The following is an early morning WhatsApp Chat between two old schoolmates, pondering the problems of Nigeria..
Ajala_Travel You don go back to sleep?
SonOfTheSoil Yes. I am fast asleep now…
Ajala_Travel Lol.. fast asleep indeed and yet you are typing. Okay then, till you wake up.
How far, bro?
SonOfTheSoil Alfa dey Moshalashi jare.
Nigeria will survive..Who sang that again?
Ajala_Travel Onyeka Onwenu
SonOfTheSoil Oh yes, thanks. When, is the question…
Ajala_Travel Even if dem drink our oil ooo, Nigeria go survive……!
SonOfTheSoil Hmmm. I hope and pray so. Technology has already started drinking our oil. Vehicles that run on batteries becoming pervasive.
Ajala_Travel Tey tey
SonOfTheSoil I wonder what will happen to economies predicated predominantly on oil…
Ajala_Travel Same thing happening to ours now…..
SonOfTheSoil The other oil producing countries have been wise, and used their resources well.
Even Saudi is investing in Tesla, the battery_poeered car company.
Ajala_Travel Nigeria is investing in cows. We just need to import the carts….
Imagine Shell CEO urging Europe to bring forward their deadline for the abandonment of petrol powered vehicles..!!
Ajala_Travel Hmmmm.. Really?
SonOfTheSoil Yes.. The future is no longer oil_based. While it may be a good thing for us (long term), but there will be lots of distortions in the economy, and many would suffer.
Ajala_Travel We should go back to farming.
SonOfTheSoil Mechanized, or what? How would Nigeria ever compete with the Chinese and Indonesians of this world.. in rice production?
Ajala_Travel That was the topic we were discussing amongst my friends this week.
SonOfTheSoil A deliberate government policy to support farming on a seriously large and focused scale is necessary.
Ajala_Travel But, must we farm rice?
We have what they don’t have…..Cocoa, groundnuts, yam, plantain, palm kernel.
We can export and make good money.
SonOfTheSoil But the developed countries have what we seem to lack… seriousness !!
SonOfTheSoil Being able to feed ourselves properly is just the beginning.
Then we need to add value to the international community, otherwise the Naira is headed the way of the Venezuelan currency.
Also, the rate at which professionals are leaving the country is alarming.
When you hear about things happening in a place like Canada, you can’t blame them, really. It is like comparing heaven to hell.
Ajala_Travel Me I am definitely going to relocate again from this country last last.S staying here isn’t worth it.Things are not improving at all.
SonOfTheSoil True. But then, if everybody leaves, who will mend this country? See the number of our set mates outside the country!!
How will Nigeria improve if everybody emigrates? Especially the best brains.
What country would we leave for our children and grandchildren?
Ajala_Travel What scars me is that our problem isn’t the lack of ability to improve (by our leaders) but its the lack of willingness.
Ajala_Travel There is this very close friend.. a die-hard believer in the Nigerian project…. Prides himself a lot on knowing the Naija system inside out. Boasts he can survive in Naija under any circumstances.He lives in a posh part of the mainland and drives very good cars. Works for a good indigenous company and has a thriving side business too.
Bros, he just cane back from a trip to London and USA last week. When we met you know what he told me?
He said, this country isn’t worth it. His eyes suddenly opens to the suffering he was going through here, thinking he is okay.
He is planning to relocate!!
SonOfTheSoil Yes. There are people who are already above whatever problems Nigeria presents. But that’s not the lot of most..
Ajala_Travel I am also putting in place a two-year final exit plan from Nigeria. I have decided finally to be another ‘Andrew’.
Life is short.
I told myself that it will be very unfair of me subjecting my children to the trauma and harrowing experience of growing up in this fucked-up system that we adults have created.
SonOfTheSoil We tend to blame the leaders. Buy are they really the progenitor our problems?
The leaders that emerge are the best (worst?) of the society. That’s why they emerge!
Ajala_Travel The system has been deliberately made to churn out the worst. I don’t really care anymore.
SonOfTheSoil Hopefully, one day, Nigeria will turn to paradise. Maybe via a bloody revolution, I don’t really know..
I used to tell a junior in school. We can’t have a change for the better following the usual balloting system. A bullet instead of a ballot may be the way to go. I am being proved right, so far..
Ajala_Travel Industries are crashing and churches are booming. Signs of impending doom. While China is opening factories, we produce pastors for a dying people / populace.
SonOfTheSoil Peripheral- / surface- level wealth in many places. Crazily enough, what is sustaining all these razzmatazz and rot is oil, which will either soon finish, or go out of fashion.
Ajala_Travel Yes o! And our leaders can’t fathom all these impending danger. They still continue to steal as if their is no tomorrow.
SonOfTheSoil They are ever ready to bale out if / when the dam breaks na.
Ajala_Travel So tell me, even if you and I are good, and want a better Nigeria and we are ready to do it.Just tell me, where and how we start.
If all of us on the School Forum decide to change Nigeria for good, how and where do we start from?
SonOfTheSoil No idea bro. None.. It would be like moving against a moving train. A waste of time,really..
You must at least be part of the rotten political system, as a start .
You must be at the financial and influence level of an Atiku or Ibori – but with the corrupt gene completely excised, to make any change in the polity.
I don’t believe we have such Nigerians, presently.
Ajala_Travel There you are. So what change are we talking about?
Yes. You must be part of the same rotten system. Meanwhile we see working countries and democracies in other parts of the world.
SonOfTheSoil But, evey problem must have a solution. That’s why we are intellectuals!! A problem can’t be tackled by running away from it na.
Ajala_Travel My brother, life is short. Please tell me practical things you and I can do to make Nigeria better, and I promise you, I will stay back and fix with you.
SonOfTheSoil I am not empowered to even make a dent. And getting people to coalesce on a common vision is even tougher.
Where Do We Begin To Tackle The Problems Of Nigeria?