It takes 16 hours to drive from Lagos to Abuja, but one hour to fly. According to Google Maps, the trip should take under 12 hours. However, police will stop you every 30 minutes or so to ask for bribes. If you don’t pay up, you risk jail or your tires being slashed. My younger brother calls it “oil money” — ancillary payments such as these grease the wheels of Nigerian society.
The lack of accountability and corruption are entrenched in Nigerian society. Nigeria’s growing population of 185 million has encountered rising unemployment and violence. Youth under the age of 25 — more than 60% of the population — have been hit hardest. These are my cousins — talented and capable, with much to contribute. Society is leaving them behind.