Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Most Important Profession in Nigeria

It is ironic today that the most important profession in Nigeria today is not medicine, law, accountancy ,or information technology. It is a profession that no one reckons with in developing and promising societies. It does not have a future there.

The most sought after professional in Nigeria today is the Generator Repair Man! I arrived at this strange conclusion after closely observing Generator Repair Men at work. They are constantly interrupted by phone calls from other people who are waiting for them to come and and sort out their generator problems.
Sometimes one wonders if they can fulfil all their obligations. I have seen a fellow who was still working on my generator tell his other client that he was already in a taxi. I then wondered how many times I had also been the unfortunate object of a similar lie.

These fellows are doing very well in these depressing times of constant,and crippling,  power outages. Some of us have two, or even three generators so you can imagine how often we have to call them.I was even  told of Opa Williams, of the Night of a thousand laughs fame, how he has five generators. I do not know how far this is true but in today's Nigeria, it is plausible. I shudder to think of the nightmare that has pushed him that far.

That all other professions are incapacitated by their inability to function without a generator underscores how low we have fallen, and how far up we need to come. The Generator Repair Man, has become the independent variable. All others now revolve around him.

Someone needs to deliver us from the cartels retrogressing the energy utility company PHCN, and the those responsible for importing generators.

Until we take the bold step of banning public sector offices, and officers, from using generators , even in their homes, we will not improve our power management because there is a cheap alternative:the generator.

That Generator Repair Man is treated with the the respect hitherto reserved for teachers and police men in the immediate post colonial Nigeria is tragic. I have not seen anyone insult his Generator Repair Man even when the fellow is eight hours late.

For a nation that aspires to be among the first twenty economies by the year 2020, we can not get there on the back of a generator. 


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