By Adenike OmoOba
Where do you see Nigeria 20 years from now?

In 2039, Nigeria has just elected a new president, and as has always been the case, accusations of rigging and extreme violence are everywhere and the opposition party is in court threatening hell and brimstone. Nigerian citizens are still reeling from the effects of the mindless violence that was unleashed on them during the election and many people have yet to understand the plans and purpose of the new administration.

The country is a troubling dystopia: hospitals, especially Government-owned, have gone into serious disrepair as a result of decades of negligence and poor funding. Nigeria-trained doctors, mostly very young people, have been leaving in droves for developed countries such as USA, UK, and Canada, in search of greener pasture. They are leaving feeling very frustrated.

But there is a small silver lining or ray of light in the growing darkness: the Tech industry is growing amidst the tenuous economic situation of the country. This sector represents a beacon of hope for the vast majority of Nigerian graduates. Many of these graduates, daily churned out by our derelict and ineffectual higher institutions, are finding solace in entrepreneurship due to dwindling job opportunities. Unemployment has reached an all-time high but, on the flip side of things, Made in Nigeria products are deservedly grabbing the attention of the world.

In that year, as in much of the postcolonial history of the country, greed and avarice remain the order of the day. The same old thieving politicians and their myrmidon are being recycled. Incompetence and political brigandage still defined the sociopolitical landscape.

Foreign exchange is as bad as it comes and the standard of living remains abysmally low and the minimum wage, which is set to increase to 100,000 Nigeria Naira, is still being debated on the Senate floor.
The Nigeria Police Force? Still creating disorder, still steeped in extortion, and still harassing citizens while embezzling public funds. Human rights abuses are still quite rampant.

It has been twenty years since the rise of The Soro Soke Generation and some members of that memorable civil agitation are now occupying some posts in government either through election or appointment. And guess what? In keeping with Pa Adedibu’s dictum that ‘Politics is first about personal interest’, this new generation of politicians/public administrators appear to have learned well from some of the people they have replaced. While Nigerians on social media are daily demanding accountability and transparency from the government, religious houses, especially churches, are still proliferating at an alarming proportion.

This writer is contemplating the country from the safety of her home in Canada, a country that has been a safe haven for her family. As Nigeria faces a grim prospect of still gross dysfunction, this writer sighs and shakes her head, hoping for a miracle for Nigeria which will come, God knows when.

(c) Adenike OmoOba 2021