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. 


Some takeaways: 
  • 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.