Sunday 24 April 2016

The Prayers of a Black Market Petrol Dealer

Do you need petrol for your generator. I shouldn't have to explain why, it's banal. Moving on, black markets are those markets that people go to when there is limited access to commodities from conventional markets. If you need petrol and filling stations are not open for business (especially due to petrol scarcity), your best bet for getting petrol to buy is to visit your local black-market dealer.

Sure, black-market prices for commodities such as petrol are always higher than what you get at filling stations. So, if you are stuck with patronizing a black market petrol dealer, you are in for a treat. Why else will anyone be willing spend more than the usual price for anything?

So there I was, stuck with a dealer who was offering a liter of petrol at N250 to which he unflinchingly adds "If you no wan buy, you fit leave am" when addressing a customer who got there before me. This not-so-happy customer was lamenting the fuel scarcity in addition to fingering the government as the cause, saying "It's not your fault, if things weren't so messed up, what will bring me here to be insulted by an ordinary fuel seller like you". [shots fired]

Having just observed all described above (petty details have been left out), I wondered what the prayers of a black market dealer will be. Would he be thanking God for petrol scarcity? I imagine all religious Nigerians fervently praying to God for things to get better, praying for a Nigeria where the price per liter of petrol is low enough for the poorest man's pocket to handle so NEPA can suck a lemon. I also imagine the dealer praying for continuous scarcity and governmental inadequacies.

While we hope for an answer to our prayers, the black market petrol dealer is also hoping for an answer to his prayers. I was taught that God is impartial but the reality shared by most Nigerians is one in which God had answered only the prayers of the dealer. If you want me to explain why it looks as if only the dealer's prayers were answered, then you are clearly a member of elite class who lives in a smoke-screened bubble and I am available to help you burst it...all you have to do is ask (in the comment section).

Saturday 23 April 2016

Is it possible to read one book a day?

I'm sure you must have heard that "if you want to hide something from a black man, put it in a book". I am also sure that you are offended by this (if you are black). One thing I am not sure of, is the source of this quote. I want to believe it was said by a black man who observed his fellow men, took note and said the words quoted.

Here's why you should not feel are reading this right now, you are an exception. However, it is up to you and I to increase the exceptions until there quoted words of our hypothetical observer become false.

Today is World book day. You probably noticed when you tried to google something (if you use Google). However, awareness and appreciation for books can only be spread by those who read. I have read (cover to cover) a shelf full of books in my life so far but in my second shelf are books I open to read a few pages, and this I do daily.

I have gained a lot from reading, and I dream of a day when every Nigerian will desire to read as opposed to being forced to do so (usually because exams demand it).

You don't have to finish a book from cover  to cover within 24 hours before you consider yourself as a person who has read one book a day. You will find that the page you read will play a huge part in making your day worthwhile and life is lived day by day.

Please read a book today.

NB: book does not have to be a physical copy, there are such things as e-books and audio books.

Friday 22 April 2016

Genesis - In the Beginning

First a few words...

Let's go to bed, don't think of sex
We don't have to sleep together
Not in the same bedroom.

Let's go to bed, begin to dream
We don't want to have a nightmare
Not in the same horror.

Let's go to bed, hope to awake
We don't want to sleep forever
Not in the same graveyard.

The End (of the few words)

As a man, if you poured out your heart to a girl you "love" and then she responded by saying "You are such a dreamer"...You might experience some boost in your testosterone level which you can tell by the degree of offense you take to her response.

Unfortunately this feeling of being offended when something negative is said about your country has been beaten out of far too many Nigerians. It has become cliche and almost customary to hear that a Nigerian did something bad while in a foreign country. For instance, "Nigerian-born delinquent commits fraud". It is so bad that no one is surprised anymore.

However, another cliche feeling is that of excitement when we hear news like "Nigerian teenager gets admission into eight ivy-league schools" or "Nigerian-born striker scores goal to clinch Champions League victory for [insert club name]".

We have two choices here.

1. Continue saying negative things about Nigeria, dreaming horror for Nigeria and wake up screaming because it came true.


2. Start saying positive things about Nigeria if you haven't. If you have started already, then dream bliss for Nigeria and wake up like Prince Akeem in Coming to America because it came true.

Today's dreams are tomorrow's reality. (Only if you work on it)

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Why Court ordered DSS to pay detained Ekiti lawmaker N5m

Did you know that it is your constitutional right as a Nigerian to be charged to court within 24 hours of being detained (maximum 48 hours if a court of competent jurisdiction is not in close proximity)? Well, now you know!

On the assumption that you own a copy of the Nigerian Constitution please refer to section 35. If you have a copy of the constitution and you refuse to be aware of the section 35, then any wahala you receive from shady police (not all of them) with regards to your Right to Personal Liberty might be your fault. Besides, If violated, you might be eligible to receive compensation just like the Ekiti lawmaker. Clearly, he was aware of his rights (being a lawmaker), and so the system worked for him.

Is there a correlation between being a "big man" and knowing how the system works?

Is there a correlation between being poor and being unaware of how the system works?

