individuals who resemble a twig with a fresh, green living core, when twisted out of shape, such a twig bends, but it does not break. Instead it springs back and continues growing.” This is good description of how you must be if you desire to conquer adversity and make the most of your talent. You cannot be a champion if you only work on the days when you feel good.
        Ten, lack of vision is an enemy of success. Everything created is actually created twice. First, it is created mentally, then is is created physically. The first vista of creation comes from Vision.
Champions always keep a larger vision in mind as they toil away at their profession. They see in their minds eye what they want to be and they keep working at it.
        Besides, you need courage to persevere, your never leaving the familiar may mean that you are comfortable. But your willingness to let go of the familiar means you are courageous. American historian James Robinson asserted, “Greatness is largely due to bravery, courage in escaping from old ideas, old standards and respectable ways of doing things.”
Our situations are not made by circumstances. We can define our circumstances by actions. You must be willing to give up all you have in order to become all you can be. Italian actress Sophia Loren once observed, “getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why people with mediocre talent, but with inner drive, go much farther than people with vastly superior talent.” The opposite of courage isn’t cowardice, it is conformity. It is not enough to believe in something, you must live for something. A belief is something you argue about but a conviction is something you die for. You cannot really live unless you have something you are willing to die for. General Omar Bradley remarked, “Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. “And the famed World War II commander General George Patton said, “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” The difference between hero and coward is one step ahead.
        When it comes to relationships, there are three ways of dealing with others. The low road, where we treat others worse than they treat us.
The middle road, where we treat others the same way they treat us and the high road – where we treat others better than they treat us. The low road damages relationships and alienates others from us. The middle road may not drive people away, but it doesn’t attract them to us. However, the high road creates positive relationships with others and attracts people to us even in the midst of conflict.
        Taking the high road requires two things – courage and forgiveness. Courage allows us to turn the other cheek and treat people well while they treat us badly. But you can only muster courage by relying on forgiveness. When we keep score of wrongs committed against us, we reveal a lack of maturity. You cannot succeed in isolation. Becoming your best requires the help of others. When you take the high road with others, you attract helpers to yourself and you put yourself in a position to help others as well.
        To become a leader in the modern world, you have to be an innovator. That keeps you ahead of the crowd which makes you an easy target. Adversity will always be the partner of progress, so fight on in spite of opposition.
        Our champion today is Chester Arthur, the 21st president of the United States. Dignified and handsome, Chester Arthur looked like a president. The son of a pastor who had emigrated from Northern Ireland. He was born in Fairfield, Vermont in 1829. He graduated from Union College in 1848, became a teacher, called to the bar as an utter barrister. He practiced law in New York City, served as Quartermaster General of the state of New York during the civil war.
        In 1871, President Ullyses Grant appointed him Collector of the port of New York. Arthur effectively marshaled his thousand Customs employees on behalf of Roscoe Carklings’s Stalwart Republicans.
        Honourable in his personal life, Arthur however was a firm believer in the spoils system. He staffed his Customs House with party workers rather than civil servants. In 1878, President Rutherford Hayes, intent on reforming the Customs House, ousted Arthur. Conkling and his followers then fought for redress by fighting for the renomination of President Grant. For party unity Arthur was chosen as vice President to James Garfield.
        During his brief tenure as vice president, Arthur stood firmly beside Conkling in his patronage struggle against President Garfield but when Arthur succeeded to the presidency after the assassination of Garfield, he proved himself above machine politics. Avoiding old political friends, he became a man of fashion.
        Acting independently of party dogma, Arthur lowered Tariff rates by signing the Tariff Act of 1883. Then Americans looked to the opposition Democratic Party for redress. Thus, Arthur as president demonstrated he was above factions within his party.
Perhaps his reason was the well kept secret he had known that he was suffering from a fatal kidney disease. He kept himself in the running for renomination in 1884 in order not to appear that he feared defeat. He was not renominated and died in 1886. I want President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to imitate Arthur by not seeking re-election in 2015. That singular sacrifice may save this nation from disintegration.

