The just concluded 42nd Annual Accountants Conference organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria was the first of its kind that I had ever attended and it was an enlightening experience. I returned back to my base, richer for having gone. Enjoy from my largesse, the lessons I learnt during this time.
Read more books – It was amazing to listen to some of the Speakers. They were loaded with so much information and knowledge which I believe must have been a product of two things – the books they have read and the experiences/relationships that they have had. So I have made up my mind to read more books – books written by the World’s greatest men in my area of interest. Books that will broaden my knowledge, not necessarily accounting-based books though. Books on Leadership, economic matters, development, politics, autobiographies etc. The truth of the matter is this: once you assimilate knowledge, you have it. It is inside of you and will flow out at the opportune time. Copy genius.
2. Attend more Conferences and listen to more great Minds – This is straight forward. I spent last week listening to great minds discussing tough issues. Like Oliver Twist, now I want more. By attending more conferences/events/seminars in my field or area of interest, I will get to listen to more people with exciting insights in the topical issues that interest me. You can be sure that my mind will be stretched again and again, never to return to its original dimensions. This is exactly the same thing that happens when you read books written by great men. They are not Spirits – they are flesh and blood, a product of their choices over time.
3. “What Africa needs are strong Institutions not strong men” – I understand that this quote was made by President Barack Obama in Accra on his maiden visit to Africa as the American President. Dr Pat Utomi referred to it when discussing the topic – “Building Enduring Institutions for National Development”. According to Pat Utomi, in the absence of strong institutions, strong men dominate. Institutions have and follow rules, strong men have friends and follow whims. The end product of this is a very weakened rule of law and very high uncertainty levels. When uncertainty is high, cost of doing business is also high and this scares away investors and retards the country’s development. I bet you now understand why it is not yet Uhuru in Nigeria. So what is the take-away here? I will do all I can to contribute my own quota towards building strong institutions in Nigeria and in Africa. I will also ensure that consequence management is meted out to offenders when rules are broken to serve as a deterrent to others. This one go hard o! But it is possible.
4. There are still men and women of Integrity in Nigeria – Despite all the corruption in high and low places in Nigeria, listening to the Speakers gave me a large dose of reassurance that Nigeria still has a remnant. That there are men and women of integrity, who have chosen this highly honourable path in all their dealings. This tells me that there is still hope for Nigeria. I believe that in due time, we will take our rightful place among the League of Nations.
5. Shine Your Eyes – During the Conference, I attended the workshop on Entrepreneurship – “Empowering the Nigerian Youth for Global Economic Challenge.” Mr. Victor Gbolade Osibodu MFR, the Chairman of Vigeo Holdings said Nigerians are overly critical. Even though criticism has its place, it has the uncanny ability to blind one from seeing the amazing opportunities that are hidden in the numerous problems plaguing our Country. Hence, there is a need to break away from the Nigerian army of arm-chair critics and start “shining our eyes” to see and maximise these opportunities. Folks are laughing to the banks everyday while solving a few of the numerous challenges facing us. It is time to stand up and be counted.