Dr. Sunday Adelaja
I am starting this year with a message to my countrymen Nigerians.
Today I choose to celebrate Nigeria. I’m tired and fed up of all the evil reports. While I don’t deny all the issues and failures of our nation and in particular of our leaders, I want to intentionally move away from all the stories of woes and point my country men to the other side of the coin.
There is always another side to any story as with any coin. So in Nigeria’s story there is also the other side that we hardly hear about. (In this article I’m using 60 years as an approximate age for nigeria).
- Ever heard that Nigeria can’t produce anything even ordinary pencil? Stop speaking down on your country. Nigeria produces; automobiles, trucks, cars, copters, military wares, ships, pharmaceutical goods, agric machinery etc. How many countries have done this after only 60 years of independence?
- At independence we had only one university. The university of Ibadan. Today, we have 170 Universities, 105 Polytechnics and about 100 Colleges Of Education. Compare that with what’s obtainable in other countries with similar fundamentals.
- At independence our colonial masters only left us with 200 qualified medical doctors in the whole country. Today Unilag alone produces 250 doctors per annum. Nation wide Nigeria produces 12.000 doctors annually. ANPA – Association of Nigerian Physicians in Northern America, New York branch has 5000 Nigerian Doctors and Medical Professionals. 2nd highest ethnic group of Physicians in the United States and UK after India. Would you say that’s of no essence intellectual development, bearing in mind where we are coming from. Yes, they move abroad for greener pastures but this too shall pass, it’s a stage most countries pass through in their history.
- 30 yrs ago, Lekki Peninsula was a mangrove. Including Ibeju Lekki that now houses the Dangote refinery which is said to be the largest single-train refinery in the whole world. Today, that whole axis ranks among the fastest developing estates in the world.
- When the British colonisers left our shores there was not a single Nigerian Pilot 60 yrs ago. We are still not where we need to be, but Nigeria doesn’t need to import all her pilots as was the case a few decades ago. Today, we have female Nigerian Pilots flying planes with international airlines.
- In sports we were not represented before independence. Now, Tobi Amusan and others before her have put us on the world map in athletics. In soccer our feats especially in junior football is unmatched and unparalleled in the history of the sport. The first African Nation to participate and win a Junior world Cup. We’ve won it 5 times, becoming runners up 3 times, the only country to come close to us is Brazil with 4 titles and 2 runners-up. We have even won 27 Olympics medals, Gold medals in Football, Sprint and High Jump.
- Too many people glorify our past as if we were doing better than now. In reality it’s not anything close to the truth. All the so called cotton, groundnut pyramids, cocoa, timber etc gave us only about 4 billion USD GDP as at 1960, today it’s over 500 billion.
- Within 60 years of corporate existence, we’ve produced a Nobel Prize Winner, A Pulitzer Award Winner, and other professional leaders of global repute.
- Nigeria now has 5 satellites in space. In 60 years we now do Renal Surgery, IVR, organ transplant, and some good scientific breakthroughs. Could we have done better, yes of course and we should do better. But the point of this write up is that we often don’t even acknowledge what we have. To go higher we must take inventory of who we are and where we are. If we don’t know what we have we can’t be able to improve on it.
- At the time of independence more Nigerians were dying than alive. Poor hygiene has now reduced to the extent that polio and cholera had been eradicated. This had dropped the number of children per woman from an average of 8 in 1960 to 3-4 in 2019. Infant mortality dropped from about 300/1000 to 100/1000 in 2021.
- Nigeria contributes about 5% of global fossil fuel. This had earned billions of dollars, though not properly managed but had kept our finances as a nation going, helping us to experience the level of growth other nations couldn’t boast of.
- We had fought the civil war and recovered, 20 regime changes, we had survived about 5 military regimes we now have 20yrs of uninterrupted democracy. Let’s compare this our instability with that of some countries in Europe, Italy has had about 50 regime changes in the same period. Some other nations didn’t even have the privilege of regime change because of the overbearing of dictators who won’t leave office until death do them apart.
