Why Nigerians Suffer As Unemployed Internet Surfers

Why Nigerians Suffer As Unemployed Internet Surfers

Why do many Nigerian internet users surf the internet endlessly without improving their economic condition. Why are there tales of woes among the Nigerian youth who desire to make money online. This is a guest post from a Nigerian blogger, Micheal Mcneri, who leaves in United States. He started his online adventure right here in Nigeria. I belief you will enjoy this piece – Naijaecash


Why We Suffer As Unemployed Surfers

The Internet is for surfing not for suffering. The internet is for information gathering, knowledge building and application of such knowledge for making money! It is not for suffering! So why do Nigerians suffer online. There are numerous sites where you see us (Nigerians) gathered and all we do is complain of our suffering online. I feel there is no need for that. In fact, when you have pain and you gain access to the web, all your sufferings ought to go away as you receive knowledge and help from the online community. Often, such knowledge and help are given free of charge!

I am based in the United States and I have been involved with post-secondary education up to the highest levels since 1988. I have numerous interests even though I have a full time job which pays my bills. It has however fascinated me since my days at Ibadan, UCH to be precise when we first learned of Cybercafés (Internet Cafes). That was in the days of NITEL internet and calling booths. At that time in 2000/2001, I got a glimpse of what the world wide web had in stock for us. Seas of information and oceans of characters. We browsed in a very different way then.

How I discovered the World Wide Web

In those days, I had to apply for a NITEL land line so that I could use NITEL internet. To get the line cost 13,000 naira ($87) to NITEL and another 25,000naira ($167) ‘egunje’ (bribe) to the thugs (staff) of the cursed company. It was like bleeding, but we did it. This afforded me the opportunity to become a web user as I browsed the internet by dialup. I opened “FREE” email accounts and searched with this new search engine called GOOGLE! All was going fine and I was feeling cool but a few months into this new adventure, the line suddenly stopped working!

Then I received a bill of 102,000 naira ($680)! I thought I was dreaming! I contested the bill because the phone was not working and I had not made any international or local call to warrant such a monstrous bill. Well, I was simply told that that is my bill and I have to pay it if I ever want to use the line again! To me that was fraudulent and I was not willing to pay for what I did not use. Well, that was the end of browsing from home, but I had learned that there was a huge world out there and I was going to be part of it.

Journey to Cybercafés

A few cybercafés sprang up in Ibadan at that time, but many of them had lousy speeds. I was already spoiled with my home dialup (NITEL internet) which was so fast at 24kbps! Eventually I found one in Bodija, Ibadan. It cost 500 naira ($3.5) for 5 hours of moderate speed browsing. I was happy. Then I would go and buy a pack of floppy discs (do they still exist?). Each one was 1024kb. Armed with the 10 in a pack I would go to the cybercafe and pay for 5 hours. As I surfed, I downloaded materials, usually articles of interest in the medical field, or web pages. I would just be saving them to the diskettes (for the younger readers, that is what they were called). Then when I got home, in the comfort of my home, I would re-browse them, that is if Nigerian Electric Power Authority, NEPA (another sick company) permitted (the company had the monopoly of supplying electricity, but does a terrible job of servicing the masses, I learned they have been re-branded as Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. In my humble opinion, Never Expect Power Always is better than Power Holding Company of Nigeria. Well, back to our main gist. It was at the cybercafés that I stumbled on my present career.

It was during my adventure in the cybercafés that I found out about the World Bank Scholarship and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. That was how I ended up having papers in Croatia at the 7th World Congress of Pediatric Surgery. That is how I ended up here in United States, owning a website development company and helping other less advantaged organizations get their feet online.

Why all this personal story?

My story may be a bit long winded, but I want you to take from this a little lesson. It is still challenging to get online in Nigeria 10 years later, I wouldn’t have guessed. I have had some couple of youth send me letters asking me to help their helpless situations in Nigeria relating to unemployment and struggles. One of them named Tunde, does landscaping, but has no official qualification. He has worked in a cybercafe before. I encouraged him to simply put pen to paper in 5-10 short essays of what he does which is landscaping. Then I offered to help him get a website on, optimize it for search engines and even purchase some adverts for him. Then all he has to do is register his business name in Nigeria and we can hunt for business online since he was disadvantaged on the ground in Nigeria. It has been almost one year now and I have not heard from him.

