02 July 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – I watched the match between England and Italy and was most dissapointed by the loss in tenacity, focus and stamina in the extra time that led to the penalty shoot out which cost England the match. The inconsistency in performance, loss in concentration or inability to repeat earlier feats was what cost England the game. I learnt a lot of lessons from the technicality of the match which brings home a lot of failings that can be applied to a Nigerian case study.
Are we serious enough to want to play on a world-class platform? Are we prepared to practice until it hurts, perfect our skill sets, continuously subject ourselves to learning and self improvement whilst aspiring for excellence with a sense of humility? These are the questions that have kept me busy and thinking since the match came to an end.
I saw a star “Mario Balotelli” proove beyond reasonable doubt, all I needed to convince me, that performance is an art and a science that brings about a glory which surpasses human comprehension. The price paid in exercise, training, diet, discipline etc as well as the behind the scene preparations that Mario must have undertaken was what was required in a very intensive battle that was to de determined by the survival of not only thr fitest but also by the most prepared. The tempremental Mario Balotelli has had to learn to subdue the destructive parts of his personalilty, rid himself of the faults in his nature then stoop to conquer.
The match made it clear to me that; wherever there are the Ashley Young’s and Ashley Cole’s, there would be, their stellar version, a Mario Balotelli. It is my job, yours and ours to seek out and create conducive environments for the Mario Balotelli’s to evolve in Africa and Nigeria. I use football figuratively because we are in a sporting season, the olympics are round the corner and the need for team spirit internationally can not be overemphasised.
What this tells me about Nigeria and Nigerian Content is that we have had enough surface activities and must concentrate more on action. “ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS”, is what I can hear very clearly. We have had enough of conferences, seminars, workshops, talkshops etc that now is the time for the behind the scene exercise, training, diet, discipline etc, with the hope that we come up with the required performance that would ensure us recognition as world-class. Nigerian and African Content should not be limited to the Oil and Gas industry but should be extended to all facets of our economy. We are too backward (but with vast resources) in Africa to continue to make excuses for falling short of the expectation of being the best in whatever we do or set our mind to do.
Another humbling experience was my trip to Euro Disney. To think that the imagination of a man called Walt Disney has been maginfied and replicated in many locations (Florida, Paris, Hongkong & Tokyo) from the original Disneyland in California (1955), and there is no such resort in Africa speaks volumes. We have not done much either with our national heritage or any innovative projects. I wonder, whatever happened to our Ikogosi warm springs, Yankari Game Reserve, Argungun Festival, Obudu Cattle Ranch, Nok Village etc. Why have we not been able to harness our history and culture which is such an asset in a manner that bequeaths a lasting legacy to future generations of African’s. What has happened to our national conservation policy and why can we not preserve our past in a manner that gurantees income, a good return on investment and job creation. We need serious minded Nigerians who are deep thinking enough to move Nigerian Content away from the superficial to a national economic transformation programme.
Finally, on a very sad note, we lost so many young Nigerians on the Dana flight that crashed on the 3rd of June, 2012. The loss hit me so badly that I was in a daze for weeks. Apart from our ability to use the rule of law to seek justice, I am waiting to see the response of the Nigerian judiciary to this act of negligence as well as the response of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to their negligence of not having brand new fleet of planes with well trained pilots flying a national carrier or compelling a merger of the existing airlines into a safe carrier.
About the Author
Dr. Ibilola Amao is the Principal Consultant with Lonadek Oil and Gas Consultants, a firm of technical consultants with their core competence in the area of human capital and vendor development. For more information or to reach Dr. Amao you can email her at [email protected] or visit www.lonadek.com