Speak Positively


65 percent of your body is made up of water. And how this connects with the power of words comes into full glare if you consider the work of Japanese researcher, Masaru Emoto.

Simply put, Emoto would expose glasses of water to different words, pictures or music, and then freeze the glasses. He would then proceed to examine the aesthetic properties of the resulting frozen crystals using microscopic photography. 

His findings were that water exposed to positive speech and thoughts would result in beautiful crystal formations while water exposed to negative words became mangled and ugly once frozen.

And while Emoto’s work was heavily criticized for not having sufficient experimental controls, you know that positive words lift, while negative words used on you, put down.

65 percent of your body’s composition is water. Speak positively.

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4 Things Nigeria’s Government Must Do To Save The Economy Now

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The past few weeks have been feisty in the international business news media.  Panic and all sorts of negative projections have been used to prop us up and put us down as we watch how 2016 begins to unravel.

The funny thing is that the people who should be worried by the pundits’ economic outlook for the year aren’t. Nigeria’s government in the past weeks have made a policy somersaults with respect to regulating foreign currency supply.  And my guess is almost as good as yours. Many are reading through the shifts by Nigeria’s apex bank as deceptive, incompetent and not really addressing the foreign currency challenges being faced by thousands of businesses in Nigeria at the moment.

Personally, I think the government is well intentioned with its war on graft but it is badly positioned in its economic policy direction in that it is not showing enough commitment in managing the country’s dollar position appropriately.

In my view, here are four simple things the country can put in place to manage its dollar position more appropriately.

Channel recovered loot back to the economy. Rather than try to boost the country’s foreign reserves quickly or try to fund the budget with funds recovered from individuals deemed to have deprived the country of its financial resources via graft, the government can use the money to create several interventionist special purpose vehicles like a Solar Electricity Fund that engages Elon Musk’s Solarcity to help light up many Nigerian cities with solar power.

Ban the importation of certain luxury items to free up more dollars for productive uses. I mean, who needs. Every time I see apples on our streets, I cringe. The sense that we are the hard earned petrodollars for South African apples or Chinese toothpicks gives me the creeps.  Rather than import these items, local entrepreneurs can be made to start substituting these imports with local alternatives. For example, It makes absolutely no sense that we import Cashew nuts from the United States when we have this produce in Oyo, Abia and Kogi States. Another thing the government can do in this area is, institute a national orientation drive around import substitution. Creating semi-finished and finished goods to replace the ones we used to import should now be the focus for every local entrepreneur.

Allow exporters access to their export proceeds. Allowing exporters to access even 50 percent of their export proceeds will shoot down the price of dollar in Nigeria because dollar supply will go up. It will also act as a stimulus, allowing the exporters to trade their dollars for Naira and in turn, increase export activities and its attendant employment opportunities for young Nigerians. Of course, to deemphasize importation (which puts pressure on the Naira), the CBN can continue to use the $10,000-per-day telegraphic transfer limit to manage outflows.

Encourage B2B currency exchange. Here, businesses that import and have opened ‘valid-for-forex’ Form Ms should be allowed to directly trade with businesses that have certified repatriated export proceeds. In this way, the pressure for dollars to import items like refined petroleum products will be alleviated.

Since the world economy is denominated in US dollars , managing our dollar cash flow could be pivotal  to keeping the Naira from sliding further—which seems to be the current priority of government.

Questions Lagosians Should  Ask About Our Transport System

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               Courtesy: Reuters

‘The important thing is not to stop questioning,’ Albert Einstein once commented, ‘…never lose holy curiosity.’

Every working day of every week in Lagos, an estimated five million people commute twice by car, bus and trailer across the Lagos Lagoon via three bridges—one of which is the 11.6 km Third Mainland Bridge. These people, mostly residents of suburbs  generally referred to as the Lagos Mainland,have to travel for up to three or four hours every morning to their jobs on the more metropolitan Lagos Island because of the heavy vehicular traffic. Then, at the close the work, an even more vicious gridlock of vehicles ambles out of the city’s commercial centre, resulting in some folks reaching their homes as late as midnight for a commute that could have lasted thirty minutes had Lagos been possessed of a robust bridge network or high speed rail system like some of its ‘demographic’ peers: Beijing, Brasilia or Johannesburg.

Some people have often said that necessity is the mother of invention, to which I promptly disagree. Impoverishment by itself has never led anyone to create anything. Rather, the questions individuals asked of themselves, of others and their environment more often than not, have led to discoveries that created some of the inventions we enjoy today.

For instance, it was Steve Jobs’ curiosity that made him drop in on calligraphy classes, allowing us to use different types of fonts today. You see, computers didn’t have features that allowed for different types of fonts until Apple started building its own computers. Microsoft and other computer operating system makers simply copied this feature and today, every computer on the planet can allow you to alter the fonts with which you write.

Why is all of this important, someone might ask. It is important because asking questions is what provides answers.

Imagine how much time would be saved if Lagos had seven or more bridges linking its Mainland to the  Island. Time that could be spent on creating something valuable; being a more present parent by not having to leave home so early or come back so late because of traffic;  time enough to set up a side gig that fulfils you in ways that the quest for money cannot.

Or imagine that it only took you ten minutes to commute from Oworoshoki to Lekki by high speed rail. Wouldn’t life be grand? Wouldn’t it allow you drop your kids at a near by school before taking off to work if living in Oworonshoki and working in Lekki were your circumstances as is for so many?

I ask these questions because questions change things. They push the human race forward. They query the status quo. If life is about constant change, then questioning gives us the power to make the changes we want to see.

There is also the carbon emissions question that no one seems to be asking. Wouldn’t more bridges or high speed rail reduce the damage we are currently doing to the atmosphere above us? It definitely will. Reducing commute time will significantly lower emissions which for us, and this should now be a priority.

South African-American billionaire and electric car maker, Elon Musk recently made a comment that, ‘unless there’s sustainable transport the future is going to be terrible.’ The question of how future generations are going to cope with the current transport system in Lagos should now matter a lot to us because it will directly impact on our national economy as a whole. And then, there is the Apapa port  trailer/tanker question that beckons a resolution in the short, middle and long term.

When we decide to saturate the public space with these and many other questions about our transport system, the answers will show up.

Remember, the important thing is not to stop questioning…never lose holy curiosity.