“Since gaining independence in 1960,” Alex Otti writes, “Nigeria has had eight military governments, numerous civilian-led governments and experienced a 30-month civil war.” Nigeria’s history of upheavals is just one factor in a confluence of problems which threaten the struggling nation’s future. In Saving the Future. Otti, who holds an MBA from the University of Lagos, explains these problems and suggests solutions that could lead Nigeria to a sustainable and prosperous future.
Otti’s chapters correspond to a series of lectures he presented to various forums, and explore such topics as Nigeria’s dearth of adequate infrastructure, government corruption, high unemployment, antiquated approaches to agriculture, and the country’s failure to provide its citizens with a meaningful education. The author considers each problem in depth. Thus, when discussing the wasteful use of Nigeria’s oil revenues, he gives the whole history of the oil-related enterprise from the beginning of “British interest in Nigerian oil” in 1914 to the corrupt expenditure of oil profits by recent government officials.
The solutions Otti provides for each of his focus problems range from teacher assessment and the revamping of curriculum for schools, to the application of oil revenue to diversified investments.
Despite Otti’s claim that his book represents a “modest contribution to the vexed issue of how to ensure that Generation Next does not waste away,” his book constitutes an ambitious, well-thought-out assessment of Nigeria’s problems and the ways to circumvent them. Unfortunately, it will likely be slow going for all but the most determined readers. The book is replete with repetition (the lectures cover the same issues regarding education at least three times) and delivers a writing style that is predominantly passive and academic. (One sentence, for example, begins: “Beyond the superordinate and subordinate socio-economic complex created by ICT [information and communication technology]-enabled globalization, it is apt to note…”)
While many readers will find the text daunting, those with a deep interest in the subject who persevere will discover useful information here.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.