Friday, September 30, 2016

MMM: Moku Mogbe Modaran!


Today was crazy. (Thank you, Shereen). Scratch that – the past few weeks have been crazy. I have been wanting to write about the MMM rave for a while, but couldn’t find the time – so I have had to be content with liking other people’s posts and dropping sarcastic comments here and there on Facebook. Right now I need a break from writing recommendations and thinking about foreign exchange, so I have decided to finally write this.

First some context for the uninitiated. MMM is a Ponzi an investment scheme that offers 30% returns on a monthly basis. Yes. You read that right. 30% monthly. To help put that in perspective, if you invest provide help of N100,000, you can expect returns to get help of N130,000 in thirty days. If you leave this N100,000 in for twelve thirty-day cycles, it becomes N2.3 million at the end of the period. That is a 2329% annual rate of return!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Looking forward to when next I'll have these many cakes! :)
I can’t believe it’s already one year since my last birthday… Like really. Just like that? It feels like I was posing for pictures with my record number of cakes only yesterday. And wasn’t it last week or the week before that I was 18? Or 21? I am now confused. Where are all the years rushing to?

Can the 2000s come back here already?

Wasn't this exam only last month?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why we need a new CBN Governor


I think the CBN needs a new governor. Like yesterday. It appears there is active manipulation going on to keep the Naira in the low N300s. The value in the parallel market, in the low N400s, is a better indicator of the Naira's true worth. Whether it is due to their inability to educate or convince the Presidency or whether there is some ineptitude in the mix, I no longer trust the current leadership of the CBN to weather this storm. Our best bet in the short term at strengthening the value of the Naira, other than an unlikely jump in the value of oil, is for foreign investors to return with their dollars. Forget all that talk about ramping up local production of non-oil goods. Making anything in Nigeria is incredibly expensive, and it will take years of concerted action on power, transportation, finance, labor (read everywhere) to create a significant base of export-worthy goods. We have a lot of English-speaking people and a lot of raw talent, so another option is to ramp up exportation of services - but that's a story for another day. Companies like Andela are leading the way here, but there's a lot more that we can be doing. Back to foreign investors.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Touch not my Anointed and other Scams: (My Problem With Church (2/x))


A 'man of God' is caught pants down with a female church member, but say nothing because ... touch not my anointed.

A 'man of God' is jailed in a foreign country for a variety of financial offences, but do not comment on newspaper article because ... touch not my anointed.

A 'man of God' is obviously manipulating people, making them eat grass and drink petrol... yet, say nothing, because - touch not my anointed.

Really?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Who large population don epp?


I feel envious when I hear about or research a country that has a manageable population.

Switzerland and Israel, for example, have about 8 million people. The UAE has under 10 million people. Canada and Australia, both of which have taken a decent amount of Nigerian immigrants in recent years, have 36 million and 24 million people respectively. We often point to Singapore as a model for rapid and sustainable economic development; they have just over 5 million people.

On the other hand, Lagos alone has about 20 million people. Kano has somewhere between 15 million and 20 million. Nigeria nets out somewhere between 150 million and 180 million - depending on who you ask. Some projections have it that we will number 400 million people by 2050.

Yes. 400 million people.

*****

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Supporting your Family vs. Investing in your Dreams

Young Padawan,

I received your letter requesting advice on balancing your obligations to your family with funding the pursuit of your goals. It is a difficult one to respond to, as I am in similar shoes and I am adjusting my approach as I go. I will share what I have learnt from others and found out for myself, and I hope it helps you.

Let us start with some common ground: you are partly responsible for your family. Your parents and siblings should not suffer lack of food, clothing, or healthcare if you can do something. They have shared good and bad times with you, loved you in health and nursed you through sickness, and as you mentioned – sacrificed to pay for your education. Yes, you did not ask to be born, and many of these things are parental responsibilities. But, do you ever wonder how things would be different if they hadn’t performed these duties?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Nightlife, Afropolitan Vibes

Promo poster for this month's show
I was writing about free markets and the floating Naira, then I thought - why don't I write about something fun since it's a Friday night?

So I scrapped my previous post.

It's Friday!!!

Cheers to the freaking weekend!!!

**7**

When I travel, I always make time to see the nightlife; I could literally be drooping with a backache from sitting all day, but I would always, always get out in the evenings to see how the people have fun. I have walked nearly an hour in almost zero temperatures in Europe while "following the music", I have gotten lost at 3am in East Africa while finding my way back to the hotel after a night out, and I have bluffed my way into a Middle Eastern club by telling the bouncers I was a Nigerian prince (this is technically true, although I am probably a few hundred people away from any thrones).

Thursday, June 09, 2016

What will you be doing in five years?


If you asked me five years ago what I would be doing today, I would have looked straight into your eyes and given you a confident answer. I would have maintained eye contact all through the conversation and thrown in a few verses from the Bible for good measure. If you were a peer, you may have left thinking something was wrong with you for not having that degree of certainty about your future.

I was absolutely sure what I would be doing in five years.

I was also absolutely wrong.

*****

I recently read my personal mission statement from 2007.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

RIP Stephen Keshi, Death is a Bastard

The Big Boss, how I will remember him.
I saw the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final at a bar in Ogudu. It was not a nice place. It smelled of vomit, the boys were loud, and the waitress was rude. I am generally averse to rough places, but it did not cross my mind to leave. It was the first time in thirteen years that we were in a final and we had a real chance to win. I wanted to witness the making of history.

I screamed when Sunday Mba scored, danced a jig when the referee blew the final whistle, and fist pumped the air all the way back home. It was a big deal. Stephen Keshi had done what many foreign coaches couldn't do - win the Nations Cup. The excitement was palpable, and for a brief period we united as one country behind the win.

Stephen Keshi was good for Nigerian football.

Stephen Keshi was a great Super Eagles player and coach.

Stephen Keshi died last night.

*****

This post chose itself.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Memories from my Childhood

At seven, attending the naming ceremony of my now favourite teenager!
My earliest memory is of being made to kneel in a corner facing the wall for pulling someone's glasses off their face, then falling asleep in the dark corner. That someone must have been one of my parents, more likely to be my dad; my mom would never let me fall asleep in a corner.

It is interesting that this is my earliest memory. Why don't I remember being taken to a park, eating an orange, or getting a toy? What about kneeling in a corner makes for a sticky memory?