I have been to Germany twice and I also saw poverty personified that initiated a resolve to rise above it during their Oktoberfest festival

Victor C. Ariole

The Prime Minister of Britain is here, and she tells us that Nigeria is poor because it is not open enough or geared toward trades and investment. In effect, trust is not there to see Nigeria as good investment ground and, even, what is worse, again, Nigeria is saying that rule of law that governs all humans as basics, is not as valid as purported one-man show of National interest.

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Britain was a place I loved to visit before I took a break in 2013. My place of abode then used to be a place most people of my level would abhor to be; a YMCA – managed hostel for deprived or depressed or poor people. They were taken care of in the interest of the basics of life. It was located at the Barbican and I enter it through Old Street; and I came one day as I was told that it does no more exist anymore and one kind Afro-looking Latino, as against the darker Caribbeans I met there who told me off, directed me to St. Paul’s hostels as a similar alternative to the place. And, indeed, it was; as I saw different type of deprived people; this times around eastern Europeans; not the mostly black people I used to see in the Barbican hostel of YMCA. That change to me was as a result of Britain in European Union, and an expression of poverty in Europe that Britain has to feel as against poverty in the Commonwealth that made YMCA operate a subsidised hostel that care, in kind and in cash, for the mostly black deprived in Britain. I also met some depressed British ladies there but not as the great number of depressed Africans. In effect, that place was for me a research universe for the study of people in distress and how people in Africa should rethink their state. And as a teacher, I was learning how to treat youths in a deprived situation. We played games and ate together in a very amiable manner.

Another great leader who came to Nigeria same time, also, was Angela Merkel, the prominent among European Union leaders beside France’s Emmanuel Macron who, even, is the de jure leader, but not necessarily de facto, as economic assurance is what Europeans need now and Germany is providing it. I have been to Germany twice and I also saw poverty personified that initiated a resolve to rise above it during their Oktoberfest festival as I crisscrossed beautiful girls hawking food in that festival as well as listening from some of them, that the east part of Germany does not enjoy the same minimum wage like the west; though those in the east are working hard to prove that they can get to the west type of living. Even, the Chancellor knows that as she is a product of the east.

Now, just like Nigerians in their poverty, as proved, feel that corruption is the problem which Engr. Dare Lawal former MD of Dunlop, disagreed with, in his presentation at UNILAG Research fair of the 30th August, when Theresa May was here, in Nigeria. Both Germany and Britain have their problems and if relatively assessed, Nigeria could be seen as better than them if not for greedy elites among us who corner all the riches to themselves. At least accommodation, transportation and feeding, mostly what the people in the lower income bracket needs, are not lacking in both Britain and Germany.

It is like appointing 33 companies to produce a Nigerian car instead of reducing cost by those appointments and focusing on identifying adequately how to go about it without creating disparate corruption environment that gulp resources, so said Engr. Dare Lawal. Nigerian leaders miss the provision of the basics so as to get the poor always on their knees begging. That is also the problem of weak thinking and weak planning process bordering on misunderstanding of the economic structure of Nigeria. The elites misuse of the collective purse is the problem. Indeed, I saw so much how such structuring issues are treated in Germany and Britain that make people think there is no poverty or big gap of inequality as people go about their businesses there with contentment. In effect, the basic things of life are not supposed to stress the people and the Government should know that.

One of those shocks I was quickly to absorb was when I missed my flight en route back to Nigeria from Berlin to the main hub of Lufthansa, Frankfurt, I had to sleep in a ‘budget’ hotel room shared with two ladies and it was not seen as abomination or corruption like it would have been elsewhere, that is also understanding the basics. It was a moment for tolerance testing for me, as a Ukraine lady and a German lady were sharing the room with me. We had a centre space well provided in the room with set of sitting couch, fridge and wardrobe. Initially, the German lady protested but the Ukrainian lady objected to her protest and as I entered into discussion with the Ukrainian lady, within one hour, we melted into a formidable integrated mosaic human landscape or ecology. I am narrating this because it solved a problem that was mere basic and was well provided for, by valid infrastructure.

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The two personalities that visited Nigeria, in the week, are great lesson deliverer to the Nigerian elites and leaders. They have been struggling during their tenure to keep their people stable in both social and economic tremors, and they have not shown signs of being overwhelmed. To them, it is beyond politics unlike the Nigerian elites who see politics as do or die because of the bogus structure provided by it that squanders the National wealth.

Both Ladies, as great leaders, in their veiled pursuit, are seeking for trade relations to enhance their internal well-being as well as mitigate remote fear of Nigerians causing immigration problem to them as economic hardship force Nigerians to migrate; whereas all it takes is for Nigerian leaders to structurally redirect human and economic resources for sustainability of human needs and for prosperity in context with the available resources in the landscape called Nigeria.


Ariole, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Lagos