Today, I am looking at the rising costs of fuel and consequently transportation, and how everyone from small business men to market women and even multinationals like the telecommunications companies are predicting product/service price increases in 2012 and I am beginning to think this article was months ahead of its time. 
A friend of mine predicted that a couple of days back that in the next 6 months banks – which remain one of the largest job creating industry in Nigeria will start retrenching staff. 
Reason? 
The CBN CashLite/CashLess Economy initiative which has started forcing businesses to automate payment systems. The add to this the expected OPEX from the fuel subsidy removal and its impact on the bottom line.
Frankly, over the next few months in Nigeria, it will just get costlier and costlier to run a business. This is probably the same all over the world but it impacts us more because of our slow technological evolution as a nation.
Banks will no longer need so many front-line staff and some support functions may no longer be as critical while others may become more critical but that is beside the point really.
The point is, 2012 brings a lot of new realities which mean we need to rethink a lot of our strategies for survival and growth. This is as true for individuals as it is for the public and private sectors.
– Education: We need to start raising entrepreneurs. It is bad enough that our educational system can barely prepare graduates for white collar jobs. Now we need even more, we need to start developing entrepreneurs. We need to rework the curriculum and  revamp our methods.
– Families: As a child, when an adult asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up, our default response was a profession – Doctor, Engineer, Pilot, Pharmacist etc. Parents need to start making children realize that enormous opportunities exists for them, not just the ones we got handed down by our parents
– The government: We do not have policies that make it easy for entrepreneurs. Plain and simple! Our copyright laws are weak and should begin to address much more than Nollywood. We have a lot of really talented writers, software developers, artists and the list goes on. Who protects these people? How can they earn a living from their gifts? What about tax rebates?
– The church: Is too passive! We need to take more ownership of the people committed into our hands. There is so much to be done in the lives and communities in our care. Much more important than that new church building are community based projects which can place roofs above the heads of families
– Agriculture: Africa is blessed with a lot of natural resources – Gold, Crude Oil, Diamonds, Precious stones, but we remain the most impoverished continent. 
  Why? 
  Because we are wasteful! 
We have so much we do not know what to do with and have made the mistake of thinking the reserves will never go empty. 
Has the Nigerian government thought of what will happen to us when alternate forms of energy become more popular and readily available? 
What then will happen to our beloved Crude oil? We need to start feeding ourselves. 
We have the land, the water and the resources. Agriculture needs to becomes a priority. When food is cheap, we will have less thieves on the streets and more children in schools
The funny thing is, 2012 is not bleak, it is fraught with opportunities. Only the alert and attentive will benefit.
Welcome to 2012.