Let me ask you Is Nigeria still the giant of Africa or giant of corruption ?
There have been many thoughts on this topic, whether or not Nigeria is still the giant of Africa and what parameters this can be measured on to describe the old city of Nigeria as the giant of the African continent.
Nigeria as a nation, have been known for its rich and prosperous mineral resources and vast in her heritage and cultural background. Promoting one of Africa’s rich cultural arts and a governance system.
Before we go into discussing if Nigeria is still the giant of the continent of Africa, let’s look at the geographical landscape and how this has helped the nation to maintain its power as the giant of Africa over the last centuries.
As popularly known to be the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country located in West Africa. It is geographically situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of Guinea to the south in the Atlantic Ocean. It covers an area of 923,769 square kilometres (356,669 sq mi), and with a population of over 216 million, in the last census count, it is the most populous country in Africa and the world’s seventh-most populous country. Nigeria borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Nigeria is a federal republic comprising 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The largest city in Nigeria is Lagos, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world and the second-largest in Africa. With a lot of commercial activities and trade going on in the nation.
Nigeria has been known as the giant of Africa, because of a lot of reasons: Its military, population, Currency, rich in mineral and natural resources, leadership and governance system and a lot more, has made the nation the most powerful black nation in the world and the number one in Africa. With strength, the nation has brought peace to a lot of neighbouring nations and provided relief for a lot of immigrants in the past decades.
Having her independency in 1960, was just a little compared to what the nation has accomplished in the past decades, from military rule to democracy, the nation has constantly developed in her trade, production and building of a better Nigeria. With all these things, one might be tempted to say, is Nigeria still the giant of Africa, even with its bribery and corruption, educational and medical retrogression currently faced in the nation, and a poor leadership system and lack of proper governance.
There has been a lot of history about the nation’s birth, both the pre and post-colonial rule, down to the British Colonization in 1960. A lot of other texts has been written to describe the present state of the country today, and a lot of articles and book, the famous “things fall apart” and “there was a country” by Chinua Achebe of blessed memory.
So, back to the big question, is Nigeria still the giant of Africa? Yes, I will like to say, being a giant represent so many economic and socio-cultural prowess and Nigeria is one nation in Africa that has such advantages at the moment. We could look at some reasons, why Nigeria has been called the giant of Africa, in the time past: firstly I will say through her war-fighting culture in the past decades, providing peace and relief to nations in distress and war, secondly, her economic advantages, Nigeria as of 2022 is known to be the first richest country in Africa. With a GDP of just over $510 billion, Nigeria holds the position of the richest country in Africa and 31st globally. Many years ago, the country ranked less than 5th position in Africa, however, had a major population and was popularly known as the giant of Africa even up to date. In 2021, it ranked second richest in the continent, with Egypt leading the continent. The massive increase in the country’s GDP has been mainly driven by finance, transport, infrastructure, tourism, and an abundance of crude oil. In recent times, the country records around 1.6 million barrels of crude oil a day, according to OPEC, making the nation the largest exporter of crude oil in Africa. These petroleum exports make up 10% of the total GDP and over 80% of the export sector revenue of its economy.
In addition to petroleum, Nigeria has an abundance of raw materials and natural resources, contributing to the region’s wealth. These include coal, limestone, zinc, lead, tin, natural gas, niobium, and iron ore. The country is also blessed with sufficient fertile land for agriculture, which is responsible for over 20% of the Gross Domestic Product, making the production of cocoa and rubber more efficient over the years. Its large population, over the years, have helped to propel Nigeria as the largest consumer retailer in Africa and the digitally aware residents have contributed to the country’s fast-growing tech sector, communication and other related fields, providing entrepreneurial skills, and creating jobs for an average Nigerian.
According to World Bank, Nigeria’s GDP grew 7% year on year between 2000 and 2014, one of the fastest rates in Africa. This has slowed to/by 2% in recent years due to political instability, socioeconomic factors, and oil and production inflation. The country has mandated a strong concern on protecting its natural resources, trying to move away from its large reliance on oil refineries and processing plants.
The nation is also known for its vibrant cultural heritage, different ethnicities, natural splendour, and large population, Nigeria remains the number one producer in terms of GDP output on the continent and Africa’s richest country, as reported in 2022. Nigeria is the primary exporter of Petroleum, (Crude oil, refined and gas), Cocoa beans, Rough wood, and Chemicals, Vehicles and aircraft parts, with the Nigerian naira (NGN, ₦) as its currency.
All these are obvious reasons, why Nigeria is ranking big and still the giant of Africa. It holds a lot of economic, social, leadership and cultural advantages as the only black and most populated country in the world, with over 216 million people inhabited in all her locals, states and the National capital territory.
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