- Most of us reading this post are living in a “Cement Building” want to know how houses were built 60 years ago? Pay a visit to your granny’s building in the “village”. Yes, we are not where we need to be but we have moved a long way from where we used to be. Progress is not always in a leap but in gradual advancement.
- The Sardauna of Sokoto, late Ahmadu Bello once complained that the entire Northern Nigeria had less than 10 graduates as at independence. Today the university named after him yearly produces about 10 thousand graduates.
- Today we don’t often hear of cases of human sacrifice by the authorities of the land. Yes we unfortunately still suffer in the hands of kidnappers and money ritualists. However in 1960, the Oba, Igwe or Emir of your village was a god! They even have power of life and death. Today you can even take him to court if he infringes on your rights. Let me tell you it’s far from where we were.
- Almost 2 million Nigerians write JAMB per year. That’s 2 million people that can at least read compare to 90% of Nigerians that could not even read and write as of 1960, today we still have illiterates but not close to what we used to have.
- How many military generals did we have 60 years ago? How many naval Admirals? How many airforce commanders? How many professors? How many Vice Chancellors , How many military bases, Banks? Bank directors and managers? SME directors, music producers, world class singers and composers, authors, engineers, architects, business men and women? At independence all we had then were itinerant subsistence farmers and the elites were the village teachers.
- The entire south west Nigeria had only one TV and one radio station as at 1960. Today, we have over 200 functional private radio & TV stations in Nigeria.
NIGERIANS ARE NOT BEING FAIR TO NIGERIA
I’m sure I’m not the only person who is tired and fed up of all the stories of woes about Nigeria. In this article I’m going to be mainly writing in snippets and points to make it easier for my readers. I have already written seven books on Nigeria and her greatness, now I’m majorly giving out some bullet points for easier digestion.
- Whenever Nigerians speak about their country it’s usually in derogatory manner, criticism and a times even hatred is what we see
- If the hatred and anger is not directed at the nation it’ll be directed at the leadership. Most Nigerians believe we’ve had bad leaders since independence and that’s our problem, I believe this is debatable, again in comparison with other countries.
- I personally think the reason we behave like this is because we are over zealous about our desires for our country, which is not a bad thing
- Our expectations are too high, we are impatient and unrealistic in our desires, which is a form of greed
- When it comes to leadership I personally think Nigeria hasn’t had it as bad: Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Mohammed, Gen Obasanjo, Shagari, Mohammadu Buhari, Chief Shonekan, Umaru Yar adua, were not perfect but some of the best compare to historical leaders of other nations.
- When it comes to development even here Nigerians are not being fair to their country. Nigeria is number 24 of 200 countries in the world
- More so it’s the youngest most successful country, no country is younger than Nigeria and richer than her. We are the richest of all the young countries in the world
- Countries that are richer and greater than us have had a longer history and civilization than us
- We often compare ourselves to todays USA, Germany and England, are we being realistic really?
- Let’s see how life was in America when they were 150 years old, not when they were 60 like us but when they were twice our age
- Things were much worse in America than it is presently in Nigeria, the truth is it takes time to build a nation
- Nations are not built overnight. Poverty was worse in England a hundred years ago, than it is In Nigeria today, China was nothing to write about
- Just a hundred years ago the average life expectancy in America was 47 years, almost 150 years after independence, we have 54-60 years but we are not 150 years old, only 60
- 100 years ago only 14% of American homes had toilets or bathrooms, almost same as nigeria today what did Americans do, they worked hard and continued to build their nation
- When America was 150 years old, only 8% of Americans had a telephone in nigeria at 60 it’s almost 70%
- The average income per person in America was 2000 dollars, In Nigeria at 60 it’s close to 3 thousand dollars not after 150 years like USA
- The hospital situation was so bad that 95% of all births were at home in America, after 150 years of independence
- Illiteracy level was almost as high as nigeria now, even though it’s oyinbo land most couldn’t read or write. At 150 years old Only 6% of Americans finished high school. In nigeria it is 60% literacy rate at 60 years.
