What can billionaires in Nigerian learn from one of the wealthiest Americans in history?
According to a World Poverty Clock report, Nigeria has overtaken India to become the country with the highest number of poor people in the world.
An Oxfam report beautifully captured the disturbing inequality between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in Nigeria. A June 2018 statistic by the World Poverty Clock places Nigeria’s extremely poor population at 86.9 million Nigerians. The country’s middle class keeps shrinking and the gap between the rich and the poor widens daily.
So, what can Nigerian billionaires learn from Andrew Carnegie, one of the wealthiest men in American history?
Andrew Carnegie, the father of philanthropy
Andrew Carnegie became one of the wealthiest men in American history after he sold his company to J. P. Morgan for $480 million. He devoted the rest of his life to his philanthropic activities and writing. During his lifetime, Carnegie gave away over $350 million.
Carnegie argues that every wealthy individual has a moral obligation to give away a sizeable chunk of his/her wealth to the poor. He is credited as the father of philanthropy.
His most famous quote goes thus:
“The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.”
A viral video shot in the highbrow Ikoyi area of Lagos circulated on social media last week. The video which showed an infiltration of low-income people into the upper-class community sparked a big discussion about the behaviour of the rich towards the poor in Nigeria.
Nigerian billionaires can borrow a leaf from the life of Andrew Carnegie and embrace philanthropy, given that a vast number of our people are living below poverty line.