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Societies That Progress Make Their Best Talents Feel Wanted

Nigeria has wonderful talents that can add great value to the world. But they need a favourable environment to flourish. Today, I paid for a nice apartment (photos below) that -post refurbishing – my family will soon join me to live in here in Cotonou.

If I had a choice, I would have stayed in Nigeria…

That’s the truth.

Today, I paid for a nice apartment (photos below) that -post refurbishing - my family will soon join me to live in here in Cotonou.

Today, I paid for a nice apartment (photos below) that -post refurbishing – my family will soon join me to live in here in Cotonou. A good friend inspects the inside and outside, after we made payment and took possession of the keys.

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If I’d not felt stifled while based in Nigeria, I would not have moved here in April 2013.

Unfortunately despite trying hard to patriotically build my brand from within my own country, I eventually had to admit to myself, that nothing was going to change anytime soon.

I had to put my wife and kids into consideration – as well as my dreams and ambitions.

Staying in Nigeria had been killing me “softly and slowly” – in terms of my ability to excel at what I chose to do for a living.

It was that bad.

Click here to read the article in which I outlined the combination of unfavourable factors that forced me to relocate.

When I muted the idea of moving next door to Benin Republic, in 2013, someone told me the problem was not Nigeria, but my attitude.

He was about twice my age, and he had run his own business for decades.

Normally, I should have taken his age, and years of experience into consideration. However, I had enough depth of insight to know his view was one-sided.

My insight came from years of carefully analysing my experiences, and comparing with what others reported in their societies.

Also, I had access to powerful books that articulated timeless success philosophies that had been proven to work regardless of geographical location.

All of the above pointed, very clearly, to the what I chose to do for a living, and my attitude of rejecting how “business” was done in Nigeria was not the “problem”.

Instead, the socio-economic environment I chose to work in was actually a major limitation to my ability to progress.

Thankfully, those books I read also proffered a solution.

And it was that sometimes one would need to change the environment from which one was trying to achieve success.

You could ask: But what about those who remained in Nigeria and succeeded?

My answer would be that what I do is different from what they do. And how I choose to achieve my goals may not be how they opt to pursue theirs.

I once read a wise quote which went thus:

“To be well adjusted to a sick society is no sign of good health.” – Anonymous

My experiences confirm the above to be a very accurate statement.

Some people – actually many people – in Nigeria, who run businesses, are good people. However, most of them do not engage in what can be called “ethical” or above board business dealings.

It is possible that not all of them want to do business that way. My interactions with them certainly suggest that they are willing to admit that giving “bribes” or other inducements to win contracts is not right.

However, most have convinced themselves there is no alternative.

In my case, I could not accept to do business that way. But that did not make me judge them.

Instead, I simply avoided going to places where I would encounter “requests” to do such things to get my products and services purchased.

Since the majority of people did not believe in my approach, that meant I got less patronage than I needed.

I was consequently often just limping along financially.

This local challenge made me begin to explore the use of the web to find more people willing to relate with me on my own terms.

But “they” again told me I was wasting my time.

That Africans were not ready to do business that way.

And all that.

When I was still in Nigeria, it appeared they were right.

I found I was not getting as much attention as I needed, despite stepping up my web marketing efforts.

However, I also noticed that I was limited in how much I could do by the fact that I had to use the generator 90% of the time.

In other words, if I got a client project, finishing it to the agreed deadline meant I had to run almost exclusively on generator power, as PHCN, Nigeria’s wonderful power company remained as unreliable as ever.

As you can imagine, fuelling and servicing the generator was no small expense. Apart from the hefty spending I had to do in that regard, there was the wear and tear, as well as the air and noise pollution to consider.

What was worse was that Internet connectivity was also both expensive and periodically expensive.

So, while in Nigeria, I had to incur expenses in multiple directions to finish ONE job. This made taking on multiple projects a potential nightmare.

It was hard to take on multiple projects, out of a fear that one would be unable to deliver as promised.

But that had nothing to do with my abilities. Instead, it had everything to do with the resources available in the environment I chose to work from.

Since relocating to Benin, I have demonstrated just that with my achievements!

For instance, I have repeatedly handled multiple Web Marketing Systems development and Excel-VB Software development projects.

And in between, I’ve travelled to give talks, and write research papers that I got paid for.

Not once did I miss any of the agreed deadlines. Indeed, I have consistently exceeded my clients’ expectations.

