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The Rogue Lawyer

How to kill a business in Nigeria: Advisory opinion for the government

How to kill a business in Nigeria: Advisory opinion for the government

As a national government acting through your agencies and sector regulators, there’s nothing more delightful to you than watching your lazy citizens hustle hard to build their businesses, make your economy attractive to potential investors and then when their respective sectors start to boom, BOOM! you hit them with sucker-punches in the form of odious regulations and enforcement. This is your elixir, it is what keeps you going and helps you retain your sanity even in the face of Corona, Boko Haram, Southern Kaduna and the economic woes facing your country.

Now, the first thing you need to do to make these businesses more creative and, by extension, add value to your economy, is to saddle them with a handicap; the most feasible of which is epileptic power supply. This is designed such that every company that wants to survive your business environment needs to use its number 6 and invest wisely in its first employee… The generator.

The Generator… A Nigerian Business’ first employee…

Given your insightful knowledge that the generator can make or mar the success of a business, you play the Yoruba game of “eyi je, eyi o je” with the pump price of petrol effectively throwing into disarray their business forecasts right from the word go.

However, you will not stop here. For those of them stubborn enough to want to manage the epileptic power you supply them, just hit them with impossible-to-justify electricity consumption bills. Never mind the fact that your power holding company has not even supplied them with power for the last three months, just slap them with it and let your bukata become their bukata.

The next thing you would want to do is to leave the business sectors unregulated. Not to worry, this is intentional and not an oversight, you’re still bringing back the bird in your pocket. When the sector starts to boom, slap them with odoriferous policies and regulations, impose unreasonable taxes, and requirements for permits before they can operate in the business sector. It is of no concern to you that they built the sector from the ground up, gbogbo iyen is just sentiments. You sef must chop from their investor money.

In sectors where you’re both regulator and competitor, the above still applies, but only when they start outshining you and spoiling your market by fulfilling orders in 2 days rather than your customary 6 months. In these instances, the entry conditions you impose will be to cripple their business patapata. All, they say, is fair in love and war. You need to regulatorily strangle them to remind them that they need to respect their elders and give honour to whom honour is due.

In fact, if they start to do like they have skoin skoin in their head, monopolise the sectors and gift the rights to play in them to your largest campaign donors. After all, na all of una be the government.

Pay lip service to your gospel of ease of doing business, double tax your businesses, forbid synergy among your agencies, let them wash their linen and call each other out on Twitter. Practise misdirection and political masturbation so that no one would remember to ask you how you embezzled the revenue generated from these sectors.

Finally, let them know of your tough love for them. After all, without your tough love, none of them would have the gumption, experience and social capital to organise masterclasses and speak at events to tell their grass to grace stories. You are the beginning and you are the end; without you, they are nothing.

Do this as often as you please and all will be well with your government.


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I am the Iconoclast, the first rebel, the first revolutionary.

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