GreenLanders, It’s time.
It is no longer news that our country Nigeria is massively blessed; we are the largest black nation
on earth with a population of over 160 million people. Our soil is fully loaded with nature’s most
desirable resources ranging from crude oil to the over thirty-four different classes of minerals.
The gospel is simple and true: The Land is green – rich, endowed and fertile, with abundant human
and natural resources. However, very awful is the reality that a vast majority of the inhabitants of
this globally acclaimed ‘green land’ are just nothing but an epitome of lack and unproductivity, thus
making Nigeria earn the title- “The world’s best example of a paradox”- a paradox of the kind of
wealth that breeds penury.
Nigeria is ranked as the 6th largest producer of oil in the world, yet 69% of its population (112
million) live below the poverty line of one dollar a day. Our land is indeed green, yet we spend
millions of naira a year to import rice and some other foods that we eat. We are so blessed with
a wide variety of natural resources yet our currency( which is supposed to be a reflection of our
economy) experiences a daily decrease in value against the dollar( $1=N166.6 as at the time of
this write up). I can’t help but wonder why our abundance in oil, people and resources haven’t
worked favourably and placed us on the top echelons of the global economic ladder by now. Other
developing nations seem to be growing at a very fast rate, for example South Korea of fifty million
people has a Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of $1.2 trillion, Brazil of one hundred and ninety-six
million people has GDP of $2.4 trillion, Malaysia of twenty-eight million people has GDP of $278.6
billion, Chile of seventeen million people has $248.59 billion, Singapore of five million people has
$318.7 billion, while with our population of about one hundred and sixty-five million people, we
shamelessly boast of a GDP of $235.92 billion.
While it is very easy to blame it all on bad leadership(past and present) and lack of managerial
competence, the aim of this write up is to call the ‘Green Landers’(inhabitants of the green land) to a
higher level of responsibility and bring about a positive change to our dear nation.
Truly, we cannot over emphasize the role of leadership in the transformation of a nation, thus, it’s
time for the Greenlanders to create a new political interest- to participate actively in the process
of electing leaders into office, and to also demand good governance and accountability, thereby
compelling those who govern us to persistently make choices that will more likely improve the
outcomes of economic management.
Our country is not only blessed with deposits in the ground, we are equally blessed with deposits in
the mind. But only a few ever leverage on this deposits. It’s time to turn the search light inward, to
nurture and nourish our gifts, talents, strengths and abilities and also to embrace a new mindset-
an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset that takes pride in problem-solving. With this, we can
change the course of our history and place our nation on a new economic development trajectory.
And while so many Greenlanders can’t wait to grab the slightest opportunity of leaving this country
in search of greener pastures, I strongly believe that if we can put in our best efforts as citizens, we
can make our own land greener (after all, it’s our land). Have you ever imagined what it would be
like, the magnitude of the result we would produce if every Nigerian (about one sixty five million of
us) would labour (whether with head or hand) tirelessly, with dignity and integrity, all with the sole
purpose of making Nigeria better?
We as citizens can make a huge world of difference in re-positioning our Nation, if only we are
willing to take up the responsibility.
This is my message- It’s time for the GREENLANDERS to ARISE!
Babatunde Mayowa October, 2013.