- After 150 years, 20% of Americans who were considered the rich people had slaves, servants and maids in their homes, while close to have of the population were subservient to the 20%
- Talk about Canada they actually passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering into their country for any reason whatsoever, it was a jungle country in their values.
- So every nation grows and evolves into great nations according to how much dedication and hard work they put into it. Rome was not built in a day.
- Let’s talk about Nigerians today in today’s America. Although Nigerians make up a tiny portion of the U.S. population, a whopping 17 percent of all Nigerians in this country held master’s degrees while 4 percent had a doctorate. In addition, 37 percent had bachelor’s degrees.
- To put those numbers in perspective, only 8 percent of the white population in the U.S. had master’s degrees, according to the Census survey. And 1 percent held doctorates. About 19 percent of white residents had bachelor’s degrees. Asians come closer to the Nigerians with 12 percent holding master’s degrees and 3 percent having doctorates
- Stephen Klineberg, a sociologist at Rice University who conducts the annual Houston Area Survey, suspects the percentage of Nigerian immigrants with post-graduate degrees is higher than Census data shows.
- Of all the Nigerian immigrants he reached in his random phone surveys 1994 through 2007 — 45 households total — Klineberg said 40 percent of the Nigerians said they had post-graduate degrees. “These are higher levels of educational attainment than were found in any other community,” Klineberg said.
NIGERIA’S UNREGULATED POPULATION GROWTH IS OUR ALBATROSS
To Those Who Say We Have Nothing To Show For 60 Years Of Independence:
STOP SPEAKING DOWN ON YOUR COUNTRY, DO YOUR RESEARCH, PRESENT YOUR EMPIRICAL EVIDENCES.
Compare the achievements and track records of Nigeria to those of the great nations of the world today when they were 60 years or even when they were 100 years old as independent and sovereign countries, in particular countries like England and USA. You can only objectively assess a situation when there is something to compare it to.
- If not for our unregulated population growth, Nigeria would have been assessed more highly than the tiger nations of Korea, Singapore or Taiwan, as you’ll see below.
- If we had regulated our population to grow same rate as for example England we would have been living better than some countries in Europe.
- Despite all our numerous failures, our results in economic growth can only be compared to that of middle belt nations of Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Japan. I’m presenting the facts to you here so please put aside your emotions and consider them.
- In 1960 our GDP was 4 billion dollars approximately, to a population of 45 million, which means the per capita was 88 US dollars per citizen.
- Today if we only take 400 billion as our GDP to 215 million people it makes our per capita to be at 2,300 US dollars. Remember this is from 88 dollars per capital at independence. How many times growth is that?
- Our GDP growth is one of the highest in the history of the world, better and faster than that of America or Great Britain, 400 times, or 10.000% since independence. Remember I’m only using 400 billion as our GDP benchmark, even though we are close to 500 billion now.
- The population growth since 1960 is 377% growth rate. This is the genesis of our sorrow as a nation.
- Meanwhile the British population grew by only 30% in 60 years from 52.4 million to 68 million.
- At the same time the per capita growth of Britain economy is 3.000%
- Their GDP grew at the same period is 3.600% in Britain. Notice that their real nominal GDP growth is almost at par with their growth per capita.
- If our per capita (or population) was to grow as our nominal GDP which is 10.000%, then the standard of living of our people would have increased 10.000% but unfortunately that’s not the case because our population has completely consumed our growth, such that it hardly shows in our per capita.
- Our economy has grown by 800% yearly in the last 60 years. As of 1960 our GDP per capita was 88 dollars, today it is 2,300 dollars. So we have a growth of 2,500%, as against the UK with 3.000% per capita growth, while their GDP growth for some period was 3.600% growth.
- Compare that to Nigeria’s GPD growth at 10.000%, if our population has grown same rate as that of Britain, our standard of living should have increased by 8000% percent as against 2,500% increase we have now.
- The reason for 2,500% growth in the standard of living of our people from 1960 till now is because we didn’t control our population growth like Britain did.
