‘Nigerian Employees Are Stealing From Me’ – A Diaspora Guide to Investing in Nigeria

As unemployment bites harder in Nigeria, leaping towards 34 percent according to recent statistics, the fear of establishing a company in Nigeria is another serious concern pushing joblessness and reducing the productive capacity of the people.

Many Nigerians in Diaspora claim that Nigerians are not trustworthy and that they are the number one factor why they have decided not to invest back home.

They sure have tales of stealing and greed to corroborate their points and they easily conclude, all of them are the same.”

Companies in Nigeria

On a Diaspora platform group, someone obviously venting his anger based on experience with employees wrote, “Nigeria’s key problem is not unemployment, it is lack of quality of trustworthy people to employ. In the last 8 days I have employed 3 young men for the same job with the same outcome – they stole within 24 hours.”

With the present socio-economic realities in Nigeria, it takes spiritual awakening from an individual, I mean a personal devotion to God and the fear of God which can only be possible through a spiritual rebirth to overcome the temptations that living in Nigeria brings. You must have left the desire for worldly gains or Mammon to see beyond the present quest for making money in an immoral way in the country as we speak.

Society is shaping people and people are constantly being made to conform to society. I called this the Unnatural State Theory in a write-up. When people are in an unnatural state, the quest for survival becomes paramount. I made the illustration of fishes in a muddy environment, where water is not in abundance. They soon begin to eat themselves.

It is not about the lack of quality of trustworthy people as this quoted post pointed out that is Nigeria’s problem, it is the fact that those employees who stole from you want to be like, or conform to the society they find themselves in. They know that the Bankers steal in corporate ways and they are well regarded, they know that politicians steal and are honoured, they are aware that the clergy is taking advantage of the pulpit for personal enrichment and they are reverered and praised in communities.

They realize that they are all free and no justice for the wicked and corrupt. Since there’s scarcity, through the depletion of the commonwealth by the few, without corresponding social action of punishment, conformity becomes the norm. Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons dealt extensively on this in their social action theory in Sociology and understanding human behaviour.

Nigerians and indeed, individuals are rational beings. If people find themselves in a natural state, they will have a greater tendency of behaving normally within an agreeable moral code. That’s why Nigerians thrive in the UK, US or Canada.

I was once like these employees a few years back after the completion of my NYSC. The desperation was real and there was no platform to climb. Moving from company to company, and time was running. I had to take up a job I never wanted to take. I was in an unnatural state.

I understand their mindset and I know people in such a state need renewal as I went through. When I hear stories of Nigerians misbehaving at work, I can only look back at my own personal wretchedness at some point in time in my unnatural state. They have not overcome that and it’s a pitiful state rather than condemnation. I remember printing another receipt in order to shortchange my employer back then who was in Canada. There were other people in the Diaspora who could reference this period in my life. It was a conformist mindset which more than 95 percent are battling with every day in this country.

Advice For Setting Up Companies In Nigeria ;

  1. Invest in technology that will help curb stealing or minimize it.
  2. Work on the personal renewal of the employees, if possible make them attend Retreats.
  3. Test them and ascertain their desperation. Sociologically, there are ways we test that.
  4. They will not steal from you if they are only renewed in their minds and that belongs to God.
  5. If you can’t find a God fearing person, make sure you are in charge most times.
  6. Don’t treat them because of this consciousness as a potential thief. Remember if they had the chance to run abroad, they will fly like you did. You are not more holy than they are. A lot of Diaspora Nigerians make the mistake. Unfortunately, a self-fulfilling prophecy will occur. Talk to them, share their pains and struggles and let them know that what you’re giving them is little. This is constant indoctrination and mentoring. Talk to them on personal terms and let them know you care. You will win some if not all.

The struggle is real, yet redemption is not far from reach.

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