A Nigerian Kindly Contributor sent this very interesting letter. Whatever you think of all his individual points, he makes the important point that if you want to do business somewhere, you should consult authoritative local sources, not just believe everything sent you in an e-mail.
First, as a Nigerian am giving you guys kudos for the job you are doing, though I believe you could do better by making people realize that genuine business people still exist in Nigeria.
I stumbled on your site and it was like a rude awakening for me. And I ask myself, have things got so bad? I never felt that way before. Not even on the day a strange but curious western fellow asked about my country of origin (actually am a graduate student in Canada), and upon my response, he echoed the same thing you've been highlighting. But I must say that singular experience, with what I read on your site never took a bite of my self-esteem as a Nigerian. I can still remember growing up in a society where honour and glory was bestowed on honest and hardworking people. Years of military dictatorship have changed that, especially from 1985 under Ibrahim Babangida rulership. This leader himself is a crook, and it was during is rule that the so called "lads" started having a field day. But don't be surprised if I point it out to you that many of these "lads" are merely secondary school dropouts roaming the street of Lagos or elsewhere. But what is intriguing to me is how any honest businessman from the west could have fell for these comics. Infact, many of the correspondence were so funny. How could people fell for this until now. So my first point is that there are still some greedy westerners out there still in search of the "loots" there own "direct forefathers" might have forgotten in Africa during the years of slavery.
Please, in as much as you are trying to alert innocent people out there. I would not want you to make the same mistake that people from this part of the world (West)always make. Here, people tend to generalize easily. In nature it's never that way. Not all Nigerians are con. There are still models in our own society that we are imploring our youths to look up to. The country is only in a passing phase. We are still trying to find ways of redirecting the "artistry" and skills and energy of these "lads" towards activities that's going to benefit them and the larger society.
Please inform the reader of your website that there's the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and also the consulate of Nigeria(and other responsible sources) to seek information on any business opportunities. It is only sane for any business minded individual to make the right effort. And people in the west should be aware that the government is making effort to weed out these fraudsters, apart from the private efforts of well meaning individuals.
Lastly, the people from the west will be doing their "horizon" a lot of good if they learn more about other nations and culture, especially in Africa. I have to tell you that we know more about you than you know about us, in that way we are always aware of what to expect in your society (West). In the west the number 1 may always be 1, but in Africa it may be leaning sideways just because a gale is blowing.
I hope you will give my comments the same treatment you're giving others.Thank you.