Nigeria – A Superpower of Future
Admin 18 May, 2022

Nigeria – A Superpower of Future

Nigeria is the most populated African country. The roots of civilization in Nigeria can be traced back to 15th century BC. The origin of the modern state of Nigeria can be slated down to British colonisation in the 19th century when Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate were merged in 1914 by Lord Lugard.

After being formally liberated from the British rule in 1960, it had the misfortune of going through a civil war from 1967 to 1970. This civil war had many long-term implications on its population on both public health and economy. With revenue from oil mills, reconstruction was ready to take off but the political scene took some time to stabilise. Following a succession of elected civilian governments and military dictatorships, Nigeria finally achieved stable democracy in 1999.

Today, despite being a diverse state with more than 250 ethnicities speaking at least 500 distinct languages, Nigeria is a regional power in Africa and a middle power in international affairs. It is considered an emerging global power. It ranks 25th in the world by GDP. It also has the highest military budget in the continent.

Recent research by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) shows that out of Africa’s "Big Five" powerful countries – Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Ethiopia – Nigeria is "the African country with by far the greatest capabilities" to play a global role. "Nigeria is the only power with the potential to be globally significant but it does not have a coherent foreign policy and its massive security and governance issues are detracting from this potential"- Dr Jakkie Cilliers, Executive Director of the ISS.

Nigeria has the fastest growing economy in Africa and the highest GNP on the continent. Nigeria has the largest population on the continent and the third-largest manufacturing sector. The country also has the largest agricultural output and the highest number of cattle.

Nigeria's economic potential is constrained by many structural issues, including inadequate infrastructure, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, obstacles to investment including corruption, lack of confidence in currency valuation, and limited foreign exchange capacity.

Nigeria's economic growth is also constrained by insufficient electricity generation capacity, which results in a lack of a reliable and affordable supply of power. The growth potential is also constrained by the persistent armed conflict with Boko Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria and immigration from Cameroon.

For Nigeria to become a superpower, it needs a strong leader who can take drastic steps to achieve the following:

  • 1. Find a permanent amicable solution to the Boko Haram conflict. This is a continuous drain of resources and also a hinderance to development.
  • 2. Concentrate on urban planning, sanitation and civic law awareness. Nigerian cities are known to grow without restraint. There is total disregard of civic laws, environment and sanitation. One cannot be rich and dirty. The dirtiness will lead to illnesses that will kill you despite all the money you have. Economical psychology tends to believe where there is dirtiness, there is poverty. Hence it is very important for Nigeria to become a clean nation if it has to become a superpower.
  • 3. Improved infrastructure: Nigerian roads are poorly kept and full of holes. It also needs to concentrate on uninterrupted electric supply. Without uninterrupted power supply, industralisation is impossible. At the same time, Nigeria flares considerable amounts of associated gas, a by-product of offshore crude oil extraction generating significant greenhouse gas emissions and wasting a considerable amount of energy. Nigeria must find a way to tap this natural resource. Almost all developed countries have had state sponsored investment in infrastructure. The state has to actively set aside a budget for development of infrastructure.
  • 4. Strict anti-corruption laws: Political corruption, dishonest and double dealing, the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain is a hallmark in Nigerian government and politics. No country can grow economically or democratically to become a superpower if it cannot put an end to corruption.
  • 5. Continuity and consistency: It is said that people perish when there is no vision. Nigerian government has had some of the best visionaries not found elsewhere in the world but its inability to convert vision into sustainable practical reality is something that needs to be tackled.

Therefore, in conclusion, Nigeria definitely has the potential to become a superpower if its internal politics are properly managed. Sustained broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction with a policy environment for small businesses and expanded access to market-driven vocational and technical training linked with private sector employment opportunities are critical to its economic growth stability. It must diversify its economy, do the fundamentals of food for all, clean water for all, shelter, electricity, have respect for the environment and rule of law before it can truly enjoy and take its play among developed nations and aspire to become a super power.

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