- Presently our population grows by 2.6% or 5 million every year, it’s a big problem that our government unfortunately is not taking seriously yet.
- Meanwhile Britain is 0.5% growth in population. So what if we only grew by 30% in 60 years like Britain in our population we should be 58 million people now, meaning our standard of living would have been among the best in the world.
- We could have been on the same living standards with Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil etc.
- We need to maximize our human capital resources to produce at a faster rate than the population growth. If our government want a free fall population growth for Nigeria then they must work so hard as to make the economy grow at several times faster rate than the population growth.
- In Nigeria only 20-25% are productively competitive in the economy, meaning these are the only skilled work force we have unlike in Europe where it stands at 75% to 90% skilled workers level.
- How can we possibly compete with the world if our human capital resources is so low. No European country can function at such a low level of human capital development. Can you imagine the UK using only 30% of their working population to sustain the economy? It’ll be catastrophic for the British economy.
- But that’s what we have In Nigeria. 50% of our people are not skilled workers we cannot compete with even smaller countries who put most their population to productive work.
- Our human capital development is catastrophic. We grew thanks to oil which led to people running away from the farms.
- Now it’s time to move away from dependency on raw materials. It’s time for human capital development so our future economy will be based on human capital maximisation like in the rest of the world.
- If we do, then we will be poised to overtake England and all European countries in the near future. I strongly believe that if we put our acts together in the next twenty years we can grow an economy bigger than any of the countries in Europe.
- A good example is Brazil. Portugal colonised Brazil in the past, but today they have changed their own story. Brazil’s economy is 1.5 trillion dollars, while Portugal is 230 billion, which is six times bigger or 552% bigger than that of their former colonial master.
- Nigeria must do the same, build a bigger economy than the country that colonised us. It’s not a dream it’s a near future possibility, especially if we maximise our human capital development.
- Nigeria’s economy is projected to rank among the world’s top ten economies by 2050 with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $6.4 trillion.
- A report by PwC states that Nigeria, Indonesia and Mexico could displace the United Kingdom and France out of the top ten economies by 2050.
- Nigeria could sustain average growth of around 5-6% per annum in the long run, if she does she’ll attain this goal.
- I believe in the Nigerian resilient spirit, with good leadership and purposeful policies we will get there.
WHAT NIGERIA PRODUCES AND WHERE NIGERIA LEADS THE WORLD
Recently a Nigeria-American PHD student was writing her thesis on Africa and in particular about the achievements of her own country of origin Nigeria. She was at a state of despair for she couldn’t find any useful materials online talking of the the positive and great strides of our country. Thankfully she ran into one of my articles and that saved her day, and rescued her from shame. I’m sure she is not the only person with a similar problem as if there is nothing good to write about Nigeria. Below I’m going to enumerate the areas where Nigeria is leading the world, even though we are only a 60 year old newly independent country in comparison with the ages of other countries around the world.
Nigeria Is Ranked Number One In The World In Production Of The Following Agricultural Items:
- Melon seed
- Cow peas, dry
- Coco yams
- Kola nuts
- Shea nuts
Nigeria Is Ranked Second In The World In The Following Items:
- Sweet potatoes
- Groundnuts with shell
- Green Maize
- Oil palm fruits 4th
- Cocoa beans 4th
- Millet 4th
- Pulses 5th
- Plantains 5th
- Sesame seed 5th
- Chillies and peppers green 7th
- Onions, shallots green 7th
- Papayas 7th
- Pineapples 8th
- Fruit fresh 9th
- Tomatoes 11th
- Mangoes, mangosteens, guavas 12th
- Oil crops 12th
- Rice, paddy 13th
- Rubber, natural 13th
- Cashew nuts, with shell 14th
- Beast fibres 14th
- Soybeans 16th
- Onions, dry 17th
- Coconuts 22nd
- Seed cotton 24th
- Carrots and turnips 31st
- Potatoes 34th
- Oilseeds 49th
- Fibre Crops 51st
- Sugar cane 53rd
- Coffee, green, 54th
- Tobacco, unmanufactured 58th
- Sugar Crops 71st
- Garlic 79th
- Wheat 85th
HOW NIGERIA STANDS IN AFRICA:
Nigeria is truly the giant of Africa. This is not just in term of population where every fifth black African is a Nigerian. Nigeria also controls a lot of the economic force on the continent, with 1/6 of the continent’s total wealth belonging to Nigeria. In West Africa Nigeria controls 2/3 of the region’s economy even though there are 15 countries there. What is even more impressive is that Nigeria is playing a huge role as a big brother to all countries of Africa.
