Here’s my special 25/12 post. A very merry christmas to everyone who reads this young blog and supports the Nigerian struggle.
Now to the main story.
In the spirit of festivity and felicitations and celebration of progress from the beginning of the year till now, I’d like to celebrate the progress the Nigerian nation has made this past year. This would have been a more appropriate post for the 31st but what, you wan complain? Didn’t think so.
This past year has not exactly been the best for our beautiful nation. In fact, its been one of the worst years in modern (by modern I mean post-Abacha) Nigeria’s history because even though 2011 saw to the mellowing of M.E.N.D and our other angry brothers from the South, it saw to the unprecedented instigation of terrorist activities by the Boko Haram sect in the F.C.T , the apex of national security, the death of some of the finest minds in corporate Nigeria (Ibru, Aderinokun), and the more mundane, our national’s team failure to qualify for the Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea Nation’s Cup, etc. On the other hand, 2011 more than anything, brought to my notice the immense importance private businesses make to the overall development of our country. MTN did not smile at all when it celebrated 10 years of operation over here, Guinness invited the Argentines to play – and helped our tourism in no small way – and many other large and small-scale, well-established and up-and-coming Nigerian commercial enterprises played their parts in giving the country a boost in its entirety. Not to say the latter only watched with folded arms but in 2011, the private sector outshone the public sector in Nigeria.
Which is why I want to preach today….
You see, based on all my observations and on the aforementioned, I think the most assured way for Nigeria to progress as a nation is if the responsibility for development of the economy and of the nation as a whole is concentrated more in private hands. Yup. Let private-owned firms take a more ‘governmenty’ approach to business such that it’s not just about their pockets anymore but also about everything around them. A newly established firm in being set up signs onto itself the responsibility of developing the community it is established in. That way communities all over Nigeria are developed. To enhance efficiency in this department, government – which in this case will perform a solely regulatory purpose – would attach commercial connotations to this, tax holidays and what have you. But then corporate Nigeria would take the front seat and drive this car that is Nigeria speedily down the long but sparsely trodden road of progress.
Preach on brother.
But then I probably am just blabbing. I know nothing about the commercial implications about this possible heresy I speak so confidently. Well, I couldn’t care less. All I’m saying is that private is more effective, goal-driven, better-equipped (I dare say) than public and if we want to make progress, we should include more of commercial Nigeria in this country’s development. That’s what I think.
Dangote seems to think so too.
The Nigerian domestic league is definitely not something to write home about.
From a not-too-analytical point of view, I think it would be really cool if the Nigerian League received the type of response the English Premier League receives from our countrymen today, if the prospect of Sunday fixtures between Enyimba and Pillars could be as anticipated as the El Classico, if rows and rows of football enthusiasts filled up Nigerian stadiums and bought season tickets and wore the kits of their domestic club sides, if Nigerian League players did not have this ultimate collective aim of furthering their careers abroad and were not as anonymous as they are now. Yeah, that would be quite a big deal.
To dream this however, is only one half of the orange. The other half naturally, is making the dream a reality. How exactly can we make our league reflective of the (if not now, past) status of our nation as the giant of African footballing? How can we produce a league that would satisfy the many Nigerian football-mongers? Well, a couple of suggestions have been raised:
2. Others have argued that to save the NPL, the media should get more involved in the league’s proceedings. Pff!!! Where have you been? If anything, the media has gotten more and more involved in the NPL over the years such that the league is at present broadcast on the South African Supersports channel as well on many channels of reputable media houses in the country. Besides, this cannot be an effective ‘change agent’ as mass communication in any endeavor is an end-product factor used only to publicize good work. From where I stand, I see no good work to publicize.
3. Much to my excitement, more people argue that the NPL would take a complete round turn if money was invested to bring some of the best names in world football to Nigeria. True, imagine Messi in a Dolphins shirt. But this again is an end-product factor, to attract bright light to this country we have to at least have a light bulb.
4. Finally, others argue that we should rebrand the league totally. Give it a new name, logo, clubs , staff, officiating board, even power brokers. But then again, how many things have we ‘rebranded’ in Nigeria? And how many have we actually rebranded?
Getting our league right would be a huge plus for the federation, economically and otherwise. The above suggestions are just a few opinions on how best to go about this. What are yours? It’s a thought that I think you should start thinking right away.