Do Not Trust All Men, But Trust Men Of Worth; The Former Course Is Silly, The Latter A Mark Of Prudence.


Business Would Be Easy If Not For Humans

Are Nigerians Inherently A Dishonest Lot?

Hear this,

During the time I was a greenhorn in business, and very trusting , I had a fuel distribution business and was too busy to personally monitor my fuel consignment from procurement to delivery point, so I entrusted my driver with the entire delivery process .

You can guess what happened. Tales by moonlight.

Eventually, I was told, one day, that fuel tanker had an accident and the fuel upended, leaking away. I saw the upended tanker all right, but couldn’t see any sign of the diesel that was said to have leaked away.

Now, diesel doesn’t evaporate like petrol, and that’s where this driver miscalculated in his supposed smartness.

Of course, the diesel must have been siphoned, before my fuel tanker was deliberately turned over. 33,000 litters gone!

Another said,

In my own case, it was my brother, with his piggery business that got duped… Same story like this . My brother was doing his civil engineering work in Lagos while the piggery was located somewhere in Osun State.

The money he keeps sending to the handlers to use to feed the pigs were being embezzled. Pigs are sold by weight- per kilogram, so when not properly fed,they won’t have weight, leading to low level of income when sold .

Sometimes, the handlers would claim that a pig or two died., without any grave to show where the pig was buried !

Eventually, it became clear that my brother was just sending money to feed these folks who were just fleecing him. Short of relocating over there, there is no way to verify all the stories he was being fed .

He was forced to close down the business

I know the case of a former school mate who was running a business center in Nigeria for his friend – located in the UK. This schoolmate was making most of the money into his pockets while telling the friend abroad that the business is not profitable enough, and he needs to provide more money to add more facilities.

In Order To Establish Trust, It Is First Important That You Be Trustworthy. This Means You Should Be Forthright With All Your Dealings. –Paul Melendez

There was another man in the hotel business who got his former schoolmates resident in the US to buy a hotel here, so he can run it and everybody would be happy. He more or less converted the whole business to himself, complaining of low patronage, and always coming up with a reason for them to even send money to defray daily running costs – like diesel money! The colleagues eventually sold the hotel in frustration.

Everywhere you look, it looks like the only way to get things to work properly in business is if you are involved yourself, and have time for personal supervision.

From that mechanic, to that mason to that generator repair, everybody seems to be out to take advantage of the other.

There was a generator repairer I caught out in a blatant lie who retorted,

Bros, forget that thing. It is where someone works that he has to eat. It is right from the top. You use what you know to get what you need.

Another said,

For anyone planning to buy a bus and give to somebody to run as transport business, forget it.

In my last paid employment, four of us tried it (despite being advised against this hypertension_inducing business ss) and we all got burnt.

The drivers have a zillion stories, perfected – over time, including how police took the money he made or that some vehicle parts had problems and he used the delivery money for the day to fix it.

These drivers would simply enslave you, making the money while you spend without end. What sort of business is that?

To every generalization, there would be exceptions, of course. There would be honest Nigerians you can trust reasonable to have some conscience, but they are rare. In most business dealings, if there is a loophole, some Smart Alec will surely find it and exploit it. Like the goat left with that tuber of yam, or an ant mandated to guard a cube of sugar,most Nigerians can not be trusted not to cut corners,given half the chance.

We may wonder how bigger entities thrive here. It appears a business needs to have enough resources to weather what I call the TERMITE MENTALITY of most Nigerians. If you can’t do it yourself, and you are a man of small resources, just forget about doing business.

Will we ever grow in situations where there are potential investors with resources, but the executors can’t be trusted to be trustworthy,?

Food for thought!

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