I guess Tunde lacked the motivation to follow through with my proposal because he probably think it is too big a dream. It was a mistake on my part too, because I was dreaming big “for Tunde”. So I have ceased to dream for people. The message here is DREAM BIG AND YOU CAN GET THERE. It does not matter how ridiculous your dream is. What matters is whether you believe you can achieve it or not. There are many roads out here and that is why it is called the WEB. Read, Learn, Dream, Achieve.

After Tunde, I had another cold caller who contacted me through facebook. He had a similar story. Patrick is a teacher, but wants more. He complained that his meager income as a teacher wasn’t sufficient to support his poor family and there are several other financial challenges that he was struggling with. I asked Patrick what he knows and can really write about. He said poverty. I said okay, write five short essays and I will set you up as an online writer. Maybe we can get you something to supplement your poor teacher’s salary.

Two months later, I asked Patrick how far? I am still waiting. Please tell me if it takes Patrick 2 months to write 5 short essays on this first offer, how will anyone be willing to contract him? He will not deliver and in this fast-paced world, nobody has that kind of time. So the second big lesson is “STRIKE YOUR IRON WHILE IT IS HOT“. We are too lukewarm in Nigeria. We feel overwhelmed by the huge problems facing us and the lean resources available to us. However, if you want to make it to Heaven, you have to live like you are in Heaven here on Earth. Righteous, Holy and Worshipping the only true God, like the angels do in Heaven.

My Suggestion to You

I believe you should gear up and face the invisible if you want to rise out of that quagmire limiting you. Hold onto your faith, but also focus on your dreams. Yes, dear to DREAM BIG DREAMS! If you have no dreams, then you are going nowhere. Can a Man make heaven if he has not dreamed of Heaven?  Also, start NOW! People in the developed world have blogged their ways out of poverty. You too can make money online from Nigeria if you take action now. Get a blog, send a guest post to well established bloggers and become the person of your dreams. You’ve got to STRIKE YOUR IRON WHILE IT IS HOT! Stop procrastinating, start acting out your DREAM!

Micheal Mcneri is an Internet Marketer and a blogger. You can visit his website at Finance Is Personal. He also has a new one at I Be Naija.

45 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Nancy says:

    Nice article. What advice do you have for those who want to advertise their site? Paying online for google adwords seems to be challenging here.

  2. Mk Akan says:

    making a living from the internet is possible even from Nigeria and having big dreams is good but nothing is achieved by just dreaming.If it were so i would be driving a hummer by now (i dream of that daily).

    success in life and online requires work…making money online requires work..if you dont put in work to learn and do the things to be done,your dreams will remain dreams.

    learn now ,work hard ,earn later….

  3. uchenna says:

    Most of us were not so lucky like you during those early days on the internet. I stopped yahoo yahoo last 2years after an incident with a Canadian woman…I am concentrating on my sites and I have already learned the pros and cons in adsense..Hoping to be very rich through adsense.
    uchenna´s last blog post ..How Much Money Will I earn Through Adsense

  4. Bakare says:

    This is wonderful revelation about why Nigerian internet employees suffers. Most of us wants to make it real quick and so we are not ready to put in the necessary hard work, we want to go into the next big thing happening on the internet thereby loosing focus and energy. I also think we desperately need mentors, what we have here are marketers who are out to squeeze money out of the followers, I have bought e-books, videos, and lots of materials worth N100k to learn how things work, but most offer little to learn from but many people may not have this kind of money to invest in order to learn, what we need therefore are mentors. I will appreciate if I can still get someone to mentor me, so will most other people appreciate it. There are lots of opportunities on the internet waiting to be tapped. Let us have access to these means. God bless.
    Bakare´s last blog post ..The saved Marriage- Never a Lonely Road!

  5. Nancy says:

    Internet business? Serious Business!While others are sleeping you must work!
    Nancy´s last blog post ..Great Dating Advice- 7 Universal Laws for Singles

  6. uchenna says:

    I am confused, I wanted to placed an AD on Facebook using my Zenith Buxx visa card…but alas am getting sorry your request cannot be processed at this time from Facebook. This is so frustrating because I really need to advertise a site…this same card was accepted by Google and go-daddy…I have also used it on Facebook to place AD before…what do i do?
    uchenna´s last blog post ..Procurement Associates- Drivers at United Nations Population Fund UNFPA

  7. Nancy says:

    I’ve not even heard of such a card. Did you also use it for Adwords?
    Nancy´s last blog post ..Enchanting Dubai

  8. uchenna says:

    Zenith Buxx is a prepaid debit card. Yes I used it on Adword. Its a dollar card
    uchenna´s last blog post ..Etisalat Nigeria -Experienced&Freshers Opportunities

  9. Jerry says:

    @Uchenna why don’t you use the Zenith Websurfer card instead? I have used it on Facebook and Google Adwords with smooth ride.
    Also note that Google is giving out Free $100 Adwords credit till January 31st for New comers only. Spread the word.

