My cousin is starting a new retail business in Lagos and employing a lot of underpaid people who currently have jobs elsewhere. A particular guy who had worked 10 years at a retail outlet making a lot of money but paid peanuts really made me annoyed. His employers are foreign.
We were discussing the new package he was proposing and the most important part of it was the family welfare package. Medical insurance, school fees, and all. Those things were more valuable to the individuals but easier for an entity to provide wholesale at a cheaper rate.
We keep talking about poverty in Nigeria, looking at silly short term measures without understanding how most people live. A cleaner in my house in Lagos lost his child to Malaria in 2007 without letting me know as he felt he would "bother me" and take advantage of my kindness.
That thing broke me as there was a free Catholic Mission hospital at Jakande where the child could have been treated without asking for money. I used that hospital in Lagos many times and the church funded it from Sunday collections. That is why I am mad at the Nigerian govt.
Religious institutions like the Catholic church, foreign donor agencies, and relatives in the Diaspora are the difference between a semblance of sanity and total chaos. I am also pissed at the private sector too, especially those who exploit people for cheap labor.
If all you want to do as an entrepreneur in Nigeria is to take advantage of the poor so that you can be rich, you are not better than the government. The welfare package my cousin is proposing comes out much cheaper per person than I even imagined, yet people die daily.
There is so much opportunity in Nigeria and yet so much confusion. I kept wondering how those same welfare packages could have been made available for anyone just paying basic taxes.
Something that my cousin is providing that made that young man cry was pension contributions. These things are supposed to be standard for all employers of labor. In Ghana, it is a very serious thing if you don't remit monthly. You could be fined or jailed.
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