On the Path of Winners By Bayo Ogunmupe Preparation as key to success

On the Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Preparation as key to success

            What happens when you are unprepared is that what you hope for won’t happen. Preparation positions you correctly. Preparation is the difference between winning and losing. Spectacular achievement comes from adequate preparation. Lack of preparation is the primary reason for business failures today. That is why banks demand your business plan before granting you loans.

Talent may be a given, you have to earn success. Which is why Nigeria is in shambles. No Nigerian leader since independence had the preparation and talent to handle Nigerian reality. Proverbs 18:16 say: “A man’s gift makes room for him.” Thus, your talent can only give you the opportunity. Preparation alone can enable you take advantage of your opportunity.

          United States General Douglas MacArthur said, “Preparedness is the key to success and victory.” He also put it more bluntly thus, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” The frustrating aspect of preparation is that it takes more time than the event you are preparing for. Understand that no matter your circumstance or talent, certain things are always within your grasp, your ability to work harder and smarter than anyone else. Always remember that when preparing for the challenges of your future.

          Above all else, getting ready is the secret of success. Here are some preparation principles. One, preparation enables you to tap into your creativity. Two, preparation is a process, not an event. We live in a world of quick-fixes. We think in terms of instant gratification preparation doesn’t work that way. This is because it is human focused. Human oriented issues are process orientated. Like leadership, maximizing your talent develops daily. The best way to improve your team is to improve yourself.

          Three, preparation comes before opportunity. Luck is the point where preparation meets opportunity. From Abraham Lincoln, Otto von Bismarck and Winston Churchill, preparation for opportunity was a common theme. Lincoln said, “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” Premier Benjamin Disraeli of England said, “The secret of success is for a man to be ready when his time comes.” Four, preparation for tomorrow must begin today. Your success in life will be determined by your preparation. Your future preparation will be determined by your ability to anticipate problems rather than solving them.

          Five, preparation leads to seizing opportunities when they come. Thus, preparation is useless unless it leads you to take action on time. Preparation does not mean getting all the facts or the answers. It does not mean achieving consensus. Margret Thatcher, the longest serving British premier in the 20th century said, “Consensus is the negation of leadership.” Preparation puts you in a better position to succeed. Even a genius needs practice to sharpen his talent and reach his potential.

          Six, practice sharpens your talent. You refine your skills through practice. Seven, practice leads to discovery. Eight, there is a price you must pay to reach the next level. This is a traveler’s principle. Before you enter into a cab, find out how much the ride is going to cost. If you don’t, you may end up paying much more than the ride is worth. Half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.

          Nine, practice demands discipline. Practice engenders a winning mindset. Excellence is an art won by practice and habituation. Thus excellence is won through persistence.

          There is a distinction between success and excellence. Success bases our worth on a comparison with others while excellence gauges our value by measuring it against our own potential. Excellence is available to those willing to prepare for success. By making excellence your target you attain success easily.

          Charles Dickens was the greatest novelist of his day. Before he began writing fiction, he was already the best newspaper reporter in England. He could have remained where he was and stay at the top of his profession. But something inside him told him he was not in his area of excellence. So he shifted his focus in search of his greatest potential. You need to do the same.

          At once you should find out where your greatest potentials lies and start practicing there. If you don’t you eventually lose your ingenuity. Potential works exactly opposite from the way a saving account does. When you put your money in a savings account in a bank, as time goes, your money compounds and grows. The longer you leave it untouched, the more it increases. But when it comes to potentials, the longer you leave it untouched the more it decreases. If you don’t tap your talent it wastes away.

          The best way you can get the best from yourself is to set high standard for your greatest potential. Even if you do many things right, you need to fashion the right resources. Without adequate resources your efforts may come to nothing. During World War II, US general George Patton was an accomplished face to commander for the Allied Forces. He was innovative, focused and fearless. As a distinguished strategist and tactician, he was in charge of the tanks and soldiers to strike boldly against the Nazis and end the war. But he lacked petrol with which to act. Without fuel his tanks were useless. That prolonged the war. Fashion out adequate resources to accomplish your purpose.

