Thursday, June 28, 2012

Unexpected Surprises for Expats in Nigeria

Let’s face it, oyinbos: Life as an expat in Nigeria can be full of uncertainty. With the news of bombings and unrest unfortunately on the rise, and a lack of reliable, up-to-date information for foreigners, much of the expat experience here can consist of sorting fact from fiction and prudence from paranoia, all while trying to see and understand a complex and dynamic country.
Yet life as an expat in Nigeria, and in Lagos especially, need not be that way. One does not need to look far for unexpected surprises and fun in Nigeria – even on the islands of Lagos.

Here are six unexpected surprises for expats in Nigeria:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What is the value of art?

There are many people who think art is invaluable to all in society.  Not just as a form of expression but also as part of the community through public murals, sculptures in parks and the like.  While others believe art is unnecessary in life.  Fortunately those naysayers are often overruled when it comes to art and the positive impact it can have on a community.

Nurturing People and Ideas is a multi-faceted process of community building that includes the collaborative development of a large-scale public artwork at the University of Lagos, featuring University of Lagos students, staff, and community. The culminating public painting represents a synthesis of participant generated photographs and writing from the 2012 Sharing Culture/smARTpower Workshop at the University of Lagos, April 2012.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Diversifying; Seriously?

Why is Nigeria’s principal export product oil?  Consider the country’s vast human and material resources and you wonder why.  This is an issue am sure that has troubled many governments in the country and has led to the increased drive to diversify the economy and make it less dependent on oil.  An example here could be the cassava production drive.  Although I guess a lot of Nigerians are still not too taken with the idea of cassava bread.  However with the security issues facing the country and youth unemployment the benefits of a diversified economy become more obvious.  This is because the oil industry can employ only so many people whereas agriculture for example can provide jobs for tens of millions.  It therefore amazes me that the U.S. government’s initiative to provide access to the American market for sub-Saharan African countries has not been even marginally exploited by Nigeria.