Nigeria President, Buhari.
Edited by The Advocate News.
Here is the pathetic story of a Nigerian entreprenuer who established two businesses in the country but got frustrated
almost to the point of closing them due to the attitude of his workers. His experience gives credence why a number of companies and small scale enterprises collapse after inceptions. Find out why!
“I run a manufacturing business and a trading business. The biggest challenge in my manufacturing business is not power or infrastructure. The biggest challenge is getting honest staff. Everyone we hire appears to be on a mission to steal as much as possible. Inflated invoices, recording less than the actual number of units produced. The worst part of it all is that all the fraud we’ve uncovered is not done by a single person, it’s usually many staff who collude with one another from production to sales, to finance, even top management. There was a year I overhauled management three times. But later I found a solution.
“I now use Indian management. So competent, so honest and so straightforward. I thought they were expensive at first with all the visa fees, accommodation, staff houses. But now that the losses due to staff theft have been reduced to a minimum and efficiency increased, the Indian management has turned out to be cheaper than the previous Nigerian management. Now all sensitive positions involving money go to Indians. Nigerians are only allowed in non-sensitive positions.
“I used to criticise companies like Dangote Group that hire so many Indians when there are many unemployed Nigerians. But now, I understand why they take such decision.
“My biggest challenge in the trading business is the same, getting honest staff. The form of trading we have occurs in the open market, and it involves staff having access to huge sums of money running into millions. I know how much I pay to security companies to provide escorts for the staff, not to prevent robbery on the road, but to ensure that the staff go straight to the banks to deposit the money after the day’s sales and not disappear with my money.
This money spent on security companies is even enough to be declared as profit. We have to spend on CCTV, biometric scanners and other things that wouldn’t be needed if staff weren’t looking for the slightest opportunity to steal.
“It got so bad at a point that my main criteria for employing staff was no longer competence but honesty. At least, competence and skills can be learnt, but once you’re dishonest, you’re dishonest.
“We always complain of the economy and how there are no jobs. I know people abroad who would have loved to set up job creating businesses in Nigeria but they can’t because they can’t get any trustworthy person to run it.
“I know people in Nigeria with so much money, they want to start factories and other job-creating businesses but they can’t because they are occupied elsewhere and can’t get any trustworthy person to run the business. So instead of investing in the real sector and creating jobs, they’ll just buy treasury bills, while the thieves are shouting no jobs.
“Many big businesses would have been born in Nigeria if we could engage in partnerships, but we cant because you can’t trust anyone. This is one advantage the Indians and Lebanese have over us in Nigeria. They can pull resources together and do mega-businesses, unlike Nigerians that believe that one person can do everything since we can’t partner, and will end up with small, tiny businesses.
“Start a poultry and they will be stealing your eggs. Some will even go ahead to kill the chickens so that they’ll be allowed to take them home.
Start an entertainment/viewing/game centre and they’ll be pocketing your money. On the days you’re around at the business, the money realised will be x10 of the money realised when you’re not around, because they, (workers) are eating your money.
“Lease out a vehicle to a driver to use and watch as he’ll finish you.
Start a restaurant, the same thing will happen. More than half of the total food ingredients will end up in their personal kitchens.
Even ordinary provisions shop, they will find a way to steal.
You’ll see them with that their evil, wicked saying: “Na where person dey work, na there e dey chop, na e make dem dey callam workchop/workshop”……
Just imagine, justifying theft at work. And you’ll see these people point their crooked fingers at politicians when they’re not even better or different. I usually say that the reason most Nigerians haven’t stolen billions of government money, is simply because of lack of opportunities.
My verdict is that: ‘Nigerians are indeed, the problems of Nigeria’.