          Ten, going the extra mile is a secret of success. Historian Charles Adams, a former president of Cornell and Wisconsin Universities observed: No one ever attains eminence by simply doing what is required of him. It is the excellence of accomplishment over and above the required that determines greatness. The difference between the ordinary and extraordinary is attained while going the extra mile. That extra effort gains you the prize. You beat 50 percent of Nigerians by working hard you beat 40 percent by being honest among a generation of fraudsters. Besides, you must stand for something and the last ten percent is a dogfight in this free enterprise system. If you want to win that dogfight, then take a little extra time to go the extra mile.

          The common trait among great people is that they have conquered the temptation to give up. Winning requires perseverance and patience. By cultivating your talent through giving extra time and effort, you cannot succeed without the help of others. You cannot become what you desire to be by remaining what you are. To sharpen your talent, you need more than being open to change. You need to pursue change. Change yourself to improve your circumstances. Do something new to get different results. If you don’t strive for excellence, you are soon settling down to mediocrity. And nobody hails a mediocre.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

THE WISODM OF THINKING BIG- B AYO OGUNMUPE

Ogunmupe: The Wisdom Of Thinking Big

Eric-Maskin-ok
SUCCESS in life isn’t measured in pounds, university degrees or background. It is measured by the power of your thinking. The mindset of big thinkers is exemplified by the German statesman, Dr. Konrad Adenauer who said, “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” The same perspective brought the real estate legend, Donald Trump to say, “”You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” Thinking big brings wholeness to your thinking. Spend time with incurable optimists who think big, you will find that they learn continually. Big thinkers are never satisfied with what they already have or know. They are always on the go, visiting new places and acquiring new ideas.
An excellent way to broaden your experience is to listen to an expert in an area where you are blank. Those who think big are lifelong learners. You can only grow and excel through learning new skills and making new friends. For you to enlarge your understanding and thinking, learn to become a good listener. Most of us habitually see our world first. With that we wish to have our way thinking ours is the only way. But who we are determines what we see. The value of life isn’t in the length of days, but in the use we make of it. Indeed, you can spend your life any way you want, but you can spend it only once. Which is why big thinkers accomplish more than narrow-minded people. Consider these reasons why you should think big.
One, thinking big allows you to lead, because it stretches your vision, enabling you to see ahead of others. Since the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality, thinking big enables you to sketch the picture of where your country is going. The goal of a leader is to enable the people to accomplish their dreams. The good leader visions accurately, enabling the people to connect the future with the past to make their journey more meaningful. The visionary leader also allows the people to seize their moment of greatness when the timing is right. In leadership, when to move is as important as what you do. As Winston Churchill once said, “There comes a special moment in everyone’s life, a moment for which person was born. When he seizes it, it is his finest hour.” In whatever position you are, thinking big enhances your success.
Two, thinking big keeps you on target. To get things done, you need focus. Only by putting your daily routine in the context of your ambition will you be able to stay on target. Three, thinking big allows you to gauge others accurately. An important skill of public relations is the ability to see things from the other person’s perspective. It is a key factor to maintaining a happy marriage and rearing good children. The way to do that is to look beyond yourself, your own interests and your own world.