  10. Nancy says:

    tried to set up and Adword campaign and they kept disapproving.is it a naija thing or what? they said i shouldn’t even attempt to create another account. I need to advertise my site. Help!

    • NaijaEcash says:

      I’ve never used Adword before. Maybe someone that does will come around and give you a hint. I rely on organic traffic from the search engines. Cheers.

      • Nancy says:

        What do you mean by organic traffic?
        Nancy´s last blog post ..“True Passion”-the Movie

        • NaijaEcash says:

          Organic Traffic refers to natural traffic generated from search engines. That is, traffic from people coming to your site by conducting searches via google, yahoo etc and other search engine. If the searchers are pointed to your site via paid adverts been displayed on such search engine, then it is not organic traffic but paid advert traffic. You get good organic traffic by ranking high in the SERP (search engine report page) of search engines. For example, anyone searching for the term “Nigerian Entrepreneur” will be directed to this website, because this site ranks 1st position for that phrase. If the searcher click on the link pointing to this website from the search engine, it is considered an organic traffic to the site. I hope this explanation is helpful. Cheers.

    • Mcneri says:

      @Nancy, if you are having problems with these big advertisers and you need to advertise your sites/business, contact people like NaijaECash and arrange something direct. Soon I will be writing another post about how Naijas can leverage the population to do things. While we may not have big investors in IT, we can use work-arounds like the ones I will suggest to fully utilize the internet and all the benefits thereof.

  11. uchenna says:

    I wish to setup Facebook ad. But I want to get the best of my money because I am a young advertiser, I know that competition is not in Nigeria, so I want to set my CPC to 0.01. Will my AD show? Really do not have money to spend because I am relying on adsense.
    uchenna´s last blog post ..GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER LTD EMPLOYMENT OFFER

    • Mcneri says:

      Facebook is an expensive advertisement platform and though 1 cent is like ONE NAIRA FIFTY KOBO, it is almost not recognized by facebook. My friend, the owner of http://www.nigeriaplus.com used Facebook to advertise and the minimum for the demography he wanted was 0.4 dollars per click.

  12. uchenna says:

    Can I use PayPal debit MasterCard to withdraw money here in Nigeria from ATM that has MasterCard logo?
    uchenna´s last blog post ..GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER LTD EMPLOYMENT OFFER

  13. Adam says:

    Great article; very inspiring. Not only in Nigeria, I think a lot of people in many countries surf just for the sake of surfing without adding any value to the system. The way you explained the things and described your story is truly amazing.

  14. Hotjobsngr says:

    Even me too, have been trying to advertise my blog through google adwords, but am having problems obtaining a reliable mastercard

    • Nancy says:

      I think Nigerians should come up with a solution, IT inclined people should show their stuff, we can’t keep depending on Google and paypal giving us the short end of the stick!

  15. Nancy says:

    solutions please, how are people doing it?
    Nancy´s last blog post ..Don’t Result To Cheap Shots and Insults When Arguing in Your Relationship

  16. Nancy says:

    How ca paypal and other online merchants just blacklist Nigeria like that and we’ll just fold our hands? Thank God for Alertpay sha!
    Nancy´s last blog post ..wo-MEN on the Runway!

  17. donfelix says:

    we need expansive institutional investments and CSR projects in internet job creation.

  18. stag says:

    In response to Nancy advertising a Nigeria is hardwork , for some strange reasons , campaigns get disallowed which is really frustrating.
    In real sense you will have to wait for organic traffic to come to your site or use print media (newspapers,flyers) if you wish you can place your site in this directory http://naijamums.com/getsocial/directory, it is free anyway

  19. Bakare O. says:

    One very good way of getting organic traffic is to write keyword based articles on your blog and wait for it to be indexed by the engines, write many of this articles and you will be on your way of making money from the net. Happy blogging

  20. Akinola says:

    Great article and I am happy you are helping people out without claiming to know it all. More Nigerians should do this. If we combine knowledge we should achieve success for small and medium Nigerian biz on the internet. For organic traffic, there are quite a number of aspects to put in place that includes , Website design, the content on your site, the keywords in your URL and like Bakare. O above a god tip is rich articles on your blog or website. I was able to achieve first page ranks on Google for relevant keywords for the following sites in just 35 days (please note that it was equally surprising to me, I am no Guru). View the sites: http://www.conceptadz.com and http://conceptadz.wordpress.com. the latter has useful links to help promote your websites as i used for mine.