- Largest country in Africa by population
- Largest movie industry in Africa
- Largest democracy in Africa
- Richest Black man
- Richest African woman
- Largest rice mill in Africa
- Largest fertilizer plant in Africa
- Largest oil refinery in Africa
- Largest cement plant in Africa
- Largest music industry in Africa
- Fastest train in Africa
- Longest subsea gas pipeline in Africa
- Largest city by population
- Largest news network in Africa
- Largest pharmaceutical industry in Africa
- Fastest woman in Africa
- Longest concrete road in Africa
- Most streamed musicians in Africa
- Most awarded artist in Africa
- Most valuable tech startup in Africa
- Largest economy in Africa
- Most tribes in Africa
- Most languages in Africa
- Largest university in Africa by area
- Most accomplished writers in Africa
NIGERIA IS TRANSFORMING AFRICA, ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY
In this segment of the article I’ll be using only one country for illustrations of the huge big brother role of Nigeria in African countries. Let’s examine below the economic investment of Nigeria in Ghana. Nigeria is the number one investor country in Ghana out of all African countries followed by South Africa. A similar picture could be observed in most countries of the continent, where Nigeria is helping raise their economy through aggressive investments.
These are a list of a few Nigerian companies in Ghana.
- Access Bank
- Fidelity Bank
- GT Bank
- Zenith Bank
- United Bank of Africa
- GiG logistics
- Silverbird Galleria
- Dangote Cement
- Ovation magazine
- Remx Capital
- Venture Garden
- Multigate Solutions
- Sendbox Software
- Bento Technologies Instant Payment Solutions.
- Scientellect DNA Diagnostic Centre
- Eastern Quarries Ltd.
- De Simone Ltd
- Love Simon Series
- Supermaritime Gh. Ltd.
- Harley Reed Management Training
- Monolo Plant Ltd.
- speed Technologies ltd
- Waltergates Ltd.
- Zomatek Engineering Ltd.
- AB Bumps Ltd
NIGERIA CONTROLS THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IN AFRICA
I recently saw the article below on the internet which further proves the place of Nigeria in the music and entertainment industry of Africa and beyond.
“A Nigerian singer Rema has surpassed 20 million monthly listeners on Spotify. He joins fellow Nigerian singer CKay as the second African artist to accomplish this milestone.
In October of 2021, CKay became the first African artist to garner over 30 million monthly listeners on the popular music streaming platform. The Edo state born musician from Benin-City, Nigeria is doing incredibly well”
Here are the Top 10 Spotify monthly listeners in Africa.
1) Rema – 20.1 million – Nigeria
2) Burna Boy – 18.7 million – Nigeria
3)Tems – 15.4 million – Nigeria
4) Ckay – 15.3 million – Nigeria
5) Wizkid – 8.8 million – Nigeria
6) Fireboy – 7.8 million – Nigeria
7) Soolking – 7.3 million – Algeria
😎 Oxlade – 5.4 million – Nigeria
9) Mr Eazi – 5.07 million – Nigeria
10) Amaarae – 5.05 million – Ghana
Apart from economic influence, the cultural and social impact of Nigeria on Africa is much stronger than the economic impact. Nigeria’s music industry is pulling up their contemporaries all over Africa. The same thing can be said of the movie industry, it’s so big that even in French speaking African countries, Nigerian accent or even pidgin could be heard from the locals. Simply put Nigeria is the United States Of America of Africa. Let’s therefore stop denigrating our country for Christ’s sake.
