May 29

“The returning diaspora is vital to Nigeria”

Ope Adeyemi, a Solutions Architect at Softcom Nigeria, returned home after an almost 2-year stay in the United Kingdom where he studied for a Master’s Degree in Control & Systems Engineering.

1.Q: Can you share the main motivation behind your decision to move back?

A: The returning diaspora is vital to Nigeria’s reconstruction and development efforts. This is backed by the reasoning that they can help to bridge the infrastructure gap with innovative ideas. The excitement of returning home can be palpable among new returnees but living in a country one hasn’t been in a while is always going to take some getting used to. Nigeria is a unique place to stay in such a way that unlike almost no other country in the world, you never quite know what to expect.

2.Q: You have been away from the country for a while and being back now, sometimes it must feel like you are relearning how to live in the country. What are the more interesting aspects you’ve had to readjust to?

A: I can’t speak for everywhere, but in Lagos, I can say the first thing that had me surprised was the heat. It immediately felt like it was much hotter than before. Another aspect I had to understand is how Nigerians keep time. There’s a true story about me missing the bus to school on the day after I got to the UK. I was told by my aunt that the bus will arrive by 7:05 AM and me being the typical Nigerian, left the house at 7:05 not knowing that the distance to walk to the bus stop will take about 15 minutes. I got there 7:20, missed the bus and had to wait a further 45 mins for another one. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by their timeliness and now I have to get used to people telling me they are “almost there” when giving a time frame.

3. Q: How did you find your feet upon returning?

A: I had gotten the job at Softcom before I travelled and was still fortunate enough to be absorbed back into the fold on my return. The position has allowed me to continue my work with a sense of continuity and purpose that I probably wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. The process of having the most qualified candidates get the jobs they deserve still needs a bit of fine-tuning, but I’m glad I get to work in the ICT industry because yes I love tech, but I’ve always primarily wondered how technology can help provide solutions to some long-standing problems.

Source: Ventures Africa