local and foreign installed infrastructure in Nigeria

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local and foreign installed infrastructure

First few weeks of resumption in the university as an undergraduate is filled with ecstasy for new and returning students. They just arrived fresh from home with lots of enthusiasm, raw-food and pocket-money. In these first few weeks, many students spend and eat in fancy restaurants, where they pay higher since the pocket-money is still visible. But after three or four weeks, the account balance begins to drop and the pocket-money gets leaner. At this point, students who had learnt cooking begin to cook their raw food, while those who cannot cook beg or eat on credit. The ability to cook what sustains you instead of begging illustrates the distance between local and foreign installed infrastructure in any society.

Several regimes of Nigerian government ceremoniously announce the award of contracts for infrastructure to foreign companies whenever they need popularity applause.[1] We need stadiums abi stadia, roads, airports, bridges, government-houses, industrial-plants or other infrastructure – call Julius Berger, GE, RCC or other foreign companies. After installation, these foreign companies are payed again to maintain or replace the infrastructure when they begin to spoil.[2] But when the foreigners need crude oil, iron ore and other mineral resources for producing components of infrastructure, they come to Nigeria.[3] Despite the abundant mineral resources, Nigerian engineers are abandoned in their unproductivity, showing the distance between local and foreign installed infrastructure.

Nigerian mineral resources

True societies are formed by the agreement of different people within specific locations to collaborate for satisfying their needs. Members of the society design and agree on modes of collaboration for using available resources to provide optimum satisfaction for members of the society. One of the best ways of using resources for social satisfaction is by extracting, refining and multiplying the resources. Hence, societies learn and teach their citizens how to develop and multiply their resources. They also trade/exchange their resources with other people who produce what they require in their society.


impose peace and unity in Nigeria

Nigeria is filled with human and crude natural resources capable of developing the Nigerian society to any standard. Unfortunately, the Nigerian imposed government confiscates and auctions all mineral resources for developing Nigeria. [4][5][6] These resources are auctioned in their crude form,[7] without extraction or refinement, in exchange for forex, consumer goods and infrastructure. Since Nigerians do not have access to their resources for building their society, they wait on the government for everything: light, roads, water, etc. All these foreign commodities eventually spoil, either by accidents, use or natural law of depreciation.


Some Nigerians may argue for the use of foreign companies in building Nigeria for several reasons:

  • The foreign companies are helping us do our work, thus sacrificing a lot to build Nigeria.[8]
  • Nigerians may not do it well because they have imbibed a culture of laziness.[9]
  • It will cost a lot of money and time to organize Nigerians collaborate for modern productivity.
  • The cost of using experienced foreign companies with trusted technologies is cheaper than the cost of allowing local unprofessional engineers waste resources or do it badly.
  • Foreign companies introduce us to modern technology which we have never seen or would not have seen without them.[10]

Despite these immediately beautiful points, the sacrifices made in empowering and utilizing Nigerian engineers have a better promise for Nigeria.

  • Work does not kill anybody; instead work develops the peoples’ capacity for productivity, fulfilment and richness.
  • The culture of laziness attributed to Nigerians is a product of denial of access to their mineral resources for research and productivity. Many Nigerians work in foreign industries because they are unable to obtain resources in Nigeria for productivity. During the Biafran war, Nigerians on the Biafran side refined fuel, constructed armored vehicles, bombs and other technical equipment.[11] Despite the restriction from mineral resources for real productivity, several Nigerians continually exhibit industrial ingenuity without government support.
  • Truly, it will take a lot of money and time to train Nigerians for productivity. Yet a father does not abandon his crawling baby because the baby has not learnt how to run to school. Instead, the father patiently assists the baby to develop the mental and physical capacity to stand and walk. So, a progressive society invests in training and organizing its citizens for productivity.
  • The cost of buying cooked food may be immediately cheaper than learning how to cook from a caterer or by experiment. However, since you will continue eating every day of your life, the amount of money you will spend over time will topple the amount you would have paid for learning how to cook. Also, the amount it costs different ethnic communities to train their engineers to develop their resources will eventually pay off in their productivity.
  • Though foreign companies introduce us to modern technology, Nigerian engineers can still learn the techniques without completely depending on foreigners for infrastructure.

No nation or foreign company can build Nigeria with more commitment, pride and dedication than Nigerians themselves. It is Nigerians who will organize their societies and build their society and its infrastructure to the taste they want it. Locally installed infrastructure multiplies and spreads Nigerian wealth, pride, productivity and fulfilment within Nigeria. Foreign installed infrastructure, goods and services may seem better now, but ours be equally be good when we collaborate.


The most important element in developing a society is not the presence of mighty structures, but the capacity of the citizens to collaborate and erect newer and better structure,s even when the old ones are destroyed by different cause. After the World War II, the Germans were able to rebuild their destroyed country to standard by developing the capacity of its citizens to build, and not just by employing foreign contractors. Always comparing between local and foreign installed infrastructure without considering the eventual benefits of developing the local engineers is like blaming your one year-old son for not running as fast as a 22 years-old athlete. Your son may never grow until you realize that he is your son, and that he requires more attention to meet up with the 22 year-old athlete.


How much damage can five well-trained terrorists cause in a city or country, and how much good can five engineers do? Human beings are agents for multiplying whichever value or vice planted in their emotional and practical lives. When Nigerians see humans as agents of development, they will realize that developing one percent of Nigerian engineers to standard is like lighting a tiny fire in a fuel station.




[1] Cf. Francis Ogbimi, Solution to Mass Unemployment in Nigeria. (Ile-Ife: OAU Press, 2007). p115

[2] Cf. Ibid. p29-31

[3] Ibid. p28

[4] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[5] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[6] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[7] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[8] Adeleke Kunle, The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Nigeria Economic Growth http://hrmars.com/hrmars_papers/Impact_of_Foreign_Direct_Investment_on_Nigeria_Economic_Growth.pdf

[9] Cf. Babatunde Fashola, reported by Premium-Times, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/214279-nigerian-govt-patronises-foreign-contractors-not-local-ones-fashola.html/ 2/11/2016

[10] DBJ, Foreign Direct Investments in Nigeria. http://dartmouthbusinessjournal.com/2012/05/30/foreign-direct-investment-in-nigeria/ Retrieved 10/10/17

[11] Chinua Achebe, There was a country. (USA: Penguin Press, 2012). p157-158