It’s a Friday night, and you’re driving back home. Suddenly, you spot a police checkpoint ahead…
Now, there are different ways to react to this situation, and because I live next to a popular checkpoint in Lagos, I have seen many examples. On at least four occasions in the last year, I witnessed different drivers reverse for 1 km on Akin Adesola Street to avoid the officers with their guns and torchlights.
Bad equilibriums happen when a country normalises bad procedures and a negative state of mind that are continuously reinforced. It becomes the benchmark for measuring progress, which causes us to keep underperforming.
For example, according to the latest 2019 corruption report by the NBS, 1 in 3 people reported paying bribes when they came in contact with the police to avoid harassment. In general each adult in Nigeria pays a bribe every two months, totalling ₦700 billion every year.
To escape this bad equilibrium, we need a different political class that rules the country with the right incentives, strong institutions and international support.
Perhaps they were criminals.