The Diligent maketh Rich

Let us as Nigerians stop congratulating ourselves for awarding new blocs for production and increasing crude oil export. When we export crude oil we ship out unrealized jobs and future country wealth and perpetuate our poverty even as we become addicted to consuming processed petroleum products wastefully and buy more and more refined products from rich nations that continue to get richer.

Our goal instead should be to deemphasise if not stop export of crude and plan how to instead produce/export refined products i.e. have a thriving petrochemical industry… It is diligent disciplined application of technology and hard work that differentiates the refiners of crude oil from opportunist merchants who sell crude … the lazy remain poor (plain and simple) and the rich who export finished products love it to remain so. Indeed in these poor nations there are the few mega rich merchants who live on streets with dead street lights,epileptic electricity and no water supply.

“History shows that no country has ever become rich by exporting foodstuffs and raw materials without also having an industrial sector and in modern terms, an advanced service sector. The more a country specialises in the production of raw materials, the poorer it becomes. But this is a lesson Africa has still not learned. In the 19th century, the saying in the USA was: “Don’t do as the English tell you to do, do as the English did.” Our advice to Africa and other developing countries is: “Don’t do as the Americans and the British tell you to do, do as the Americans and the British did.” For Africa, this is the only way out of poverty and into prosperity. And the time to take that route is now!” reports Osei Boateng

… we must think deeply and out of the box to have a model that works for growth and wealth building for Nigeria.

Proverbs 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich

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Financial advice for Christians in 2011

Many were bullish at early signs of recovery in 2010 … but these may only be a reflection of weaker prior years and conservative projections.  It is still to be seen if 2011 will see these jumps in incomes sustained …more likely there will be a flattening for the most cases. There will be a few winners.

The outlook is positive though fears of a future dip again into recession still persist and though companies are richer than in prior years – they will not be spending as generously as they used to.  The best tips for success could be as follows:

  1. Know/perfect what you are good at and remain in your area of strength – find where you excel/add value to others (where you can differentiate your product offering) and have developed cost advantages and continue to compete based on a lower cost excellent value strategy … moderation will remain the king of values in 2011. Frills will not sell.
  2. Stock prices are coming up … but these are yet to be proven as sustainable jumps.  Look beyond the numbers to understand why prices are coming up.  Well run companies with nimble structures that understand how to flex their costs to adjust to seasons are probably going to be winners.  Spot and stick to the winners and invest prudently.  Use simple investment plans you understand with a low-risk grow-rich-slowly vision.
  3. Many still project that real estate prices will still go further down before they rebound again. If you have spare cash you will not need in the medium term…it may be a good time to get an excellent deal on Real estate but be careful and get professional help.  Do not borrow to purchase real-estate …though banks will be more generous to target good credit customers.
  4. Online web-based creativity will continue to be rewarded although more charlatans will flock to this arena. Increase in expendable income will push a lot of expenditure into this space.  This is a no-brainer…web-based services are cheap and positioned for the mass-market with little barriers to entry and almost limitless reach even as infrastructure for the internet continues to improve globally.  The greatest gains in 2011 will perhaps be in this sector as a new army of internet entrepreneur warriors emerge.
  5. Maintain personal prudence –i.e.  Putting off purchases, eschew debt, save more…and watch your eating and physical habits to enhance health.  Spend much less than you earn.  Consolidate new financial habits and disciplines you imbibed in 2010…such as using a financial worksheet to project and plan expenditures and track net worth movements over the short/medium term.

Following are some of my favourite finance scriptures for meditation and some balance …so please be prayerful and watchful.

Psalm 37[16]  A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

Deuterenomy 28[12]  The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

Ecclesiastes 5[12]  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. [13]  There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely , riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

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