Friday, 28 July 2017


Scandinavia, Britain, France, Netherlands, India, China, the US – everyone is in a scramble to announce the end of fuel-powered cars by 2040 and so on. Everyone is announcing that every car on their roads will be green by 2040. Only electric cars. No more petrol and diesel cars.
Many of my friends, who still are yet to come to terms with just how terrible the psychology of Nigeria’s political elite is, have been agonizing. They are worried about what happens to an oil-dependent, monocultural economy like Nigeria when all the buyers of her oil go green and her oil pretty much becomes useless.

Well, I can tell you for sure that from Aso Rock to the National Assembly, to Governors, down the ladder to the most inconsequential member of the political class – you can add the socioeconomic elite too – they are already thinking and planning ahead for the advent of electric cars in 2040.

They are just not thinking the way you are thinking.

If you do a laundry list of the solutions they have found as a class to the challenges of modern living in the 21st century, you will gain an insight into how they are going to handle the transition to electric cars.

Problems of space in their built environments in Ikoyi, VI, and Maitama? They destroyed master plans, built on green areas and public parks, built commercial ventures in residential areas, commandeered communal rail track areas for parking lots of private schools, etc. Other elite in tight spaces in Hong Kong, Singapore, etc, will experiment with innovative mastery of space by applying engineering and architectural genius to achieve vertical derring-do in building design. The Nigerian elite will visit violence and aesthetic chaos on her own built space because she has too much money and too little culture.

Bad roads and death traps? They are buying more and more helicopters; their jeeps are getting bigger and sturdier. The other day, I saw Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and a group of other pregnant male Senators inspecting Federal roads in worse condition than the farm paths used by Askia the Great in the Songhai Empire in the 15th century.

The Senators say they are members of one of these useless Senate committees and they had come to do a firsthand assessment of the roads. This was some expressway linking Edo state to the deep south. As the Senators granted TV interviews, talking rubbish, you could see their jeeps in the background. I shook my head in anger. Useless people. They have now seen that the roads have gotten worse. They will return to Abuja to suggest bigger and sturdier jeeps capable of coping with the roads for all Senators in the 2018 appropriation.

Poor health facilities? Well, you have been witnesses to their nakedness and utter shamelessness on display in London this week as a political class. Foreign hospitals will remain their only answer to Nigeria’s health issues.

So, how do you think an elite that has handled its own lived environment, roads, and health in this manner will handle the question of electric cars and the imminent end of the fuel economy?

Well, by now, I can bet that some of them are already making inquiries from the innovation sectors of Scandinavia, Britain, France, the US, China, and India. When can we start to place individual orders for these cars of the future? When can we start to queue up for customized versions of these cars? How many can you deliver to me in Lagos or Abuja on January 1, 2040?

How can they be attempting to place orders for cars in 2040 when they cannot guarantee that they will be alive even tomorrow? Never mind. Members of Nigeria’s political elite are not intelligent enough to think like that. Their singular focus will be to be the first elite in the world to use cars they cannot manufacture.

And by the time the electric cars are being delivered over their dead bodies to their children in 2040, their own goal of being able to manufacture pencils in Nigeria sometime in this 21st century may still not have been realized.

If the owner of morning says it shall be well with the leaders of Nigeria, the owner of evening will disagree.

This article and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of newwarri

Pius Adesanmi, a professor of English, is Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada

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  1. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it