NIGERIA’S INFLUENCE CUTS ACROSS ALL SPHERES OF LIFE IN AFRICA.
A Cameroonian brother recently called me to thank me for putting out all the positive information and statistics on Nigeria. According to him Nigeria is the only reference point for the black man. Otherwise only North African countries will be there to talk about, which would have further cemented the notion that black peoples can never amount to anything in life. If you point to South Africa, they’ll tell you it was built by whites. But to have so many Nigerians accomplished so much in all spheres is encouraging to our fellow Africans.
Another brother from East Africa told me that in most countries in East Africa, most successful and richest people are normally Indians or Arabs. Making them to think that they don’t belong even in their own country. So when they, the black Africans in East Africa began to see how comfortable Nigerians are with being the best, they are now bold to challenge the Arabs and Indians in their countries.
The chat below helps illustrates this dominant role of Nigeria and Nigerians in all areas of endeavours, especially when it’s seen in comparison to other countries of the continent.
1) Richest man in Africa and richest black man in the world – Aliko Dangote – Nigerian $18.3 billion.
2) Richest woman in Africa – Folorunsho Alakija – Nigerian $1 billion.
3) Richest male footballer in Africa – Samuel Eto’o – Cameroonian $95 million.
4) Richest female footballer in Africa – Asisat Oshoala – Nigerian $3 million.
5) Richest pastor in Africa – Bishop David Oyedipo – Nigerian $200 million.
6) Richest male musician – Youssou N’Dour – Senegalese $140 million.
7) Richest female musician in Africa – Asa – Nigerian $28 million
😎 Richest Comedian in Africa – Trevor Noah – South African $100 million
9) Richest leader in Africa – Mohammed VI of Morocco – Moroccan $10 billion
10) Richest doctor in Africa – Ambrose Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako – Nigerian $1.2 billion
11) Richest lawyer in Africa – Adewale Tinubu – Nigerian $700 million
12) Richest Basketballer in Africa – Hakeem Olajuwon – Nigerian $300 million
13) Richest stock exchange in Africa – Johannesburg stock exchange – South Africa -$1.3 trillion
14) Richest African nation by nominal GDP – $610 billion – Nigeria
15) Richest city in Africa – Nigeria $210 billion
16) Richest UFC fighter in Africa – Kamaru Usman – Nigerian $3 million
17) Richest boxer in Africa – Anthony Joshua – Nigerian $80 million
18) Richest DJ in Africa – DJ black coffee – South African $60 million
19) Richest female DJ in Africa – DJ Cuppy – Nigerian $3.5 million
20) Richest actress in Africa – Charlize Theron – South Africa $160 million
21) Richest music producer in Africa – Don Jazy – Nigerian $18.5 million
NIGERIAN ECONOMY IS 24th LARGEST IN THE WORLD (GDP by PPP):
Wait a minute how many times did you ever hear that Nigerian economy is one of the top world economies. If you listen to Nigerians too much you might even come to the conclusion that Nigeria is the worse place with the world’s worse economy.
Yes, our per capital income is still nothing to write home about but you need to build the economy before the economy could produce for you a higher GDP per capita. Right now Nigeria’s GDP per purchasing power parity is number 24 in the world. By nominal GDP we are number 27th economy in the world. Yes some platform will put Nigeria only as 27th position GDP(PPP), and 31st position GDP nominal. Whatever the true figures are, my point remains that Nigeria must be credited for the progress we have made as a nation.
I strongly believe in the next 10 years we will emerge as a top 20 economy in the world. Bear in mind that there are close to 200 countries in the world and Nigeria is in number 24, in my opinion it isn’t the worst of place to be. We also stand a good chance to become one of the top 10 economies of the world in 20 years. This will mean that by the time we are a 100 years after independence we as a country will be one of the 10 richest countries in the whole world. Friends, believe me this is not bad when we speak in terms of age of countries. The next few paragraphs you’ll be reading next is copied straight out of Wikipedia under the caption “Economy Of Nigeria”
“The Economy of Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology, and entertainment sectors.It is ranked as the 27th-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 24th-largest in terms of purchasing power parity and the largest Sub Saharan Africa’s
economy. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa. The country’s re-emergent manufacturing sector became the largest on the continent in 2013, and it produces a large proportion of goods and services for the region of West Africa. In addition, the debt-to-GDP ratio.
