Visit to Nigeria

Andrew returns to Nigeria to meet friends, contacts having not visited since the beginning of the pandemic. So what’s changed in that time? In Lagos the road from the Airport to centre of Victoria Island definitely seems to have improved, but on the negative side the Naira has taken a tumble and the FX remains difficult. For human capital it seems that the answer is to move abroad and take advantage of foreign currency roles in North America, Canada and Europe.

Abuja 

My first visit to the Capital of Nigeria is hugely positive experience and one that I find so different from Lagos. The wide roads and modern infrastructure of Abuja are abundant. The road from the Airport is fast and clear of traffic ¬†which takes you straight past the home of the Eagles Nigerian football team and into the town centre. Whilst I didn’t see much evidence of manufacturing or production taking place in Abuja there is definitely an air and a feeling that this is a governmental and NGO sector city. There are also much evidence of conferences with security tight in and around the hotels and conference centres.

Whilst I attended a Human Capital conference myself I also managed to find some time to visit Zuma Rock which had been one of things I had always wanted to see. For those who don’t know, Zuma rock is a large natural monolith that can be found in Niger State about an hour from Abuja. The day I travelled in a taxi, there was a petrol shortage and most of the petrol stations were either closed or with massive queues of people. Some of the Uber drivers that I talked to had to purchase petrol on the black market at inflated prices in order to maintain their job.

My lasting memories of Abuja are hugely positive, I can’t help thinking though if only the infrastructure of Abuja could be transferred to Lagos then you’ve got a recipe for a massive increase in productivity and wealth creation for everyone.

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