Discrimination is something countless people have given their life to overcome. All around the world, countless stories tell the tale of those who suffered discrimination on account of their race, religion, tribe, sex and even sexual orientation. But despite our familiarity with the concept of discrimination, instances of outright bias against certain groups of people continue to stun the mind.
"NO NIGERIANS ALLOWED HERE"
Nigeria's NEXT publication recently reported that Eleganza Estate, an apartment building in Lagos, does not rent to Nigerians. A newspaper advert for the Estate declared that it was for "Expats only". This is despite the fact that the building is owned by a Nigerian company and businessman - RAO Investment Property Company Ltd which is owned by Rasaq Okoya. When contacted by NEXT to determine whether Nigerians that could afford to live in the Estate could rent a unit, the publication was pointedly informed that the company had an alternate location where Nigerians are allowed to rent.
It is sad that in this day an age, a Nigerian would so clearly discriminate against, and thus disregard his own people. However, it is not shocking because there are Nigerians who show clear disdain for their fellow citizens. The fact that this practice of not renting to Nigerians is not illegal and not prevented by Lagos State and Federal Government authorities suggests that this practice is somewhat acceptable by authorities. This in a state seeking to transform into a globally competitive metropolis and a country that recently announced a rebranding campaign.
Some will argue that Okoya's decision to not allow Nigerian residents at Eleganza Estate is simply a business decision. However, even business decisions that clearly discriminate against a group of people is unacceptable. If there are certain standards that Okoya's company strives to maintain, then basic rules supported by fines will ensure that tenants of all color, race and nationality, work together to keep the Estate the way its owners desire.
There is also growing job discrimination as apparent on some websites. The following is an advertisement for a job opening in Lagos.
Accountant x2 - Indian
This is an excellent opportunity to for a leading IT Service/Solutions provider based in Lagos, Nigeria as an Accountant.
Now, it is inconceivable that there are no Nigerians with the required skills and experience to satisfy this employers needs. So, why the need to specify a preference for Indian workers? Doing so clarifies that non-Nigerian workers are sought for jobs in Nigeria and the fact that such adverts are not unique is increasingly troubling. How exactly are Nigerians to find employment in their own country when expats are preferred for local jobs?I'm looking for 2 accountants who are currently based in Nigeria that have between 1-4 years experience and degree educated (Indian preferable). You will be required to assist in all Accountancy matters and report directly to the Chief Accountant. The ideal candidate should be tenacious, dedicated and also be able to work in a fast paced environment you will also receive training so to develop your career.
Nigerians must put an end to the discrimination they experience at the hands of their fellow Nigerians. After all, many Nigerians experience incredible levels of discrimination and disrespect from non-Nigerians, plenty of which is uncalled for, the Brutish Airways incident immediately comes to mind. The least they should expect is respect from their fellow citizens and the businesses they patronize. However to eradicate these instances of domestic discrimination, Nigerians will have to demand better treatment and can force the point by simply boycotting and suing those businesses known to discriminate against Nigerians and put pressure on authorities to enforce existing constitutional laws against such practices.
And now, British MPs are claiming racism because a Nigerian boat carrier will not take white MPs into the Niger Delta for fear of a kidnapping situation...
Hattip to Nnanna of Turenchi.com for the job description information
What do you think? Are you a Nigerian that has experienced some form of discrimination in Nigeria? Share your thoughts and views on how to eliminate similar practices.
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