Four, thinking big promotes teamwork. If you work in a team activity, you will know the importance of members seeing the whole picture, not just your own part. The better the grasp the teammates have of the big picture, the greater their  potential for success. Five, thinking big keeps you away from being caught up with the mundane. Focusing on essentials enables you to know that he who forgets the ultimate is a slave to the immediate. The man with the big picture mindset accomplishes much because he shuns the frivolous.
Six, thinking big enables you to plan for the uncertain future. “We will cross the bridge when we get there,” is the hobgoblin of the mediocre. That  phrase was coined by one who had trouble seeing the big picture. The world was built by those who crossed bridge in their minds long before others did. The best way to chart the future is to look beyond the immediate by thinking big. You need big picture thinking in order to seize new opportunities and open new horizons.
For unfailing success, be comfortable with ambiguity. Don’t strive for certainty. Jehovah that provides for the birds of the air and fishes of the sea will provide for you. Management expert Patrick Lencioni harped on this idea in his book, The Five Temptations Of A CEO. He warned luminaries from pursuing harmony. Instead he advised they embrace healthy, productive conflict. Nor should they aim for certainty. But that they should seek clarity.
Thus, acquiring the wisdom of thinking big means you must learn from every experience, embrace complex and diverse ideas and get in the habit of cohabiting with diverse concepts and accepting opposite points of view. Teachability is a mindset that says, “No matter how much I know, I can learn from this situation.” Such an attitude will help you turn adversity into advantage. It will make you a winner no matter the circumstances. The greater the varieties of your experience the greater your success.
Our champions this week are Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson. Along with Leonid Hurwicz, they shared the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory. Maskin was born in New York in December 1950 to a non-religious Jewish family but spent his youth in Alpine, New Jersey. Of course, all of them are Americans.  Maskin earned his AB and PhD in Applied Mathematics in Harvard University. In 1976 after his doctorate, Maskin became a research fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge University, U.K. Thereafter he joined the faculty of M.I.T. In 1985 he returned to Harvard as Louis Berkman Professor of Economics, where he remained till 2000. That year, he moved to the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton where he has remained till today. In addition to his position at Princeton, Maskin is the director of the School of Economics at the Institute for Advance Studies in Hebrew University Jerusalem. His current research includes examining the causes of inequality. Masking is married to Gayle Sawtelle, an historian and has two children.
For Roger Bruce Myerson, he was born in March 1951. A recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics, Myerson, a Jew, attended Harvard, obtaining his PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1976. From 1976 to 2001, he was Professor of Economics at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he conducted much of his Nobel-winning research. He became Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago in 2001. Currently, he is Glenn Lloyd Professor of Economics at Chicago. His path-breaking contribution to mechanism design concerned the fundamental connection between financial allocation and monetary transfers needed by agents to reveal information truthfully. Mechanism design allows for people to distinguish between working markets and those not thriving. Mechanism design has helped identify efficient projects and schemes. In 1980, Myerson married Regina Weber and they had Daniel and Rebecca.
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Ogunmupe: Unleash your power of focus by Bayo Ogunmupe

