Journey to 2050When systems are people centric, everyone’s voice will matter in governance and policy implementation.
A PEOPLE CENTRED NIGERIA!
“I must tell you that Nigerians and their sense of community is a different breed. From the culture, work ethic and relationships, they shine through every crevice. Hi! My name is Hauwa and here is a recount of my experience in Nigeria, 2050.
We gather dey! We gather dey… filled everywhere as I arrived. I could relate to this phrase, but I did not understand why it was being used at the end of every conversation. That was the beginning of my curiosity as I moved around with the aid of my tour guide, Chima. A lot of things seemed different from what we had in 2021. Looking to my right, I could see that the Nigerian flag had hands on the white that symbolized peace. At this juncture, I was in awe. Did I mention that our ride to Abeokuta was a smooth one with our self-driven car? We only needed to input our destination on the map in the car. I paid for the ride quickly using an e-wallet transfer from my crypto account. Chima asked me to rate the journey since I was new here, and so that the vehicle could move on to the next passenger. I rated the ride and walked right behind my tour guide to get a good view of Olumo town. We made our way to the top of the infamous Olumo Rock. I could see that every nook and cranny was well lit with their bulbs gently caressing the town as a mother does with her newborn – Nigerians dream in the 2020s had materialized right before my eyes. As I took in the sight, Chima made me understand that the town relied exclusively on solar and bio-energy. And that it had also become easier to run a startup in Nigeria because electricity is stable, easily accessible and cheap.
My next stop was a village in Yola. While exploring the village, I overheard the community members conversing about the next “Speak with your Senator” political convention coming up in a few weeks. Interacting with them, I found out that what had sparked the conversation was an SMS sent by a telecom company on the budget for 2051 that didn’t allocate enough for the people in the south. And they were mobilizing to make sure the legislators reverse that. I found this fascinating as everyone, irrespective of status. Everyone was interested and willing to hold the government accountable by making their opinions known. Chima later joined me and showed me around Aso Rock, where I was introduced as a time traveller from 2021. I was warmly welcomed, and looking around, I saw delegates from underrepresented areas. The discussions were people-driven and result-oriented. Chima said the general elections were now held electronically. That increased the number of youth candidates in elections, as well as the number of active voters. He also mentioned that access to healthcare was now affordable to all citizens because Suzadoc, a Nigerian company had facilitated the decentralization of healthcare delivery with the aid of telemedicine and telepharmacy. Rural dwellers are even now covered with medical insurance paid for by their local governments.
I wondered to myself, could this be the Nigeria we dreamt of? A place where justice was no longer a commodity for the rich exclusively. A data-driven nation where technology worked for people and the digital divide was nearly non-existent. I saw a Nigeria where systems are people-centered; where resources are used efficiently and policies are co-designed by all stakeholders to increase access to social protection. A Nigeria where the government takes initiative for the wellness of its people and innovation is inclusive of the minority.
Just then, Chima was bubbling with excitement. He had sighted his partner, Halima alighting from her car. She had been on official duties to Abuja for three days now. Halima is the daughter of the renowned and revered Sheik, Muktar Babuje. She fought the tides for love to marry Chima, a Christian from the Eastern part of Nigeria. They kissed and hugged publicly and it was just normal. Could this be it? The Nigeria our founding fathers fought for?Download story as PDF