Enhancing Confidence in Nigeria for Nation Building: Towards Economic Success and Improved Quality of Life for Nigerians. My Submission.

Last week, a new client reached out to me through an advert I ran for my product marketing side business, and yes, this client is special, that's why I'm telling the story. Anyway, his company is starting a TV channel, and they need a creative agency to handle its online marketing and presence. It is the biggest project I will ever receive from a client and still, it's size is not what inspires this story. While we were talking about the specifics, I couldn't quite understand what he wanted, and so I said: "I can get you subscribers.", seeming confident in my ability. He then replied, "I know you can, but I need a proposal first." That moment reminded me that like all types of projects, whether it's building nations or bidding for marketing contracts, all successful projects start with self-confidence. Fitting that there is an African proverb that says "If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm." If we say we want to enhance confidence in Nigeria for Nation Building, then we need to invest in the self-confidence of the major stakeholders of Nigeria. And usually, self-confidence is developed through inclusion.

Everything revolves around love, and I know exactly how that sounds, considering this is supposed to be a summit of bright financial minds. I'll try to save my face with a story my mother told me about a boy.

The story starts with the boy coming home from elementary school with a letter he was told to give to his mother. As he hands her the letter, he asks she read him the content. The mother reads the letter and tells him the school said he is far too intelligent to attend and they were asking for him not to return. His mother had experience as an educator, so she decided to home school the boy. The boy is Albert Einstein.

As the story goes, years later, Albert found the letter and read it, and this is what it said. Dear Mrs Einstein. We the board feel Albert Einstein is a distraction and is not mentally equipped to handle school like most of the other children. We are expelling him, and he is not to return. The same Albert in 1921 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. In 1925, he was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society, which is perhaps the oldest surviving scientific award in the world.

Although there are doubts as to whether this particular story is fact or myth, I don't want us to concern ourselves with that, instead, let us extract a crucial concept, the reason Albert Einstein was able to do all those things, was that his mother built this young boy by making him confident in his abilities. My generation is paying for the consequences of actions taken by our predecessors. While our contemporaries in other countries are going to sleep and waking up with constant power supply, we are celebrating 18 hours of power supply. While our mates have jobs waiting for them after graduation, we are graduating school to join over 23m other Nigerians in competing for the few jobs that are available. We were born into a failing system and with over 20 years to fix it, what will you, our parents and grandparents hand over? I am not here to complain, for only talking about a problem is a problem in itself. If you want to churn out more young nation builders, then you have to show that you're confident in our ability to lead the development of Nigeria. Your confidence in us and Nigeria will inspire passion and passion will drive us to build the Nigeria our founding fathers dreamed.

You cannot have economic success without selling something unique or selling something uniquely; that is something I have learned in my four years as a digital marketer. I remember four years ago when I was first introduced to blogging. It was the peak of famous blogger, Linda Ikeji's career and she had just acquired a home in banana island. It was expensive, attractive and inspiring and so I decided to give blogging a try. After all, all I had to do was plagiarise Linda Ikeji's content, and I could make half as much as she does, but it didn't go as I planned. You see, even though I was selling gossip and news, nothing about it was unique or better than what other bloggers published, and so I didn't get any organic traffic and didn't earn as much as Linda Ikeji. Anyway, the point of this story is to iterate something we all know. If we want Nigerians to be prosperous, we need to sell seeds of uniqueness in young and old Nigerians. All over the world, Nigerians are showcasing feats and breaking records. Invest in the creativity and selling of creativity of Nigerians and our quality of life will improve.

To end my first story, I was confident about my ability to deliver my clients goals because, over the years, I found my uniqueness, invested in it until it became a valuable skill. I applaud the Agricultural loans, Creative industry loans and other initiatives by the President Buhari led government, credits have their place in driving economic success, but young Nigerians are sceptical about your intentions. We have been promised and failed many times that we no longer believe anything. If we want the quality of life of Nigerians to improve, then the deliberate inclusion of young people in governance is the primary solution. Let us be fairly represented at the helm of affairs. Not the us that grew up in mansions and surrounded by armed state personnel, not the sons and daughters of the privileged Nigerians but those of us who know what it means to grow up in an average Nigerian home.

Like my friend and former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba II said, and I paraphrase "We are told that our youthful population is our most valuable resource. What they won't tell us is that our collective will is our greatest superpower and until we harness that power, we won't be able to Enhance Confidence in Nigeria for Nation Building: Towards Economic Success and Improved Quality of Life for Nigerians. In conclusion, Nigeria should invest in the confidence and ability of the present and future nation builders. Inclusion in your vision, inclusion in your process, and inclusion in governance. Thank you.

Einstein. (2019, May 24). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein

Fact Or Fiction The Albert Einstein Story. (2016, December 05). Retrieved from https://10secondsdaily.com/fact-or-fiction/

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