Ogunmupe: Unleash your power of focus

Mortensen-ok
CRAYOLA is the most popular crayon brand in the world. Yearly, Binney and Smith, the Crayola manufacturers produce three billion crayons, at a rate of 12 million crayons a day.
The company was founded by Joseph Binney in 1864. In 1885 Edwin, the founder's heir and his cousin, Harold Smith as partners changed the company's name to Binney and Smith. Up till this new millennium, Binney and Smith focused on producing red pigments for barn paint and carbon black used in making lamps and automobile tyres. And what about their primary method of product development? They simply ask their customers about their needs and then develop products to meet their needs.
By 1900, the company began making slate pencils for the education sector but found that teachers seemed happier to tell them what they desired. When teachers complained of poor chalk, Binney and Smith quickly produced superior dustless chalk. When they complained they couldn't buy a decent local crayon because the best were imported from Europe, the company developed the Crayola.
Once the company found its niche in children's market, it became incredibly focused. For centuries, it has now manufactured superior art supplies for children. Today it dominates the market even in the face of the electronic revolution. However, the biggest threat to Crayola has been the entry of Computer games for kids. But instead of veering to computer games, Crayola has chosen to flourish within their limitations. Ultimately, they do children's products better than anyone.
Binney and Smith could have lost focus in an attempt to chase new markets and diversity. That was what toy manufacturer, Coleco did. Coleco started out in leather goods in the 1950s, then switched to plastics. By the 1960s, it was the largest manufacturer of floating swimming pools. But from the 1970s, it chased after the computer game market and them low-end computer. Then it tried to capitalize on dolls. This ultimately drove them into bankruptcy. For Binney and Smith, it would have been easy to chase after other successes, but it didn't. It remained focused and continued to excel in selling crayons and children's supplies, becoming the best in the world.
Thus, focus is as important in developing ideas for an individual, as it is in developing products for a company. Focus thinking can do many things for you. But how can you remain focused? One, you must remove distractions from your life. In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins remarked that, the real path to greatness requires simply clarity, diligence, not instant illumination. It demands that you focus on what is vital and that you eliminate all distractions.
How you practice focusing is, you maintain the discipline of not doing easy things first or hard things first. Just do first things first. Then, insulate yourself from distractions. Two, create time for focused thinking. Once you have a place to think, you create time for focused thinking. Do not try to accomplish many things at the same time. Try to focus on one task at a time.
Three, keep items of focus before you. Concentration is the secret of strength in politics and in war. Always keep things of high priority in front of you. Four, focus on your set goals. The mind doesn't focus until it has clear objectives. Thus, you must make your goals very clear, crisp enough to be achieved and helpful enough to change your life. To know that your ideas are actually in focus, you must be able to write it fully at the back of your business card. Even if you look back years from now and conclude your goals were too small, they will have served their purpose, if they provide you with direction.
Five, always examine your progress. Always look back to see whether you are actually making progress. That is the most accurate standard by which to know that you are making the best of focused thinking. However, you have to give up many things in order to move up. At the highest level you are an expert, not a generalist. So, become an expert in your job. You cannot know everyone but try to know all of your competitors. Let every member of your mastermind group represent a professional association. Through him you know the experts in their group. You must be willing to give up things you love in order to focus on what has the greatest impact. You must focus on essentials in order for you to attain you wishes.
Our champions for today are Dale Thomas Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides. In 2010, they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics jointly with Peter Diamond. Mortensen was born in February 1939 in Enterprise, Oregon, USA. He received BA in Economics from Williamette University and his doctorate in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University. He has been in Northwestern University since 1965 as a professor of management economics and Decision Making at the Kellogg School of Management. He is also Visiting Professor at the School of Economics in Aarhus University. They were awarded the Nobel Prize for their analysis of markets with search frictions. He is married to Beverly Mortensen, also a Northwestern Professor.
For Pissarides, he was born in February 1948, a Cypriot economist of Greet descent. He received his BA and MA in economics from the University of Essex. He received his doctorate in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE). He holds the Norman Sosnow chair in Economics and is the director of research at the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. His research interests focus on several topics notably labour, economic growth and economic policy. His most influential paper is "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment" with Mortensen. Published in 1994, the paper built on the previous contributions that both authors had been making in the past two decades. The Mortensen-Pissarides model resulting from the paper has been very influential in modern economics. Today it is part of the core postgraduate economics curricula throughout the world. From the foregoing, you can see why I have concentrated on economics in drawing my champions. It is because economists have, through research, solved social problems such as poverty, unemployment and insecurity. We are living with them because as a people we lacked the capacity to apply established research solutions.

