Most Nigerians want to rise. They want to break the ceilings that appear to frustrate them.  Being typical Nigerians, they have prayed and prayed.  They have fasted over and over.  They have forgotten the lessons that Biblical Nehemiah teaches.  Never fast without acting. Never act without fasting.  They keep on fasting, including white fasting for days but they will never act. They keep on repeating the succession of fasting, praying without acting and expecting different result.  Only lunatics do that.

When you ask most Nigerians why they don’t act in faith on their prayers, the commonest answer is “I DON’T HAVE MONEY “. If you ask why they are not creating jobs for themselves and perhaps others after years after graduation,  the commonest answer is “I DON’T HAVE MONEY “. If you ask simply “ what are your plans?”. The answer you will get is I don’t have money.  Most Nigerians believe money is the foundation of everything.  They believe that money is the panacea to all problems..indeed, the magic wand that opens all doors.

And indeed, they are very wrong.  The first step is to have an idea of what you want to do, what business you want to do, what SME you want to establish. This idea can be an innovation that is unique and fresh. The idea can be a creative adaptation or modification of an existing idea. The idea for it to be viable must be producing a product or service that there is a need for.  The idea must be meeting a need, because it is the need that will generate or stimulate a demand that leads to supply.

The demand may be local, regional or national.  It is important to know the geographical nature of the demand because this will ultimately decide the size and structure of the market for the idea.

Product or service.  Of course there are other critical issues such as the raw materials or inputs for the production of the product or service.  There is also the issue of availability of requisite labour for producing the product or rendering the service.  Never forget that it is the unique feature, sometimes called the unique selling proposition, that will determine the marketability and ultimately the viability of the idea.

Next thing is to put costs to all these items.  You now have to calculate the cost elements either land, buildings, plant and machinery, raw materials,  labour, distribution or marketing,  production expenses etc.  You are then in a position to determine your capital outlay and running costs.  It is only at this stage that money comes in.

Once you determine the financial capital requirements, you can also determine the viability of the project. It is only then that money can be the problem.  It is then you begin seriously to consider the issue of capital formation.  Capital formation is not the very first step.  It is neither the second step nor the third step.  If you want to break the ceilings, money must never be the first step.  Money must not be your foundational problem. Money must never be obstacle.

How do you solve the capital formation problem? You can raise capital from your savings.  You can raise capital from your relations and friends.  You can raise capital from cooperative societies.  You can raise capital from loans. You can raise capital from investment of others, who can acquire shares in percentage of total capital.  You can raise capital through crowd funding by involving many investors, involving many people investing in small units. You can raise capital through venture capital. Some people raise capital through multi-level or pyramid marketing.

Some will spend all the time grumbling about the situation in the country.  They will be more bothered about the depression in the country, the inflationary tendencies and such indicators of micro or macro-economic instability.  Be assured that most successful people emerge in such circumstances.  Many successful people are processed through the furnace of such instability to become the beautiful gold that the society celebrates. Focused determination, conscientious hard work, optimal knowledge and intellectual are required attributes for success to emerge. Computer specialists talk about GIGO…..garbage in, garbage out.  The quality of your inputs will determine the quality of your outputs.

Of course some people will be distracted by those I called the BASEMENT PEOPLE OR DESTINY DESTROYERS.  Some will be elevated by BALCONY PEOPLE OR DESTINY HELPERS. Who you are will determine the quality and type of people that you will attract to yourself.  Chief Obafemi Awolowo said ONLY THE DEEP CAN ATTRACT THE DEEP.  In essence good people will attract good people.  Bad people will certainly attract bad people.

Finally for those who want to JAPA, who want to abandon their country for others in search of greener pastures, let me draw their attention to one principle in foreign relations.  The principle states that the FOREIGN POLICY OF A COUNTRY IS AN EXTENSION OF THE DOMESTIC POLICY OF THE NATIONS.  The migrating citizen will be migrating with his or her intrinsic values, work ethics, inner human attributes.  Crossing the oceans and continents will not change those inherent values.  Lack of focus, determination, hard work, spirit of good leadership or followership traits will not just change because you JAPA. There is no where you pick dollars or pounds or euros on the road without investing hard work, intellect, knowledge and such associated values.

It is my wish and prayers that you break through the ceilings and achieve success.  BUT EVERYTHING IS IN YOUR HANDS.