Nigeria is the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas and with a population of 180 million it’s a very profitable source of income and one that most governments of the world are trying to expand. This includes the three in the Persian Gulf that have a combined population of over a billion and some of the biggest corporations, such as Saudi Aramco, Qatar Petroleum, etc., seek to do the same.
Some economists suggest Nigeria’s huge oil reserves are the key factor for the nation’s growth.
There are even efforts to exploit Nigeria’s gas to support a national energy program and create jobs in a country where more than 60 percent live on less than $2 a day.
But as you can imagine the discovery of this wealth does cause some stress and indigence.
In an effort to remedy this, the government of Nigeria requires a Nigerian man to work for 30 days to become eligible for an ambassador for one month and is reportedly only planning to eliminate the requirement for the elite to start the 30-day residency and only cut the amount of time from 30 to 25 days.
Nigeria would have saved some $143.8 million had it followed this rule for all its nationals over the past two years, according to the Economic Strategy and Development Initiative (ESDI), a non-profit founded in 2010 by the founder of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) Dr. Simeon Ademokun.
The advocacy group ESDI said Nigeria currently allows 140 workers to apply for their ambassadorships but they need to leave only four days into their month to be eligible.
It turns out that the position for diplomats in Nigeria is really a glorified welfare package.
In a study by the World Bank, survey respondents, both female and male, indicate that foreign employees in Nigeria get eight times more benefits than their Nigerian counterparts.
To check out the study and view it in English go to http://ecformedia.org/o/d3e5.pdf.
But enough whining and complaining, let’s get down to the relevant issue: is 30 days is too long a time to leave Nigeria to be eligible to become an ambassador.
Researchers at London’s Institute of Directors, Cambridge University, Institute of Development Studies and INSEAD, Singapore, a leading management school, observed that a month requires more than mere work. They say such a work interval should either be reduced or indefinitely ended to allow the employee to learn and adapt to the country they are living in.
They noted that the period in which they spent outside their country includes school-related activities such as enrolment in university, attendance at office-based study programs, and leisure activities such as travel and family.
They further observed that the 30 days they spend having school-related obligations should be temporarily ended or by the 30 days over, could be filled with a combination of an extended holidays and other duties and limited travel.
They thus recommended that as part of a compromise for a “more flexible approach to these practices,” the 30 days should be fixed in the future for beneficiaries rather than the current 30 days.