Enemies of the Nigerian Economy by Bayo Ogunmupe


WHEN the Islamic Development Bank rated Nigeria the third fastest growing economy in the world last April, it elicited widespread interest and approval. This classification was based on Nigeria’s GDP figure of US$64 billion.
According to the report, with a growth rate of seven per cent in 2011, Nigeria stands behind Mongolia with 14 per cent growth and China with eight per cent rate of growth. Indeed, with elation, Nigerian government officials were quick to tell the nation that we have graduated from a low-income country to a medium income one because of the improved per capita income, which according to the Federal Ministry of Planning, has increased from $1,200 to $1,400.
As it was to be expected, this generated divergent opinions, ranging from repudiation and excited acceptance. However, economists insist that the classification is misleading and capable of goading members of the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly into self-delusion since the reality everywhere does not support the false statistics being bandied about.
Meanwhile, we export only oil, both in crude form and sometimes, refined quantities as well.  But in spite of the huge sums of money realised from oil, how do we explain our budget, which is always in deficit? Indeed, economists explain economic growth to mean the capacity of an economy to supply increasingly diverse goods to its population based on advanced technology with necessary institutional and ideological adjustments.
There are three dimensions to growth. One, the gradual and consistent rise in output over time. The measure of output is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the aggregate of an economy’s yearly value of output of goods and services within a given period of time, usually a year.
Two, the availability of relevant technology and infrastructure as conducive factors of growth.  The quantity and quality of technology in a country determines the power of the economy to produce and supply goods and services to the people, otherwise the economy like ours, will be import dependent. However, import driven growth usually dislocates other fundamentals such as the purchasing power of the currency.
Indeed, the most critical of the dimensions of growth is the nature, quality and power of the institutions driving growth.
Thus, no meaningful growth will occur in an economy if fiscal institutions are weak.  Available data show that Nigerian output has been on a gradual rise now, particularly since the ascent of Lamido Sanusi as the Central Bank governor. Despite obvious challenges, economists aver that the GDP revision will see Nigeria where Argentina was when she joined G20. It isn’t surprising therefore that our policymakers are positive that by 2020, Nigeria would join the league of 20 most advanced economies. Thus, all things being equal, we are on the right course to prosperity.
But can we say that the Nigerian economy is growing. The GDP rate of growth is often touted as an indicator of the general health of the economy.
A consistent rise in the rate of growth of GDP shows that an economy is buoyant. This will be reflected by an increase in employment, a rise in the purchasing power of the people and a higher standard of living, since such conditions don’t operate in Nigeria, it means the economy isn’t growing.  When an economy is not growing, it will be declining, in other words, a decreasing rate of growth leads to rise in unemployment, as witnessed in Nigeria since the advent of the meltdown of 2008.  Thus, the economic condition in Nigeria is moving opposite of positive growth. As a result, Nigeria is declining economically in spite of our huge revenues from oil. This decline in our well-being is attributable to the activities of the enemies of the Nigerian economy.
First of such activities is the failure by government officials to produce regular electrical power to service the economy. This failure has been deliberate, and is being done for personal gain either for money or such that a generator supply company may continue to operate. Such other enemies of the nation are those who want to curb the autonomy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).  In any event, the present CBN model that price stability is its main objective, is based on a huge body of empirical evidence regarding the positive impact of central banking independence on economic performance, especially in achieving lower inflation rates. Central Bank autonomy also boosts fiscal discipline without any additional costs or sacrifices in terms of output or reduced growth. The shift towards central banking independence has become the norm since the banking crisis of 2008, and we should follow suit or fail.
Indeed, experience has shown that nations with independent central banks attract more investment because indices such as GDP, exchange and interest rates tend to be stable, thereby enabling investors to make long term investment commitments. Thus, it is no accident that the period when Nigeria achieved a superior economic growth coincided with when the CBN became more independent of political maneuvering. Thus, those seeking to alter the CBN charter are part of the enemies of the economy. Lamido Sanusi is not going to be CBN governor forever. Don’t change the CBN Act because of jealousy. What we need is a law regulating donations. Because we know they want to destroy CBN because it donated N100 million to the victims of the Kano bomb blasts.  We share the feeling that the manner governors, ministers and the presidency is doling out money to the public is wasteful and unacceptable.
Finally, many of the flawed growth patterns in our economy involve fiscal distress, contrary to the prevailing wisdom of today, some degree of Keynesian demand management in this transition to a sustainable growth pattern is not in conflict with restoring balance to the economy.
Thus, the real enemies of the economy are those who stoke unrest by refusing to employ enough policemen for Nigeria. Being about 168 million in population Nigeria needs 1.68 million policemen.
Unfortunately, we can only boast of 377,000 cops, a number, which is less than one third of our needs. Any wonder Boko Haram has unleashed terror on the country three years on?  Perhaps, the only way to stop the enemies of the country is to change the personnel of government every four years. This can be achieved by changing the ruling parties in each state and the federation every four years.  Stability is critical to the economy because terror scares away investors from the country.

