By Adewale Sanyaolu Despite being a country with the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, Nigeria, according to Foraminifera, a marketing and research firm, spends about N2 billion yearly on importation of asphalt, a derivative of bitumen. The occurrence of bitumen deposits in Nigeria is twice the amount of existing reserves of crude…
A couple from Nigeria visited America for the first time for two insightful weeks. They were marveled at how structured and organized the American society is. They profusely heaped praises on the American government and the institutions that are working diligently to perfect what they already had. As we were discussing about various issues in both Nigeria and America, I thought it would make an interesting read for my audience if they could let me publish in my column their diary in their own words about their impression of America.
This couple left US last week after visiting some cities, malls, and other tourist attractions. For the purpose of this story, their first names will be used. Here are the excerpts of their diary in their own words: I am Taiwo; I came to America for the first time with my husband, Ejike. This is a big and rare opportunity for us to see how America is and how things work in the United States. I am speechless to see things are moving smoothly. When we are driving around, I see how people obey traffic rules. Traffic lights direct traffic.
About the government and the people; the government here really has the interest of its citizens in its plans. The government is not staffed with individuals who are selfish like in Nigeria. Nigerian politicians go for the post purposely because of their pocket and their family and not because of the masses. American leaders and workers use their positions at all levels to improve the country’s highly standardized institutions and amenities.
For instance, for the past two weeks we have been in America, we have not experienced any power failure. The lights are constantly on without any interruption. Besides constant electricity, there are good roads. We drove from Denton to Houston on a smooth road and no potholes on the road. The drive took us four hours, but the same journey in Nigeria would have taken us more than eight hours because of bad roads, checkpoints, and insecurity.
There has been no time we traveled from Lagos to East that we did not experience armed robbers attacking people on the road. In Nigeria, there is no big fence to demarcate the highway from some residential areas; and night guide on the Nigerian roads.
Government here has plans for the citizens. The government wants everyone to go to school no matter who you are or your class. You can go to a university on student loan and pay back after your education and getting a job after your education is easier here. This is another difference between America and Nigeria. In Nigeria, you struggle to have your education and after that will be no job for you. It pains me a lot because my country was not like that in the 80s and 90s when dollar was equal to Naira.
During that period, parents could send their children abroad for education and be able to send money to them to finish their education. But now things have changed; only the politicians can send their children abroad for education.
It appears that everyone wants to go to America because of education, jobs, healthcare, and amenities. The standard of living is very high and everything is well-organized. My advice is for our government to fix things for us in Nigeria so that people can also come to our country.
In fact, I appreciate the Almighty God who made our journey a successful one and also, we are thankful to my brother-in-law and family who gave us the opportunity to be part of their son’s wedding. A big thanks to you all. My husband and I came to America purposely for this wedding. Without this wedding, we wouldn’t have been here. Our coming will also boost our own real estate business because we saw a lot of estates here and how they plan them; they are different from what we have in Nigeria. In any case, we are gathering lots of experiences in this field.
I am Ejike; we will be leaving in the next few days. I came to America with my wife, Taiwo, to attend the wedding of my nephew. This offered me the opportunity to see his siblings, my other nephews and nieces. Also, we came to see what America really looks like since this is our first time in America.
We are truly overwhelmed by the beauty of America. What I like most is the country is highly organized with things moving smoothly in a predictable manner. Everything here is highly organized—the network of roads, the housing and streets, electricity, and much more. Virtually everything here is organized unlike in my country, Nigeria where those in power are bent on their selfish interest.
To be fair, America is in no way comparable to Nigeria. In the United States of America, everything is structured to suit the needs of the people. In fact, everything here works. Nigeria actually has a long way to go in all aspects. If I may ask, is there any form of healthcare system in Nigeria? If you are sick in Nigeria, you are on your own.
Finally, we garnered a lot of experience coming to America. Here is a place you would love to raise your kids. I am amazed that students are given loan to go to the university if they need it. America is truly a country where everything is running smoothly—from the road networks to everything else.
We came to America at the appointed time and we learned a lot. Our experience for sure will have a positive impact in our real estate business. I like America! But I still love my country, Nigeria!! This is our story!!!