This is not the first time a court of competent jurisdiction is ordering the security agencies to pay damages (not the violent type) to citizens whose constitutional rights have been violated. Here are some more

Court orders police to pay N12m as damages to a salesboy

ILLEGAL DETENTION: Court orders Police to pay Ugolor N1m

Abuja Shooting: Court Orders Police To Pay N50m To Victims

Tuesday 19 April 2016

The Truth About Wealth and Riches

There are those who will tell you that money has nothing to do with wealth and that there are other things far more important than money but being rich (money-wise) seems to be the most emphasized attribute required to tag a person as successful (ask Forbes). In simple English, everybody wants to be rich. 

So, If you have what it takes to stroll down a typical urban street in Nigeria and strike a conversation about wealth with the random persons you meet. What kind of questions will you ask, and what kind of answers do you think you will get?

Well, I went on that trip and this is what I discovered

Encounter Number 1

How much money will you have before you'd say "I am rich"?

In this encounter, I spoke with a university graduate, about 23 years old. He was yet to land his first professional job and he mentioned that he had never held a casual job.

After he beat about the bush a bit, I asked him to put a number to it. At this point, the young man was speechless for about a minute (47 seconds, I counted). So, I set an initial benchmark by asking if he would consider an amount above N500,000,000.00 (five hundred million naira). With a grin, he nodded and said "yes".

I needed a clearer perspective, so I asked if the N500m was for his expenses or his savings. Well, the young man said "expenses". Now I had to ask, how much will you have in you savings account? He responded saying " least 4 billion". I became the speechless one.

I explained to him that a billion naira would take him (at least) 54 years to finish if he blew 50,000 everyday. N50,000 is the average entry level salary per month for a graduate, so I asked what he would do in order to earn an average daily profit of N100,000 for 28 years in order to get his first billion. Once again he became speechless. 

Encounter Number 2

Petrol is N220/litre, What will you do if it rises to N1,000/litre?

"I go trek na",
"Bad as e bad, Na to buy bicycle be that, wetin man go do?"

In this encouter, I spoke with a single 27 year old working-class man, who mentioned that he had just experienced a pay cut. I assumed his last words "wetin man go do?" was for me to answer. So, like Jesus Christ, I answered his question with another question. 

Looking back at his initial salary, the price of petrol at N87/litre and the N199 - $1 exchange rate, the current economic reality was harsh in his opinion. So I asked him if trekking or buying a bicycle was just a joke (because we had a laugh when he said so) and not his actual plan for the eventuality of N1,000/litre for petrol. Well, I got that silence again, I guess it wasn't funny anymore.

When I mentioned that NGN-USD rate had always been on the rise since independence, and hope for having it otherwise is diminishing daily, I was told that we would cross the bridge when we get there.

Encounter Number 3

Is it possible to live without debt if the price of petrol rises to N1,000/litre?

"You want make I go thief?"

WWJD? I know, answer the question with another question.

In this encounter, I spoke with a Newlywed man who is the sole income earner in his family. He prays for the the current situation to change as he doesn't believe he will survive if the status quo remains.

I asked why stealing was the only option/possible answer to living debt free in a hypothetical time when petrol is N1,000/litre? Some silence, and then this was said "Na wetin them want make we do na, afterall na wetin them dey do". 

Monday 18 April 2016

Photo of the Day - Diagnosis Disaster

Off the top of your head (in 5 seconds)...what is Nigeria's motto? Go!

Don't worry if it took a while for you to remember, the Nigerian motto is not something that pops up everyday in the minds of all Nigerians. Our minds have been occupied with the crashing naira and its consequences. With reference to the current coat of arms, the motto is "UNITY AND FAITH, PEACE AND PROGRESS".

However, there are a few Nigerians who constantly remind us of the state of "change" our national identity is undergoing and they do so using though-provoking images that highlight the disconnect between the national motto and the status quo (DIVISION AND LACK OF FAITH, CHAOS AND STAGNATION). We clearly need eliminate the differences between our motto and the status quo.

Below are more of these images

These are not random imaginations, these are representations of what most people are thinking.

The Real Nigerian Dream

Welcome to The Real Nigerian Dream!

When we searched for "The Nigerian Dream", the first result on was an article on in which then Governor Fashola defined it as follows:

"If you work hard, if you learn, if you are honest, you can be all that you can in the land of your ancestors - That is the Nigerian Dream".

The above definition, when pictured through any medium requires us to keep dreaming or wake up and start afresh.

The second result was a publication on which was centered on the National Conference as a tool for determination of The Nigerian Dream. We all know how that went.

The third result was a beautiful piece by Taiwo Odukoya published on the In this column, a national dream was defined, referencing the American Dream and the Chinese Dream.

You may have searched for "The Nigerian Dream" maybe just to know if one exists, or what exactly it is. In response to a lack of a standard definition of The Nigerian Dream, this blog was created with a firm purpose of defining The Nigerian Dream in addition to making this dream a reality.

You may also have been referred here by someone or perhaps, you stumbled upon this page. So, before you leave, please take this little offering - remember that if you don't define the Nigerian Dream, you will have to live by the definition offered by others because these definitions inadvertently shape the reality we know as Nigeria today.

While we all have individual dreams, there are points in our individual dreams that are shared and it is on the basis of these points or common interests that any meaningful reality can be achieved. Whenever this is the topic of discussion, the most common question is where do we start? Well, If we are to live a fulfilled life in this world, then the social development goals (SDGs) is a good place to start.

Thank you for your time. Comments and feedback are welcome.