Nigerians and our poor work ethic


Many people think Nigerians are hard workers but I’ve come to realise that the average Nigerian is very lazy, and not just lazy but opportunistic, selfish and manipulative. Anyway that’s a story for another day.

You walk into a store, you see ladies gisting amongst themselves. Whether you want to buy something or not doesn’t faze them, they look at you and simply go on with their gist. You are looking for something, not even an acknowledgement. You walk out, they couldn’t be bothered.

You work in an organization but you resume when you like when the boss is not around. You go out to do your own business and then get angry when your co-workers don’t cover for you. You get paid for the time you spend on yourself. And then you lift up holy hands and have the guts to condemn another, you my friend are a fraud.

They are not proactive. If there’s something that needs to be done that they can do, they rather wait for Mr A to come back from wherever he is and do the job after all, “that’s not what I’m paid to do”.

We make excuses for everything and anything. They don’t care if the business is moving or not, if sales are made, if clients leave…all they know is that they are being paid at the end of every month and no one cares how the money comes.

The average Nigerian worker wants to be paid daily by customers alongside his monthly salary. He expects you to pay more for services or give him something more to push your desires faster. You see them at the airports and the civil service. I’ve been trying to get some docs out of my school but they want me to pay at every turn. These are people who are paid monthly salaries o.

I called my friend to ask for his male tailor, telling him I needed an urgent job. He related how he paid this man and even gave him money for drink yet his clothes were not even cut at the time he needed them. We may say that man na tailor na but that’s how most of us including entrepreneurs behave.

My friend is raising a structure and yesterday the engineer on site called to tell him that the money he sent for him to get wood had finished and so he bought wood and couldn’t transport it. I was dumbfounded. He did this because the man had found out how this engineer who is almost overpaid monthly was not just blowing up the prices of things, but blowing them through the roof. The stupid Engr was angry.

As in, we feel we have all right to cheat people and then get angry when we can’t . I’ve seen this several times. Workers mad that their boss is too stingy…maybe for asking for his balance or checking the figures they bloated. They get mad at supervisors who don’t let them go and come back at will or use company properties for personal business. They feel entitled to their anger! How does it work???

Check out the so called wicked bosses or those whom god will punish, they are the ones who insist on the right thing. The average Nigerian believes if you have, I’m entitled to it…whether or not I work for it. I don’t even have to be nice to you.

I was going to one Shop rite at Abuja and these guys who should be controlling the traffic by the mall were on our case even before we entered. I was so irritated. By the times we came out, they almost stopped the car with the way they hung unto us. You check my ticket at the airport, you ask for “something”. Are we crazy? Who did this to us?

My dad’s 2year running contract with Total was once revoked for only one reason: the man in charge said my dad had not done enough to honour him. He refused my father, a struggling contractor all access to his posh office for how much? It wasn’t even a big contract but it was constant. I’m certain that man’s monthly salary was almost same as the value of the contract. My dad is someone who has received several awards from same Total because of excellence in the way he delivers his jobs. And that’s what I’ve always known him for, having worked with him too. However one man blocked a job simply because he could.

red-file (Nigerians and our poor work ethic)


That’s who we are as Nigerians. What stops you from contributing more than your robotic duties to your place you work? Why don’t you ask how you can move the place forward instead of always complaining about everything. If you’re not happy, quit. If you are there, be diligent and passionate. If there’s no tissue in the office toilet, buy. Come together to create a system of efficiency. If there’s no airtime on your official line, use yours. That’s where you get paid from.

Stop mouthing off customers because you have a large clientele and please, train your workers. Don’t assume they know or should know. And yes, fire lazy, excuse makers. Fire thieves and liars. Fire mentally lazy people with no passion. Fire those who cannot take initiative or be proactive even if irregularly.

Better a few you can count on than a group of anchors that keep you ship from sailing.

Have a blessed week folks.

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