Nigerian elites, it’s time to stop and listen!
Following the recent crisis that has hit the world, crashing economies, and reordering lives, I believe it is time for leaders across sectors, for Nigeria’s 1% to stand fully with the people and serve our collective interest.
This season has demystified many habits, wants, and desires. It has shown us the true essence of life and the opportunities we have always taken for granted. Whilst the world will never be the same again, I believe this moment presents us an opportunity to create the world we would like to see after today.
All projections indicate that Nigeria is about to take a hit with the Coronavirus spreading exponentially and we are not prepared to contain it. If there was ever a time Nigeria needed its leaders, its wealthy, its skilled, it is now.
As a business leader, a HNI, a mentor, and a great Nigerian, I implore you to step up to make the difference at this critical moment when our nation needs you most.
Today, an opportunity to stand up to be counted among the few good men ready to make a difference or even to build massive national goodwill is right at your doorsteps, please don’t turn away or leave it for the government alone to figure out — they can’t.
In times past, some government officials would have called luncheons and dinners, raised donation of billions of naira with mostly no impact. This is different, it is direct intervention to the people, it’s legacy.
I have taken the liberty to list out big ticket steps or medium ones that you can take as an individual or an organization to make a huge difference. COVID-19 Pandemic: What can top leaders, CEOs, and high net-worth Nigerians do at this time?
BIG AND BOLD ACTIONS
– Build emergency centres with at least 100 beds
– Buy and donate 25 to 50 ventilators
– Purchase testing kits and reagents
– Provide financing for medical manufacturers at 0% or very low interest rates
– Recruit and pay doctors
– Sponsor PSAs on all media platforms
MEDIUM SUPPORT ACTIONS
– Support in scaling NCDC call centres
– Sponsor local community PSAs
– Sponsor soaps and sanitizers distribution
– Create long term raw food and essential banks in preparation for scarcity.
– Provide food kits and essentials for the less privileged
For these actions, you can either start your personal initiative or support existing ones that need to scale. A few captains of industry including two exemplary Nigerian bank CEOs and an industrialist have already established an initiative along these lines, it will therefore be a welcome idea to key into it.
Finally, please identify 5 other HNIs like yourself to join the cause. Speak to them, encourage them, and persuade them — all hands must be on deck.
My friends and I continue to galvanize at different levels and this humble message was first shared to my mentors and HNI network most of whom have responded positively.
Nigeria, Africa, and the world needs us all to win this fight.
*Williams is the Group CEO of Red. He co-founded and runs Red Africa, Africa’s largest portfolio of youth media brands, which include Red Media Africa, StateCraft Inc, The Future Awards Africa and YNaija.com.