How To Fortify Your Sucess- By Bayo Ogunmupe

How To Fortify Your Success - Bayo Ogunmupe

STOP wishing for miracles, start getting things done through concerted action. Great thoughts influence good decisions, but actions determine results. To achieve your dreams, you must complete whatever you start. Many lives have been changed by timely action. Immediate action is one of the most important traits of successful people. They develop such a sense of urgency and bias for action that nothing dissuades them otherwise. The ability to execute your decisions instantly is a key trait you need to cultivate to harness your success. Greatness is a moving target. To win therefore, you must take immediate action. Also, by taking immediate action, you gain instant feedback, which enables you to self-correct. Self correction will allow you to reset your goals and make a more accurate aim. By taking every necessary action on your new goal, you are able to accomplish it. Boldness propels you into the ranks of the highly successful.
The ways to inculcate the habit of immediate action are as follow: One, develop a compulsion for the closure of everything you start by acting now. You should know that if you sow an action, you reap a habit; if you sow a habit, you reap a character; if you sow a character, you reap a destiny. Two, always be clear and specific about what you want. Action preceded by active thinking and thorough preparation, is the very basis of success in life. A great leap forward is always preceded by adequate preparation followed by action.
Three, embark upon every action boldly. When you set out boldly to confront a challenge, all power in the universe aligns with you to conquer the problem. Four, expect success from whatever you do. Act as if it were impossible to fail. Five, Act now, never put till tomorrow, what you can do today. Whatsoever thou resolveth to do, do it immediately, reserve not till the evening what the morning can accomplish. By carefully following the steps outlined above, you cultivate the habit of winning. This is the habit of the three per cent who control the affairs of the remaining 97 per cent of the people living on planet Earth.
Serving others is the key to greatness and wealth for wealth is a reward for service. As a corollary to action, freedom from want is the very basis for human progress. Thus, by our actions we deserve to gain financial freedom. So, building wealth that lasts involves service to our fellowmen. Remember the law of cause and effect. What you respect, you will always attract. Give more to others if you want more out of life. You cannot be truly rich without enriching the lives of others.
God’s command has been interpreted thus: “If any would not serve others, neither would he expect any reward.” Unknown to many, the wealth they are seeking is dressed in service clothes. Building wealth as against working to earn a living is often the result of delayed gratification. You may currently be poor, in bondage to debt, with no friends and influence. But if you begin from today to serve others with your gifts, caring with love in time, you will amass greater wealth than you can imagine. Just promise yourself that you will not give up from serving others. The reason Nigerians don’t have enduring wealth and legacy is that they use their power or businesses to defraud others. The banking consolidation of the past was a ploy to defraud the people of their money and of bankers their jobs. Even fraudsters are perpetrating havoc by changing the profiles of applicants in the current YouWin Women Empowerment Programme. The reason economic principles don’t work in Nigeria is negative mindset. The Nigerian is too pessimistic and superstitious to be able to command instant success.
Blessed is the man who has found his vocation. Which is why unending success awaits the one who has discovered an endeavour that can consume him without tiring. But if you are yet to discover your vocation because your job is ill suited for your talents, I would encourage you to find out what vocation is right for you. Here are targets you can use to gauge potential opportunities in which you can serve.
One, your vocation must be self chosen. There’s nothing more disastrous than having an opportunity and not be prepared for it. Two, you must have passion for your vocation. It must be your magnificent obsession. Three, your vocation must offer opportunity to associate with those you can rub minds with. You cannot achieve excellence alone, it always involves cooperative efforts. Your vocation must enable you form a mastermind alliance. Four, your vocation must be beneficial to others. It must be a means to leave your footprints on the sands of time.
Five, your vocation must provide opportunities for limitless growth. Six, it must permit the use of your creative abilities. Your unique creative power enables you to rise and shine. Seven, time must be your tool not as the basis of your compensation. Trading time for money is the lowest form of reward for any vocation. Reward must go to the value created rather than the time spent. Eight, migrate to a new vocation if you found that your present profession is facing extinction. Only foolish people end up being wiped out by the winds of change.
Our champion this week is Rosa Mc Cauley Parks, the African American civil rights activist whom the US Congress called the First Lady of Civil Rights and mother of the Freedom movement. On 1st December 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat in the coloured section to a white passenger after the white section was filled. Although Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience.
Parks’ act of defiance became an important symbol in the Civil Rights Movement. She became an icon of resistance to racial segregation. She collaborated with the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. Parks was active in NAACP then and Dr. King was a NAACP executive which organized the boycott of city buses by blacks that constituted 70 per cent of the riders. The boycott continued till December 1956 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision declaring segregation unconstitutional. Parks attended Alabama State Teachers’ College and made her living as a seamstress. She was born in 1913.
In 1957, Parks moved with her husband and mother to Detroit, Michigan where she worked from 1965 to 1988 as Secretary to John Conyers, an African American United States congressman. She remained active in the NAACP. In 1987, she founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute of self-development. Rosa Parks received national recognition including NAACP Spingarn Medal in 1979; the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the Congressional Gold Medal and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, at 92, she was the first woman to “lie in honour” at the Capitol Rotunda, Washington DC, USA.