By Muhammad Sani Usman
Somebody was shocked that the revenue of Zenith Bank as of 2022, which is N945 billion, is greater than the internally generated revenue of northern states combined. Literally, Zenith Bank alone is more financially buoyant than northern Nigeria. And he was lamenting about the poor inclusion of northerners in such investments in their states.
Kaduna is taking the lead in investments in the North, but her (Kaduna) IGR is not up to one hundred billion Naira; it is half of that. Even the profit after tax of Zenith is bigger than the economic cities of Kano and Kaduna. These two states are not up to N100 billion altogether.
I told him, “Investing in banking is highly industrious. But our northern billionaires have no business with anything “Knowledge-based economy”. What they know is to hoard dollars, buy shares, and run over a baby company/factory, as in acquisition.
Prof Murtala Sagagi of the Economics Department of Bayero University, Kano, told us, “While conducting a survey about the percentage of non-inclusion of Kano people to most of the fine-investments in food and beverages, logistics, and Banking Industries, one manager of one famous company told him, “When they try to recruit graduates for trainee positions; they expect them to be meticulous in training before they think of absorbing them fully as staff.
But you’ll employ someone as an assistant quality control officer or sales personnel, but his/her performance index will shock you unless you change your mindset seriously. Industries require expertise to run; you can’t employ someone you can’t fire or are lazy.”
There was another testimony last week. I was discussing with an auditor of one of the best companies in Northern Nigeria. The guy told me they had recruited a new customer care representative, and he was deployed to that branch, but all the time, the guy was not working; even the invoice that he was supposed to do, he couldn’t.
Unknown to the guy, a letter was sent from the headquarter for monitoring and evaluation of his performance by the senior staff of that organisation. My guy is among the people to vouch for him, i.e., whether he would be retained as permanent staff.
However, this is not limited to banking or the mentioned industries; this is about the lackadaisical attitude of our politicians about not creating factors that will favour industrialisation in the North. The A-K-K gas project is among the hope we have for the future of the North. Let’s wait and see!
Muhammad Sani Usman an industrial chemist who advocates good governance and Sustainable development goals. He writes from Zaria via Muhdusman1999@gmail.com.