A society that cannot run guest houses should not aspire to run airlines

“The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in Philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good Philosophy; neither its pipes, nor its theories will hold water” -John W. Gardner

Both the Ayes and the Nays have a fundamental problem, and that problem is so fundamental that they do not even know it is a problem, because it has become a way of life. A culture.

I have argued that a society that cant run ordinary guest houses, should not aspire to run airlines. It will never work. You think it is a coincidence that most countries with good tourism sectors, also have good hotels, and thriving airlines?

Oh….you think that the hospitality industry is simply part of the value chain of a thriving aviation sector?

No…it is in the details……

Any culture that has evolved a certain level of rigour, where paying attention to details has become a way of life, will surely thrive in these sectors.

Progress is not a zero sum game. There is always a network of interconnected bits and pieces strewn along a people’s journey towards advancement.

When I land at any airport, I can decipher 80% of the outcome of that trip from the first 30 minutes of interaction with immigration, customs, and the taxi drivers.

In same vein, the promptness or otherwise with which a hotel responds to complaints of either leaking tap, slippery toilet, bad TV remote control, or ventilation issues is a pointer to how they also take your security. You can know those that will direct a visitor to your door without clearance from you from those little things.It is part of situational awareness.

Do you know why most hotel rooms in Nigeria have buckets in their bathrooms inspite of…….

Underdevelopment is a state of mind.

Last week, a friend drove me to a function from Surulere to Lekki. I sensed that he was not comfortable with my non verbal responses to his driving style. Somewhere around Ozumba Mbadiwe, he asked if I have worked at AA Rescue before? I said no. He said I am acting like a driving instructor. I asked him if every driver in Lagos drives the way he does, will Lagos roads be safer? He kept quiet.

Have you noticed that there is no difference in the driving habits of educated Nigerians and those who didn’t go to school? Have you noticed that many of us have not been able to bring our education to bear on our daily interactions within the society?

Development starts from inside, the mental structures etc. What you see outwardly is a reflection of the quality of thoughts that took place inwardly.

That is why Lagos drivers destroy over 50 street light poles every day. Their minds cant conceive the importance of protecting public property…

Few months ago, my friend Ademola H Adigun called for volunteers to sign up to observe Pedestrian Crossing signs while driving . A society where advocacy has to be employed to get educated people to obey basic traffic rules has a problem.

Do you know that over 80% of drivers who use seat belts in Nigeria do so not for their personal safety. In their minds, it is simply to evade the wahala of Road Safety Corps or Police?

Have you seen any ” Do not Urinate Here” sign in Europe, South East Asia, North America and even many parts of Africa? Dont they have bladders in those places? Yet in Nigeria, we will write the warning in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, yet……

Sometime ago I saw a neatly dressed young man pull up after Shitta Bridge, came out of a N80 million car, brought out his thing and started watering the flowers by the road side. That is a reflection of who we are as a people.

If you frown at such behaviour, our people will come to his defence. ” You wan make e pee for im bodi”….

Progress is not a zero sum game. But if you disagree…..

You might as well believe that WestHam under David Moyes will make the top 6 at the end of the season.

Na you get your mind.

Words by Kelechi Deca


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