New Telegraph

December 10, 2023

Our new-found lust for wealth

Recently, there has been a heightened desperation for wealth among a growing number of Nigerians. This has resulted in the sustained commission of different acts of criminality by some individuals cutting across all segments of the society. The acts of criminality include cybercrimes, armed robbery, ritual killings, kidnapping and terrorism.

This is a marked difference from what used to be the norm in the past when individuals longed to emulate persons of impeccable character who had distinguished themselves in different fields of noble endeavour. New Telegraph is unhappy with such retrogression.

The new fad in glorifying unexplained wealth is because upright work culture is increasingly being swept under the carpet. Agents of socialisation, which serve as the custodians of values and help subject individuals to the desired dose of socialisation, seem to be manifesting bewildering cracks in their walls.

The referred agents of socialisation include neighbourhood associations, peer groups, religious and educational institutions, town/ village unions, professional bodies, trade unions as well as family units.

Regrettably, these agents of socialization have, in some instances, failed to interrogate the sources of wealth of the populace. Instead, they consciously or unconsciously endorse the unexplained materialism of the members of the public, which they benefit from.

But the country is on a backwards path and is made to bleed by the rising incidences of unexplained wealth. Any wealth that shuns the legitimacy of work and productivity is unlikely to have an enduring value.

It is also the case with any wealth which, in addition to shunning the imprimatur of work and productivity, is derived from the temporary and permanent destruction of lives and property.


With such demonstrable nuances, private wealth may be built but certainly, not commonwealth, which is key to national development. Individuals may accumulate profound wealth to the detriment of their fellow countrymen and women.

Such fraudulently rich persons usually go beyond the limits to envelop themselves in overwhelming flamboyance. This is usually expressed in the construction of buildings with high walls, the engagement of many security operatives, purchase and use of a high number of cars, frequent spraying of money at public functions and preference for education and medical tourism for their families. Of what impact is all this to the economy of Nigeria?


Economic growth and national development may continue to elude the country for as long as a rising number of her citizens continue to exhibit desperation for materialism, which, at best, is sheer accumulation of private wealth.

Since some individuals could be classified as having accumulated stupendous wealth, some members of the public are likely to be continuously prompted into the commission of the different acts of criminality in a bid to attain a state of material well-being.

A paradigm shift is inevitable. All the agents of socialisation should not operate as islands. Instead, they should submit themselves to the surveillance of others. The diligence with which over sighting is discharged would help take the populace to the glorious years of the yore when elders of a community jointly kept an eye over the behaviour of each child with a view to supporting his/her biological parents to make him/her a useful member of the society.


The gradual behavioural improvement of each child would have a positive ripple effect on the entire Nigerian landscape. As the child warms his/her ways into adulthood, he/she is likely to retain the positive attributes instilled in him/her by the different agents of socialisation.

More Nigerians would grow up having been fully purged of the unlawful possession of dangerous weapons all in the name of often over-advertised cultural expression, as is presently the case with some members of some geo-political zones and foreigners residing in the country.

This would help pave the way for a whittling down of the frequency of the different acts of criminality with properly groomed individuals populating the different agents of socialisation; the latter would be triggered to have zero tolerance for unexplained wealth.

Emphasis would no longer be on get-rich-quick but on aspiring to be like some persons who, through the dint of hard work and perseverance, got to the pinnacle of their professions and businesses. The commonwealth would become enhanced and protected as only persons with ascertained pedigree in professions, vocations, community service and businesses would be encouraged to throw their hats into the political rings to render quality services to humanity.

As persons endowed with managerial acumen, such technocrats would emphasize the sustenance of the commonwealth to enable Nigeria to provide basic amenities for i’s citizens such as education, health care, security, electricity, housing, water, transportation, employment and tax-friendly regime.


Meeting this standard resonates with Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which, of course, is likely to go a long way in decisively dealing with the desperation for wealth among a rising battalion of Nigerians.

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