Given my ongoing interest in Nigeria and its history, I was excited to watch one of a few fictional films on the website. The focus of one such film, Three Roads to Tomorrow, focuses on how British Petroleum (BP), one of the major oil companies in the country at the time, promotes development through oil sector business.
“Three Nigerian students from different corners of Nigeria come to Ibadan University. While they sit talking in a dance club, the film traves back each of their journeys to the university. Scenes from their homes gives a new impression of an old country, and we come to understand how the modern network of communications – all dependent on oil and petrol – has opened up what was not so long ago inaccessible territory.”
To me, this description, in its simplicity, is debatable (as we know, it’s the oil economy in Nigeria has lead to unequal regional development, exploitation of the country’s natural resources, and in the areas such as the Niger Delta, a very debatable positive impact on community development, livelihoods, health, and their local economy). But the glimpse into Nigerian life at the time, and among the country’s three major ethnic groups (Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba) provides an interesting anthropological look into Nigerian history.