It’s for me disgraceful and somewhat upsetting the back to back breaking news about so many Nigerians whom over the years have acquired great wealth through theft. Many very rich Nigerians today have stolen from our common wealth and very many more have stolen from their employers and converted or diverted monies belonging to their employer companies and the nation to their own private pockets and accounts. Well, the attention may mostly be on the billions in naira and millions in pounds and dollars belonging to all of us but illegally taken over by those with access to these funds and stashed away in their various accounts all over the globe or used to acquire very costly properties and assets all over the world. But are we really taking note of non-public officials; I mean everyday employees in different companies stealing regularly from their companies? These are people working in various private establishments who have devised crooked means and schemes to successfully steal from their employers. We see many people in paid employment today with unbelievable bank balances, owning very expensive assets and properties and enjoying a lifestyle their ten years salary combined cannot deliver. We see them obviously living beyond their means, buying houses their salaries can’t afford, cars their salaries can’t afford; travels their salaries can’t pay for and expending in a moment their one year salary on a single item, yet they have no other known source of income except where they work. Is anyone taking note of such people? Ladies and gentlemen, it’s all the same, very common, a mindset that steals and feel it’s okay simply because many people are doing it and the more you’re able to steal the more the society appears to respect and honour you even in religious circles. Sadly, it is no longer that shameful to be caught stealing in Nigeria, in fact many everyday Nigerians passionately criticising and judging these big thieves that made the news are probably thieves themselves – stealing from their own employers. In today’s Nigeria, people don’t treat thieves like thieves anymore, in fact some will publicly stand by thieves and defend them with the argument that they’re not the only thief around. How sad. Ladies and gentlemen, in my submission, I think this wide spread, popular and celebrated habit of stealing in Nigeria may be an indication many have concluded it is impossible to be rich without stealing. It may also be an indication many believe there is an uneven distribution of wealth in Nigeria, they are thus angry about this and they believe the only way to balance things out or get their own share is to steal once they have the opportunity. Many are angry and I hear very many people passionately complain about how some people have cornered our common wealth. They are so upset and they wish they can just do something about it but feel so powerless against this so called greedy rich few. Ladies and gentlemen, let me share this hard truth with you, wealth is never evenly distributed naturally or by agreement amongst the citizens of any nation. Every citizen is expected to legitimately seek after a share of the wealth within a nation. Effective support mechanism may be provided in some nations though, but no one will knock on your door and offer you good cash just because you’re a citizen of that nation, you must go after wealth yourself. You know why? Sharing wealth equally amongst citizens is an idea or concept that can never work. It is impossible, it will surely fail; in fact it will destroy such a nation. Let me explain this. Let’s assume the government agrees to share all the wealth of Nigeria amongst its 170 million citizens equally today, I mean everything is shared equally and everyone gets the same amount. I guarantee you within 24 hours, some Nigerians will be richer, some will be poorer, some would have lost everything, some would have tripled theirs and very many will have so little left. Within a week, the society would largely have automatically readjusted itself to a state of uneven distribution of wealth. This is simply because, wealth is not really about the system; it’s more about the thinking and behaviour of the people within the system. I try to imagine a situation like that play out, and I can immediately see some Nigerians using their own share to desperately obtain visas to jet out of the country, some will immediately buy a big house to disgrace their landlords, some will buy expensive cars to impress friends and girlfriends, some will immediately marry new wives, some will throw very lavish and expensive parties, some will immediately order for the originals of the most expensive designer wears and accessories, some will immediately fall into the hands of fraudsters who will deceive them and take their monies, some will be robbed of theirs, some will invest in stocks and shares that will eventually go bad, and very many will not know exactly what to do with their share of the money. But guess what, very few will think up ways they can provide needed goods and services to all these very rich people and have them pay good money for it; subsequently becoming richer than them. And in a short while, the wealth will again become unevenly distributed. Ladies and gentlemen, the wealth of a nation is not so much about the system, it’s much more about the thinking and behaviours of the citizens within the system. Many people struggling financially today may blame it on lack of great opportunities, lack of right connections, lack of basic infrastructure, lack of privilege, the ruthlessness of those who want to keep dominating others, the activities of rich oppressors and lack of enabling environment. But let me tell you something, the greatest power to be rich or poor lies first and foremost in your mentality. It’s all about how you think. You see, making money and becoming financially free has little to do with hard work, it’s very much more about what you know. Do you know how to become rich? Many are not rich today because they really do not know how to become rich. They don’t know and they don’t want to learn. They simply want to still believe it’s by hard work. Though they see thousands of very hardworking people still romancing poverty and lack after several years, they just don’t want to change their minds that hard work alone can’t make anyone rich. If it’s by hard work, well diggers, tanker drivers and construction site labourers will be super rich today. To become rich, you need to learn how to become rich. There are many legitimate ways of becoming rich in Nigeria. You need to ask those who know how and learn from them. There may be so many other contributing factors to why you are struggling financially today. These may also include your priorities in life; is it leisure and pleasure or purpose, planning, self- management and focused pursuit? Are you greedy or materialistic or you’re disciplined and possess a strong sense of self-control? Are you independent or you live to please and impress others? Do you have a dream, a vision and you’re bold and courageous enough to pursue it? Do you add intelligence and common sense to your religious beliefs or you think God will come down from heaven and do everything for you? Or you’re so deceived that once you give tithes and offering and sow enough seeds in worship centres your miracle is on the way? How much understanding do you have about Nigeria, which is your operating environment? Do you have a copy of the constitution, do you understand our basic economics, our social and cultural tendencies and the various needs and investment opportunities? Do you have a well-articulated financial goal, vision and mission? What is your dream, what is your ambition, what do you want to do in this life? Ladies and gentlemen, legitimate wealth in Nigeria is a task that requires relevant study, knowledge, ecological intelligence, demographic intelligence and right work. It’s not just about what you want to do, it’s about what you ought to do. If you’re waiting for the government or anyone to bring wealth to your house and make you rich, dear friend, you’re on a long thing. Your legitimate wealth creation ladies and gentlemen starts with you. It’s about having the right mentality. Dear friends, fix the way you think today and make your own money.