Nigerian GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) has almost tripled from $170 billion in 2000 to $451 billion in 2012 ,though estimates of the size of the informal sector (which is not included in official figures) put the actual numbers closer to $630 billion. Subsequently, the GDP per capita doubled from $1400 per person in 2000 to an estimated $2,800 per person in 2012. Again, with the inclusion of the informal sector, it is estimated that GDP per capita hovers around $3,900 per person. The country’s population increased from 120 million in 2000 to 160 million in 2010. The GDP figures were to be revised upwards by as much as 80% when metrics were to be recalculated after the rebasing of its economy in April 2014.
Although oil revenues contributed 2/3 of state revenues, oil only contributes about 9% to the GDP. Nigeria produces only about 2.7% of the world’s oil supply. Although the petroleum sector is important, as government revenues still heavily rely on this sector, it remains a small part of the country’s overall economy.
The largely subsistence agricultural sector has not kept up with the country’s rapid population growth. Nigeria was once a large net exporter of food, but currently imports some of its food products. Mechanization has led to a resurgence in the manufacturing and exporting of food products, and there was consequently a move towards food sufficiency. In 2006, Nigeria came to an agreement with the Paris Club to buy back the bulk of its owed debts from them, in exchange for a cash payment of roughly US$12 billion.
According to a Citigroup report published in February 2011, Nigeria would have the highest average GDP growth in the world between 2010 and 2050. Nigeria is one of two countries from Africa among the 11 Global Growth Generators countries.”
NIGERIA IS THE YOUNGEST MOST SUCCESSFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
Nigeria is the youngest Most Successful Nation in the world. What that means is of the 23 countries that are ahead of us in economic growth of the GDP none is younger than Nigeria. As a matter of fact Nigeria is actually doing better than many countries which have long been independent before her. Nigerian Economy Bigger Than That Of: Ireland, Israel, Norway, UAE, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, Romania, Ukraine, New Zealand, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Argentina etc
Check this out, the age of most successful countries in our world. I’m bringing these statistics here so Nigerians will stop judging their country so harshly. Nations are never built overnight. Years, decades and centuries are needed to build great nations. Compare to most nations in our world our country is not doing badly at all. In fact we are the most successful youngest country in the world. Please compare the age of these nations below to that of Nigeria.
World’s Largest Economies And Their Age.
- United States 246 years
- China Over 5,000 years.
- Japan 30,000 years
- Germany since 962 AD.
- India 30,000 years
- United Kingdom 9.000 years
- France 1.035 years
- Italy 3,000 years
- Brazil 200 years
- Canada 161 years old
- Russia 1160years
- South Korea 78 years
- Australia 120 years
- Spain 555 years
- Mexico over 200 years
- Indonesia over 50,000 years
- Netherlands 37,000 years
- Saudi Arabia 89 years
- Turkey over 4,000 years
- Switzerland 173 years
- Poland 994 years
- Thailand 20,000 years
- Sweden 1000 years
- Belgium 191 years
- Nigeria 62 years
DO WE HAVE PROBLEMS, WHAT ARE THEY? HOW TO RESOLVE OUR NATIONAL PROBLEMS
- These are the biggest and most urgent problems I see in Nigeria as an entity, if we can fix these issues below our future is promising and bright.
- An underdeveloped people is a liability, 60% literacy: We need to aggressively develop our human capital resources. A nation with the highest number of out of school children is not serious about development.
- Lack of values and ignorance of how to develop them: It’s like our government and people in general don’t have an understanding of the role of value system in national development. We need to intentionally study and build values into our people and into the entire fabrics of our society.
