Extending Respect to Our Professionals

Extending Respect to Our Professionals

Monday, March 27, 2017 6:59 am

Johnson Babalola

By Johnson Babalola

KK my brother, long time
Long time indeed Joe. How u dey?

I dey. How family?
We are all good and how is your family?

No complaints. Madam is away to Canada to see the youngest child who is in high school there and the other children are studying in the UK and the US.
I don’t envy your pocket bro. So you are home alone with the housemaid.
Na so I see am o! Come right in.

Thanks. Wow! Nice place you have here
Thanks. I am trying my best.

This is excellent bro. Must have cost you a fortune to build this property at this location in Abuja. And the professionals you had employed did a great job!
Yes my brother. Cost me $100 Million to build this place o. I brought in the professionals from Canada, US and multiple countries in Europe

Wow! MONEY!!!
Well, whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well

I got you bro. Wow! Look at the beautiful fire place!
Brought in someone from Italy to put that in place. Relax sha o. I heard our friend AJ’s house in Lagos is better than mine.

Make I talk true, it is way better than yours. No vex o. You’ve not been there?
No. I saw the pictures though. Top class I must say.

It is funny though. He used the services of Nigerian professionals and they did an excellent job. He only spent N125 Million. High class, top savings!
Na lie. Nigerian architects, builders, carpenters and others did that? But they are not supposed to be that good. And for that ridiculous low amount? I am mad with myself!
God punish me if I stop you from getting mad at yourself. You should be mad at yourself hundred times over and be mad at every Nigerian like you that look down on fellow Nigerian professionals. Haba! Afterall, you are a Nigerian trained Pharmacist consulting for a number of local and international companies. What if they refuse to engage your services because you are a Nigerian?

Hmmmnn! You are deep bro. But let’s be honest. There are Nigerian professionals that are not up there professionally. I hope you concede that point.
I agree with you but then, are there no Britons, Canadians, Americans etc that are not up there professionally? The issue is not that there are no Nigerian professionals that are not up there professionally. The problem is many of you generalize. You make comments like “don’t use Nigerian lawyers o”; “don’t go to Nigerian doctors, they are not good”; “Your Real Estate Agent is a Nigerian?”; “Nigerian Accountants don’t know their onions”; “I will never patronize a Nigerian restaurant” and so on. Yet the individual speaking is a Nigerian professional who wants to be taken seriously as a professional. When you dent the professional image of a Nigerian professional, you are also denting your own professional image. Make your decision based on your interaction with an individual and not because of his or her nationality or what others say.

Bro, I tire o. To be honest, this is my first house as you know. I made my decisions based on what two guys in my office said. I did not do any independent research and I did not think things deeply like you.
I hear you bro. That is another problem some of us have. We speak authoritatively on subject matters and individuals when we have no direct information on the issue or about the person. We forget the negative impact of such discussions on the professional image of the individuals who are not present to defend themselves. On a larger scale, we forget the negative impact of such discussions on all Nigerians and Nigeria as a country. As far as I am concerned, Nigerian professionals are among the best in the world! When we put our minds to something, we do it well. I must admit too though that some Nigerian professionals speak ill of each other too in order to retain clients.
Now you are talking. The blame goes across the board.
I agree but by the way, would you have paid Nigerian professionals $100 Million to build this house?

To be honest, no. Ha, that will be too much for them.
See, that will be too much for them because they are Nigerians. Abi? Yet, you would want them to perform as well if not better than non-Nigerians. It is sad! When it comes to paying Nigerian professionals, people like you would ask for all kinds of discounts, call their Pastors, spouses, siblings, friends etc to plead with them to reduce their fees. Yet, you would want them to work 24/7. You corner them at mosques, churches, events, gym etc and you ask them professional questions and rather than reward them financially, you offer prayers! Yess, prayers are good but he needs money to embark on more training, buy equipment etc. When non Nigerian professionals ask for the same fee, you plead with them to take more so as to have extra little time for you. Hmnnn! We still have a long way to go bro.

My friend, I drop my case. I agree we need to do more to extend respect to our professionals. Likewise, some of our professionals need to also get themselves to the very top professionally. Additionally, some of our professionals need to stop saying negative things about their colleagues in order to retain clients. Do you still want to check out my house?
Oya. Let’s go check out this beautiful home built with $100 Million that Nigerian professionals would have built possibly better with half that amount.
I say make una drop that issue bro. After checking out the house, we go out to eat

No wahala. As long as we eat eba, egusi and any other Naija dish and not Shawarma or Pizza.
No worries. Love you bro

Love you too. Let’s get going.

Johnson Babalola is a Toronto, Canada based Immigration/Business Lawyer. He is the Managing Partner of Topmarké Attorneys LLP and can be reached at jbabalola@tpmattorneys.com

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