Since the announcement that Walmart is set to get established in Nigeria, I’ve been thinking about the pros and cons.
Okay, let me start here:
I always find it boring when I hear politicians saying “My Government will invite foreign investors”. Hian, you don’t invite them, you provide basic facilities like stable electricity, good transportation system, they will get attracted and they will come. No company wants to get established where they will run generators every day.
The fact is this, Nigeria is the centre of investment in Africa. We are the most populous African country and the second most populous is about half of our population. Which means, every Multi-National company that wants to have a base in Africa will naturally think of Nigeria first. When we have the basic facilities, we can now have a say in the terms and conditions.
I mean, we will be able to bargain with them, not just saying YES to everything they bring to table. Majority of the Multi-National companies we have in Africa today are only exploiting our resources to develop their home countries in Europe and America, some of them even evade taxes.
Okay, talking about Walmart, it’s a welcome development. They will employ a lot of our unemployed graduates and we will generate funds from them. Excellent. Just great. This is the issue: where will they get their raw materials from???
To get the best from them, they should use our Agricultural products, not importing from other African countries. That’s how we can make use of their coming to the fullest. Then we don’t need to be afraid of the prospect of Walmart hampering the patronage of our local businesses, whoever likes to go to Iya Bisi who sells tomato won’t stop going there because of Walmart. Walmart only creates a fierce competition to the retail outlets we have already, like Shoprite.
Finally, let’s be fair with ourselves, Multi-National companies are not charity Organisations, their motive is to make profit. It is our responsibility to utilise the opportunities they bring to the fullest.
Another finally again, a nation don’t really develop based on the number of Multi-National Companies it has, the backbone of any economy lies in the hands of the Small and Medium scale Enterprises. We need to create a conducive environment where our youths with the initiatives can go into businesses and stand on their own. Let’s encourage ourselves to set up businesses and employ ourselves, instead of working for these foreign companies that do not understand anything called “Weekend”.
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