‘For the same reason that a Dangote is great, is the same reason why underdevelopment persists in third world countries.’
Why in the midst of so much riches, is a society so poor? There are a few reasons – inadequate distribution of resources, corruption, insincerity and the prevalence of an individualistic nature.
Inequality has become a global phenomenon, in today’s world, but it is a lot worse in developing nations, where there exists various forms of cultural, political, social, legal and economic imbalance and injustice.
The writer has on numerous occasion attempted to enlighten at various fora, the unnecessary nature of having too much in an under-developed nation. Why should one man have over 10 billion dollars, in a country, where some cannot even afford to feed on 1 dollar a day. It is the belief of the writer that no man should aspire to over 1 billion dollars, if their society is bereft with poverty and under-development. The logic behind this is that the more a man takes out of an under-developed environment/ market, the less for the people of the country.
This would somewhat explain the philanthropic nature of billionaires in more developed climes e.g Warren Buffet. These set of men understand the essence of money and money-making. In better climes, there is something extra to having money. Developed and more enlightened societies develop strategies and systems that instil a sense of responsibility on the rich e.g through charitable organisations like OXFAM or by the rich setting up their own foundations e.g Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This sends a message, which is you are only a temporary custodian of the monies in your possession and bestows some responsibility on the holder of such monies to be more communal and charitable in his or her actions.
In contrast, what is found in underdeveloped nations, is a set of people (Elite and the Rich), who believe that society owes them indefinitely. They possess a megalomaniac disposition, imbued with an over-bloated ego of self-importance, almost feudalistic in nature, to the detriment of the society around them. A set of people, who are on a one-way track of constantly stripping the society and the environment of its resources, without giving anything back. If this is not wicked, I do not know what the word means.
In a business or capitalist environment, there is nothing wrong in healthy competition amongst entrepreneurs, but when that need for capitalist competition begins to hurt society, then it is wrong and we should know when to draw the line. It is this sort of unbridled money-making, without any care for the society from which the money is derived, that leads to the collapse of societies and civilisation i.e. Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
It is the opinion of the writer beyond all reasonable doubt, that the cause of high corruption in the land, is based on this circumstance of injustice and inequity. The blame lies not only on Government officials, but also on the people of the nation, who have been so impoverished over the years, that they now suffer from a poverty mentality, even in the midst of riches, making the people desperate and less humane.
How do you explain the situation where banks ask their workers to meet crazy monetary generation targets (in the Billions) or they would lose their jobs? The multiplier effect on the psyche of Nigerians in this era of little or no job security, is best left unimagined. Most people will become criminals and will be encouraged to steal to meet up. Even Juju/ Obeah (Traditional Spiritual assistance) is not out of the question in this effort, of unbridled primitive acquisition of material resources.
One solution to this situation is the implementation of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Law in Nigeria, as in India. This would make it compulsory for every company that makes over a particular amount, to spend a part of its revenue on CSR. The implementation of such a law would act as a driver towards sustainable development in the society.
Why is this not prevalent in most under-developed nations?
In the words of Bob Dylan, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.
A word is enough for the wise.
Videos on Inequality in today’s world: