Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Lekki Building Collapse: Thoughts On Greed & Nigerian Capitalism

Nigerian Capitalism often seems to me to be driven by greed, more so than by a desire to make a honest profit.

Greed is the only way I can explain some of the things that happen here.

Greed is why 18 people died and 15 others were severely injured in the Lekki building collapse, and while we don't have the full incident report yet - we already know someone thought it was alright to exceed the approved number of floors for the building.

Spot the extra floor being added on top of this 'already painted & completed' building?*
It added that it has also been discovered that in a brazen act of defiance and impunity, the owners of the building, Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, criminally unsealed the property and continued building beyond the approved floors until the unfortunate incident of Tuesday which has led to loss of lives. LASG Press Release.

Greed is why building contractors routinely use materials without the right specifications and mix your concrete with less cement than you paid for.

Greed is why filling stations hoard fuel, unilaterally increase the pump price, and charge you an arbitrary flat rate to sell into your jerry-cans at the slightest hint of a scarcity.

Greed is why a certain senior soldier reportedly stole more money than most Nigerians will see in their lifetimes, hid it in a soak-away, and sent ill-equipped junior soldiers marching to their death. (I know this does not relate to business, but I just had to mention!)

Greed is why your mechanic charges you twice the cost of original parts, then brazenly installs the cheapest fakes he can source while creating new problems that will see you return to his workshop in a few weeks.

Greed is a national problem around these parts.

I think business should have a heart!

May the families of those who died in the building collapse be comforted.

* Picture taken in Lagos by a friend in January 2015. It is not implied that this building has collapsed or will collapse. Image used for illustrative purposes only.

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