This explains why ONE client here in Cotonou has now given me 3 different high profile projects to handle in less than 14 months of meeting me!

Most interesting however is the fact that nearly 90% of sales I make for my products and services today, are to buyers based in Nigeria.

That is the SAME country I had to relocate from, in order to reach my full potential!

All of the above makes it clear that my environment was really a major limiting factor on my ability to excel while I was in Nigeria.

Just yesterday, I published my latest print/physical book.

It is over 80 pages thick but I only began writing it just 6 weeks ago.

If I had been in Nigeria, I really doubt I could have finished and put it online in 6 months, with confidence in the content QUALITY!

The above are key reasons why I had to take this painful decision to move my family to Cotonou.

Another reason is the massive difference in cost of living.

Cost of food here continues to amaze me here. I spend over 4 times LESS for a plate of food, compared to Nigeria.

Now, you can imagine what that means for my family’s upkeep.

I still earn income the same way, but I’ll be making HUGE savings when they get here.

But the savings here, when my family comes down, will not just be on feeding…!

Even getting a hair cut, transportation, photocopy, electricity, water etc costs so MUCH less in Benin. I offered some price comparisons in this article that explains why I relocated.

Even housing is much LESS expensive!

For my nice new apartment, which only needs painting and slight refurbishing, I paid 6 month’s rent, plus a one month “refundable security deposit”, and the agent’s commission (one month’s rent).

Now, at the expiration of the 6 month period, I only have to pay monthly.

Yet the money I paid for this nice place I rented is about half the rental of the place my family lives in currently in Nigeria!

Despite that fact, the space, and finishing of the property here in Cotonou is way better!

Also, in Nigeria, you pay for 2 years and afterwards you pay annually. People have to run around to raise funds to pay rent. Some subsequently struggle to feed their families for weeks, before they recover. Life is made needlessly harsh in Nigeria!

So far, the only major exception – in terms of costs – is my Blackberry subscription.

Here in Benin, I pay the equivalent of 1 month’s fee in Nigeria, for a week’s access.

But that is well covered many times over, by the multiple savings I make in virtually all other areas.

The reason we have this disparity in cost of living between both countries is the Nigerian Factor ™

The Nigerian Factor stifles Nigeria’s ability to make it’s gifted citizens willingly come – or stay – home. Here’s how I define it:

“The Nigerian factor is what makes things that work elsewhere fail to work in Nigeria. It is also what makes doing the wrong thing acceptable and doing the right thing condemnable” – Tayo Solagbade

I believes that anyone who truly loves Nigeria will want her to develop to the point where many individual Nigerians will no longer feel a need to flee for Europe and America (and in the case of people like me – Benin, Ghana or even Togo!) in order to achieve worthwhile goals.

Perpetuation of the Nigerian Factor currently makes this development process difficult, if not impossible.

I have a vision to provide information and education for re-orientation towards eliminating the Nigerian Factor.

Why?

Because I believe every business organisation will find her chances of survival and profitable existence threatened, if negative influences that prevent stabilisation of political and economic conditions persist.

Individuals are also guiltly of making the problem worse in Nigeria!

The irony is that those responsible for cutting corners in Nigeria for personal monetary gain are NOT all in government.

Some are individuals in society who think it is smart to exploit the existing loopholes.

Maybe that is why many Nigerians seem incapable of insisting that things be done as expected. They can ask for a while, but they soon give up and accept anything they are told hoping that the problem will resolve itself.

I believe that this LACK OF POLITICAL WILL (note that political will need not be demonstrated through violence) is what makes Nigerians continue to suffer the hardships they complain so much about.

The following quote reinforces this:

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to, and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them” – Frederick Douglas

Even though I have chosen to work from outside Nigeria, I continue to make myself available to add value to Nigeria and Nigerians using my products and services.

I do this because I LOVE my country and want to help her develop.

However I am not naive enough to blindly put myself – and my family – in harm’s way, be it financially or otherwise, to “help” Nigeria!

My experiences have taught me that people willing to let Nigeria develop are in the minority, both in and out of government.

The majority have found a way to exploit the chaos in the country for personal gain. And so they don’t want things to “change for the better”, for obvious reasons!

So, I know this is not a battle that will be won quickly.

Howeve, with help from the creator, I know we who are of like mind, will join forces, over time, until we win!

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

Practical Livestock Feed Formulation Handbook

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Tayo K. Solagbade*
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