By Oludare Gbenga Pius
Do you still remember the time when the only TV station was NTA, and the options you had were NTA channel 10, NTA 2 channel 5, and NTA channel 7? Or the time when Frank Oliseh of “Newsline” was more popular than today’s Frank Edoho of “Who wants to be a millionaire”? Or the time when Birdman and G – force looked like our modern day Avatar?
If we look at where we are coming from as a country, when street lights was an endangered specie, when the price of oil per litre would not buy you the smallest unit of groundnut in today’s currency, when a football derby between Nigeria and Ghana would poll more viewers than a La Liga El clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona, you will agree with me that a lot of water has indeed passed under the bridge.
I still remember the time when phone lines were so expensive the communications minister at that time actually said it wasn’t meant for the poor. Now thanks to technology and competition, the phones are so cheap that you could get a basic phone cheaper than the price of a scientific calculator. Thank God for the Chinese.
Once upon a time SIM cards were once more expensive than some of today’s hi-tech phones(God help Nigeria). That was when you had to use your minutes wisely and ensure your call doesn’t enter the next minute. A certain operator actually said per seconds billing wasn’t possible, today all that is history. Thank God for competition!
Let us not forget freedom. I still remember when “fellow Nigerians” was the appropriate and official way of saluting Nigerians by new “Heads of State.” Today our democracy might not be great, but hey, you could even stand in front of Aso Rock and call Goodluck a bad boy(on a serious note, pls don’t try it o )! But you understand what I mean…
Speaking of innovation, do you still remember when satellite TV entered the Nigerian market; their dishes looked so large you could mistake them for new architectural roof designs? The vast majority that couldn’t afford satellite or cable had their TV antennas suspended so high in the sky like spaceships from outerspace. Nowadays satellite TV is somewhat relatively affordable with competitive prices and their dish sizes are a lot more visually appealing.
So much for the history, some of them might sound funny, but one thing about Nigeria and Nigerians is that we quickly adapt to any system, and we get so used to the new system we forget our past and how far we in a sense have come. I hope to see a Nigeria, that in few years would be so developed such that issues which we thought would never be possible would be a thing of the past.
I hope to see a Nigeria in the near term, where water pipes would start carrying more water than air, where the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria would stop holding it and start distributing it. I hope to see a time in Lagos where agberos would wear suits and look respectable, molues would have factory fitted air conditioners and plasma TV, while danfos would be four wheel drive – where they would all have standard bus stations with online booking. (It is possible; don’t say it is wishful thinking.)
I hope to see a Lagos where I would wake up late by 7 a.m(in today’s standard) and still have the assurance I would make it to office before 8a.m irrespective of my location thanks to a well structured railway system connecting the state.
I hope to see a time when there would be equal opportunity for everyone, irrespective of tribe, language or religion. When all industry monopolies would be broken and St. Louis sugar would no longer be the only cubed sugar product available in the market because we would have so many more locally manufactured alternatives.
I hope to see a new Nigeria where “I will construct roads, I will give you light, and I will sink boreholes” would no longer be manifestos, because everyone would have them as basic amenities of life.
I hope to see a Nigeria in the near future, when once upon a time, we would look back and thank God that the country has made us proud, because we fought for our rights and took responsibility for our actions.
Republished with permission.