- Unregulated population growth and lack of Family planning: A matter of great shame to us as a nation is our income per capita. This problem will persist until we do something about our rate of population growth. We need to learn from China and begin to enforce family planning right now. We can start by limiting a woman to maximum 3 children and maximum of 6 per family or per father.
- Lack of law and order: Unfortunately our country has not learnt to live by law and order. Yes we have parliament but we lack the culture of abiding by the law. This factor alone could propel us to become a civilized country. This will take a hard work in cultivating a new mind set in our people.
- Biometric registration of all Nigerians: Statistics and figures are not a part of our culture yet. We must know that information and biometric data of every citizen and foreigners in our country must be a matter of highest priority. As long as we don’t have the data of every person living in our country, then we don’t have a country. We are only doing imitation of a country. It is the very basic requirement for us to call ourselves a country.
- The elites vs the poor: Our society is build on feudalism principles when a man that has is worshipped by the have nots. Hence everyone else wants to attain some level of power either political or financial so they’ll also be adored by their countrymen. This must change if we are to build a truly civilized society. We need to make all equal before God and before the law. We must strive to build an egalitarian country, instead of a bourgeoisie class conscious country we are presently running.
- No to secessions, yes to reconstruction: Our diversity is one of our greatest blessings by God. We should not let some separatist elements poison our feelings towards one another. We are better together hence we must all fight against all sorts of secessionist movements in our country. Unless you want your children to become refugees like Syrians, Liberians, Ukrainians or Sierra Leonians who had the bad luck of being forced out of their lands because of separatist wars.
- Representative Democracy of all major groups in the nation: Nigerians like to blame leadership for all their woes, while there is a truth to this, it’s not exactly as our people see it to be. Leadership doesn’t compose of only the president and the parliament, but all citizens of the land. We are all responsible for the well being of our country. We all should show leadership and participate in the leadership of the land. By taking responsibility for where we are we become the leaders there. This mindset must be drilled into our people, such that we don’t simply wait for someone to do something for us but rather to individually take responsibility to build the kind of country we want for ourselves.
- Religion must be guided and regulated: Religion is supposed to be a positive force in nation building if well channeled but with the way religion is given free fall in our country, it could become the greatest threat to our nationhood. The government must be bold enough to develop a set of rules by which all religions in the country must agree to abide. All must be equal before the law including religious organizations.
I have tried to paint a rather objective and positive picture of this great country called Nigeria. I happened to be born there and I’m so grateful and proud of that fact, hence despite living abroad for most of my life I still keep my Nigerian citizenship. I agree that a lot of the points and statistics I presented in this work might be objected to by critics, that’s not a problem for me. In fact I welcome all constructive criticism of my works.
I however, will insist that we begin to speak out about the positive things our country represents. I have personally visited over 60 countries in all continents and I can make bold to say I’ve never quite seen a people group like Nigerians. We are a most unique people. Nigerians stand out and stand tall in comparison with any group of people anywhere. Unfortunately, for the negative campaigns and propaganda against the most populous black nation, we are yet to fully realised our potentials. Hence I’m appealing to us Nigerians to begin to acknowledge all the good things about our country. Charity begins at home, if we will begin to speak well of ourselves then only would the rest of the world follow suit to celebrate us.
Chinua Achebe, our prominent Nigerian novelist and essayist is the one who was quoted to have said “There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
It’s high time we begin to tell our stories, otherwise it’s those who hunted and still hunt after us who will end up telling us who we are or who we are not. These negative reports and propaganda against Nigeria and Nigerians was also started by these hunters, until we ourselves bought into the negativity and now can only talk evil of ourselves.
Friends, please let’s change the narration, let’s sell the best of ourselves to the rest of the world. I’m not saying we should not criticise our country. No, not at all, I’m a major critic of our country myself, but we should not sabotage ourselves in the process. Like I said earlier in the beginning of this article, there is always the other side to a coin, we must be diligent enough not to only focus on the negative but with a similar vigour we can likewise tell of the great strides of our country.
May Nigeria Succeed And All Her Enemies Live Long to witness it.