Naija has carried last. The end of the world is nigh and Switzerland is the next country to be hit by an influx of pregnant Nigerian women.

Posted on November 26, 2012 by


The phrase ‘Naija no dey carry last’ is one that is well-known and often used to describe the ingenuity of the average Nigerian. Last week, unfortunately, these words were dealt a fatal blow and were laid to rest at the offices of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Based on important factors such as crime, trust in public institutions, geography and the economy, among several others, the Economist published an index of the best countries in which to be born in 2013. It was an attempt by a well-meaning organisation to “measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead” by linking the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys i.e.  how happy people say they are, to the factors earlier mentioned.

Nigeria was the last on the list.

What this means is that Nigerians are not really as happy as numerous international polls have made us believe. We are not happy with the crime rate; we are not happy with our political and religious leaders; we are not happy with the lack of power supply and other fundamental infrastructure; we are not happy with our economy; we are not happy with Boko Haram; and after the recent publication of Chinua Achebe’s There Was A Country, we are not happy with our history.

Unfortunately, our approach is not usually the obvious one; for when a person is not happy they try to change the situation for the better. Instead the Nigerian shrugs his or her shoulders and uses either of these time-tested Nigerian phrases, “God de” or “E go beta.”

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