Together, let us welcome 2023

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We have many reasons to thank God for making it, not only possible, but also necessary for us to wade through 2022 into 2023 after all the travails and ugly experiences we passed through during the year as a business community. I would, therefore, like to first welcome all our network members and business associates to the New Year.

2022 was turbulent in many ways, especially for the federal, state and local governments in Nigeria, and subsequently for everyone who had a thing to do with the country. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also created economic problems for many European countries and their business allies like Nigeria. Businesses were negatively affected by these disruptions worldwide.

Generally, the economy continued to fluctuate, moving up today and down the next day. There was a remarkable paucity of jobs, which meant that millions of secondary school and university graduates kept roaming the streets in search of jobs that appeared nowhere to be found. Efforts made by governments yielded very little dividends. It was like a drop of water in a mighty ocean. Many businesses grounded because of financial constraints. Others that could barely manage the situation hung in there, working hard to better the lot. 

In education, the Academic Staff of Universities Union stayed away from work for several months, forcing students to stay home. Even in the UK for the first time in decades, workers threatened industrial action, and in some cases actually went on strike. Train drivers, university lecturers, nurses and similar essential duty workers felt dissatisfied with the rate of inflation and their inability to pay their bills and have some little savings for the rainy day.

In Nigeria, some students managed to device means of sustaining body and soul by embracing new skills like dancing or singing as a result of the seemingly unending strike actions by lecturers. Others were tempted to seek solace in kidnapping for ransom, cultism, robbery and similar crimes. 

The emergence of a deadly spate of violence perpetrated by unknown gun men and bandits made life very unsafe for many Nigerians across the country in 2022. In many ways, all these developments made it possible for government to lose focus and concentrate more funds on fighting insurgencies than improving on the country’s infrastructural facilities and the happiness of the greater number of Nigerian people. 

But they were also the consequential products of a corrupt and unjust society. Every day, people were killed by unknown gunmen, people were kidnapped for ransom, and sometimes students would be abducted from their schools in their hundreds. Government appeared handicapped about the security situation because even among the military, there were those who had sympathy for the terrorists and would divulge official secrets to them. In that way, they were enabled to humiliate the Nigerian military in many fronts of their encounter. 

In our hospitals, there was very little to write home about. Our politicians preferred to get treatment from foreign countries like USA, UK, Japan, UAE and so on, rather than upgrade the hospitals we have in Nigeria. And of course the people spoke their minds to them.  As a business community, we passed through all that, and survived to see the dawn of a new year. Together, therefore, we must thank God for everything He has been to us. We are grateful. 

As we come into 2023, we will ask for God’s forgiveness for any things we did wrong in the past year. We are asking Him to renew the right spirit in us and to guide us as we do our various businesses and serve the needs of our people.

From all indications, 2023 will be another tough year that will test our resolve to right the wrongs of the past which tied us down and brought us to where we are today. In the past, for instance, Nigerians had been swayed by ethnic sentiments to vote into public office people from their ethnic group, even if their behaviour was questionable, rather than people who can actually be trusted to deliver on the promises they made in their manifestoes. 

In the past, they had voted along religious lines. In the past they had voted along party lines. All these wrong ways of voting only succeeded in propping up impunity because they supported politics of power instead of politics of service delivery which is modern politics. 

For so long, Nigerian politicians seemed to have convinced themselves that once they offer the voters money, they would accept and vote them into public offices. And they had hugely proved their bet right. And so the questions still remain: for how much longer will Nigerian voters continue to be managed like fools? For how much longer would they continue with their stomach infrastructure that is robbing them and their unborn children of justice and meaningful life? For how much longer will they keep suffering in a land that is flowing with oil and gas, and choice solid minerals that are about the best in the world?

If business in 2023 must sit up, there will be a need to look well and vote for a candidate who will go in to serve the people before serving himself – who will build good roads, pay workers on time with no arrears, electrify the cities, towns and the villages so that small, medium size and big manufacturing or other businesses can thrive and our youths will be gainfully employed and taken out of the streets and out of crime. 

We, as the business community must play our part and believe in what our voters’ cards can achieve in the absence of rigging or official corruption. So, we will need to vote for the individual, not his party, not his tribe and not his religion.

On our part in ROLU TEAM, there are features we plan to include in the menu this year that will enable network members trace visitors to their platforms as is the practice in online market places  like Jiji and Konga and engage them in a business chat. But we are not able to do this and every other service we plan because some of our members are not living up to their financial expectation with us. 

From 2023, therefore, there will be no more non-financial members of the network. When the editor speaks to you, tell her just one of two things. “I am no longer interested in belonging. Take my business off the website and all the social media forums”. Or tell her: “I am still with you. Here is my subscription or I will pay on “so so date”. Period! 

We will begin immediately on 2 January to delist non-financial members and replace them with bigger companies that appreciate what we are doing for Nigerians generally both in Nigeria and Diaspora. The programme will run through the entire quarter by which time all the non-financial members would have been flushed out and replaced by “up to” businesses.

I wish you all good luck in 2023 and God’s unending blessing.


  • Chief Sir Emeka Asinugo, KSC

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