Are Nigerians lazy?

Now before I get accused of being racist I must state two important facts:

  1. I am Nigerian (and British)
  2. I read an article this morning with the headline: Are Nigerians lazy? Blame elders!

The writer disagreed with a  Nigerian bishop who last month said, “Many people are lazy. We seem to have a very poor attitude to work in Nigeria. We believe in free lunches, long vacations and so on. We believe in going on strike for months and expect our salaries to be paid.” Really?! Labour laws in Nigeria are incredibly unfriendly to employees. Workers in numerous states are owed salaries from government — some haven’t been paid for more than a year! Why wouldn’t Nigerians strike?

My goodness, I was outraged this morning by the bishop’s words but that was this morning. After sending and receiving a few emails since reading the article, let’s just say I’m no longer outraged by the question I’ve used for this post…

Don’t get me wrong, I disagree with the points he used to illustrate what makes Nigerians lazy but he may have been on to something. Ok, so that’s the annoyance from the email I just received coming out. The fact that I was irritated by a few people who happen to be Nigerian doesn’t give me license to generalise  my own people. I am however surrounded by Nigerians so permit me in this post to evaluate their attitude to work based on what I have experienced.

A colleague of mine recently passed away and I was devastated. He was one of the few people who could make me smile at 6am in the studio or in PCR before Good Morning Nigeria. Greeted with such a warm smile I would barely notice when he would slip a microphone pack under my clothes and clip it to the back of my bra! When my co-anchors and I spoke about him we would constantly say how much we liked him, how professional he was and the pride he took in his work. I must but hesitantly point out that he wasn’t Nigerian…

But I do thankfully work with some Nigerian people who have his spirit. I’m married to someone who works so hard I nearly feel guilty when I’ve got my feet up while watching TLC in the evening while he’s producing a jingle… BUT and it’s a big but, I’m constantly inwardly questioning the way people work here. Simple tasks are mishandled. Meetings are called with little or nothing solved. Common sense is a rare gem and yet so many people not only chase titles but somehow believe they are entitled to them despite their poor work ethic. These can all be attributed to laziness. If you need clarification on something laziness will stop you from finding the right person to help you understand how to complete the task. If you call for pointless meetings to feel superior its laziness that gives you enough time to do so. If you aren’t the brightest spark its laziness that keeps you dim. If you chase titles you don’t deserve you’re just a horribly lazy individual.

When I found out about the passing of my colleague it got me thinking about how I would be remembered when my time is up. How many people would talk about how hard-working I was? Who would recall how pleasant it was to work alongside me? Would anyone miss my ideas?

I’m a firm believer of questioning myself. It makes me a better person because I constantly realise I have things to work on. The people that emailed me this evening clearly don’t.

So are Nigerians lazy?

Hell yeah…but then again there are people from all walks of life in all corners of the globe that are lazy as well. Nigerian or not, lets all make an effort to be remembered in the same light as my late colleague and kick laziness to the curb. Amen.

P.S If you ever decide you want to send me an annoying email, I implore you to be lazy.


4 responses to “Are Nigerians lazy?

  1. “I’m a firm believer of questioning myself. It makes me a better person”

    To say the least yeah.. I could not agree any less with the above extract.. as eett eezz only after Questioning ourselves.. and even our successes, that we end up being better.

    So the kweShion of the day.. are Nigerians TRULY Lazy?! And I reply… NO! If for nothing yeah.. i feel we are one of the most industrious of both our race and of mankind in Totality.. Yes! there are some of us that we see and we wonder if the same Heavens produced us both.. but then i fail to accept it as a form of Generalization.

    I once wrote an Article on my Blog about the issue with Parents sending us their wards on seemingly Ridiculous errands.. was not shocked when it clinched Top read position.. because apparently yeah.. many could relate.. but at the conclusion of that post.. i remember stating that I realized my Parents did all that cause they earned it and deserved it.. and that was their own little way of getting reward for their love for years gone. I learnt.. that no matter how Annoying (**Kindly insert Angry face smiley here) it is.. they are entitled to it. 🙂

    Happy New Year to you and Yours Mrs. Eno.. May GOD bless us loads. Cheers.

    • Sorry I’m replying so late!

      I love that you always leave comments. Your parents sound like mine!!! The crazy thing is I bet my son will be complaining about me in the future!!!

  2. I am a nurse and work at the Veterans hospital. The majority of nigerians I work with are very lazy,they sleep on the job, work on their college material, talk on the phone for hours and basically don’t take care of the veterans they are being paid to take care of. Of course that being said. ” I also work with a few 2nd generation nigerians who have a great work ethic. IT seems to me it is the nigerians born in Nigeria and immigrate that seem to be the biggest slackers

    • This is so sad to read. Is it really laziness that causes your colleagues to sleep on the job? Are they overworked? I must say, I’ve had a few arguments in hospitals with rude, poorly trained medical staff….
      Things here could be so much better if we all chose to be better.

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