  21. Nancy says:

    I am also happy to announce the arrival of A new Online Shopping Catalogue: http://www.naijayard.com
    This would put nigeria on the map and in the online business world. Thumbs up Naija!
    Nancy´s last blog post ..“I Wouldn’t Want My Daughter Listening to My CD” -Nicki Minaj

  22. I still wonder why many Nigerians still find it difficult to believe its possible to make money online. First, we must understand that you must first of all believe in something before it can work for you. All that is required for anyone to make money online is to believe that its possible, work hard and get good mentors that will put you through.
    Earn Money Secrets´s last blog post ..Lastest “make Money Online-” auctions

  23. Cadouri says:


    The internet is for surfing not suffering, indeed. It depends on the surfers, it’s very important to be a good worker and know what you have to do. Congratulations for the article, great point!

    Cadouri Victor

  24. fiyemi says:

    pls i need to know how to make money online, i need i personal tutor pls. i have tried so many but with paypal blacklisting nigerians i really don’t know where to start. pls i need the income. somebody please help

  25. Paul Onwueme says:


    I find your description a little amusing but truly what you said makes sense.

    On nairaland for instance there are too many sufferers in the business section offering remarkably poor internet business ideas and looking for who to scam rather than offer value and real solutions.

    Yeah sure good money does not come overnight from surfing the web. No need for the suffering mentality.

    • NaijaEcash says:

      I watch this trend on virtually all the Nigerian forum. Someone that knows next to nothing goes about copying and pasting the same fake story of how he or she is making thousands of dollars a month (without selling any product) and he is willing to sell that same idea for two thousand naira! Unfortunately, too many people who are either too hasty to learn or too greedy to read in between the line fall for such scam. The much one can do is to point it out. As long as people refuse to learn, then they must pay the price of ignorance. As long as they choose to be greedy, then they must pay the price of foolishness to the con-artists. 😉

  26. Naijamums says:

    But really think about, it takes really hard work to even earn online. I really don’t know why somebody wants to sell me a system that makes him thousand of 1000s online, or show me one perfect system that requires 15mins work a day to rake in the big cash.
    I have been online for years and if you are not selling someone’s else products online or writing content everyone wants to read, then I don’t know what will make you money online.
    The lazy man will surely pay his money to a con man willingly to sell you a system that he thinks will put a stop to your misery of not earning online.

    • NaijaEcash says:

      Well said. The truth is that if I really have a system that churns out money without me lifting a finger, then it will be foolish to sell it 😉 The logical thing any sane person will do is to keep it a secret and use it until he is ready to die. Even then he will simply pass the secret to his heir 😉 Coca-Cola has a business secret, even though they’ve made billions from it over the years, yet they are not selling it to anybody.
      When someone begins to make promises that sounds too good to be true, a wise entrepreneur sees the warning signal to read between the line before parting with cash. But the newbie will go ahead and pay for his ignorance.

      • Naijamums says:

        Good Point, If I have a secret that is putting the world to work( everyone knows nothing taste like Coca- Cola)then why would I want to sell it to you .
        It is really a trend that we see everyday ‘How To Make $1000 online and quit your day job’
        Yes go to every Nigerian Forum this is what you see, and I just forgot to say my girlfriend that lives down the road is paying =N=5000.00 to one Mr B that promise her a system that will make her quit job.

        Waiting for the outcome so that I can quit mine too.

        Don’t take me seriously, you really need to work hard if you want to earn, does not matter how much. At the end of the day is money well deserved

  27. Nancy says:

    I’m looking for someone that’s into online PR/ Marketing
    Nancy´s last blog post ..Breaking News: Bomb Blast Rocks UN Building in Abuja

  28. makemoneyngr says:

    For Nigerian youths to be successful on the internet, they must be ready to learn, stop being ignorant and stay focused on a particular internet business and with help of God, they would be successful

  29. Ben says:

    I have been online for a while as a result of many encouraging post as such, my wish and dreams is to make money same as my predecessor, i know it worth doubling the effort wish i promise as a goal this 2013
    Ben´s last blog post ..Scientists create cancer-killing cells

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

CommentLuv badge