Benedict Peters February 8, 2017

Enterprise Is The Only Commodity Nigeria Really Needs

When I walk through the markets of Lagos, I love to stop and listen to the grating sounds of knife grinders or the clatter of coffee cups at cafes on the corner. Together the noise and commotion sounds a little like an orchestra, each person playing their part and bringing together an idea, a community, a purpose. Fiercely independent, fiercely competitive but devotedly and unwaveringly together. This is my Nigeria, strengthened by diversity, willed on by community.

It's a side of Nigeria that many do not see. We are a country that has been daunted and distracted by scale. The wealth and the profits that have come from multi-billion dollar deals in our monolithic oil and gas sector have overwhelmed us. We have been too successful too quickly and too many people have been left behind. We are the richest country in Africa, but doing business here is famously challenging. We are home to a great many indigenous companies from the back of our strength in commodities, and we have an increasingly educated population. So why has our tradition of big business not been converted into a culture of entrepreneurialism?

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