By Emmanuel Abayomi

It was Albert Einstein who said that “The significant problem we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”

If we are to judge based on her current trajectory, Nigeria is likely to be mired in poverty in 20 years. 
John C. Maxwell once said that everything rises and falls on leadership. Nigeria needs good leadership. Nigeria is blessed with enough human and mineral resources, however, she is experiencing a resource curse due to bad and un-thinking leadership and a gangster political class.

Good leadership empowers citizens to fight generational poverty. Nigeria currently has serious challenges, particularly in the areas of security, joblessness, quality of life, and the like. With abysmal economic growth for over 200 million of her people, disappointing employment rate, skyrocketing inflation, and a dollar exchange rate at #500. There has to be a new level kind of thinking and leadership to ever have any hope of surviving these monsters.

Her major resource is slowly losing value, its financial system buckling under the weight of fleeing capital, it’s middle-class and literati emigrating while it conversely deals with massive immigration from its poorer Northern neighbors and its usual communal conflicts, terrorism, and banditry. Nigeria’s situation is made bleaker by its demography. We have already been tagged The Poverty Capital of the World.

Nigeria faces a unique cocktail of problems, it is a rentier state whose main resource looks set to reduce in value in the coming years with heavy external borrowings and no sure way of repayment. Its agriculture usually an absorbent of labour in pre-industrial economies is prematurely shifting to capital intensive production, its financial sector is too liberalized, meaning the banks chase profits not necessarily development as shown by constant loans to the oil sector and investments in expensive real estate development as everyday entrepreneurs face sky-high interest rates and sometimes outright rejection.

Nigeria does not have much in the way of a social net. The COVID19 pandemic exposed much of that. It makes do with subsidies and this creates a two-fold problem, one of which is the primary reason forestalling any sort of progress.
Nigeria refuses to adjust its educational system to allow it to compete in a changing global market.

Needed reforms are forestalled simply because they’re politically inconvenient. As long as the people have the power to vote out the government that has the good sense to God forbid, raise educational standards and entrance requirements or even worse trim and modernise an overbloated civil service, nothing will change.

All of the above create a situation which significantly reduces the quality of our politics. Our best and brightest are gone, practically foreigners, the education system is not geared to encourage rational thinking.
Nigeria seems to have reaped the worst of modernity. A vacuum has been created, one which is being filled by extremists of all cloaks.

In twenty years Nigeria could be many things, it however will not be prosperous. That would take a miracle. And a miracle is an illusion in nation building.

(c) Emmanuel Abayomi 2021