Over the years, Nigeria has prided herself as the giant of the African continent while many Nigerians have ridiculed this title over complaints of hardship and uncertainty over the future. Here are 4 major reasons why Nigeria can claim to be the Giant of Africa.
The Nation boasts of a population of 191 million and the only Africa Country in the top ten of the most populated Countries in the world.
Nigeria does not just have a huge population but has a huge growth in population. By 2050 Nigeria is projected to become the third most populated Nation in the world. There will be more people in Nigeria than in the United States by 2050.
Some have argued that this does not count for anything as there is little of human capital development, but being giant is not all about positives. Preventing any form of war in Nigeria has been a global target as a huge number of African countries will virtually crash should this giant of Africa be destabilized.
To put things in perspective, Syria, whose refugee crisis is an impossible world issue, has just about 18 million people. If this number of people all leave Nigeria, Nigeria will still be the most populated country in Africa.
Nigeria has more people on the internet than the whole population of any other African country. Nigeria has Africa’s largest university educated population of approximately 35 million.
2. BIG BROTHER TO OTHER AFRICAN NATIONS
Over time, Nigeria has stepped up its role as a “senior” to other African Countries by engaging in peacekeeping, assistance, settling disputes and the likes.
The United Nations lauded Nigeria for its role as one of the largest UN contributing States with civilian and military personnel.
The Country has deployed to about 25 UN Peacekeeping Operations and also the African Union.
Despite having one of the strongest militaries in Africa, Nigeria has ever played an oppressive role in International Relations. President of Liberia, George Weah summed this up when he said about Nigeria
“the country has never used its wealth and military prowess to expand its territory, threaten its neighbours, or destabilise any sovereign nation in the region.”
Nigeria also practically keeps Liberia going as the President himself made it clear that if Nigerians in Liberia were to leave the country will crumble. From its Banking sector to its education, Liberia has openly said it needs Nigeria and never has Nigeria displayed superiority in return.
For The Gambia, it is its legal system that hangs on Nigeria. Nigeria provides judges for its Supreme Court and the world looked to Nigeria for the safety of Gambia in the event of a Constitutional crisis.
Nigeria also helped a number of African countries gain independence, from Namibia to Zimbabwe and South Africa. While funding Namibia’s independence and South African fight against apartheid, Nigerian civil servants and public officers at the time made a 2% donation from their monthly salaries to these Nations while Nigerian students skipped their lunch to make donations.
3. RESOURCES AND ECONOMY
Ranked the 8th highest exporter of oil behind Countries like Kuwait, Russia, Iraq, Saudi, America, UAE, and Iran, it’s also the number one African Country with the most Natural Gas export in the world.
As of 1996, half of the United States of America’s oil came from Nigeria.
Still,l with a single major government earner, Nigeria has the largest economy of 2,929.525 GDP per capita, toppling Egypt and South Africa as of December 2017.
Industrious and creative in acquiring wealth, ETN24 showed by analysis how Nigerians are spending more on call credit than the government is budgeting on capital expenditure. A fact which shows how the economy run by its people is far bigger than the economy run by the government.
The power of the Nigerian people to drive the economy is best seen by how Angola, South Africa and other African Countries with more budget ranked bellow Nigeria in terms of the size of its economy. Nigeria is the only African country listed among the “Next Eleven” economies poised to become the biggest economies in the 21st century and its economy is the 4th fastest growing in the world.
Several tribal and ethnic clashes that are soft sell for crises and disasters have also been witnessed in Nigeria, but the unity of the Nation remains intact, despite its diversity.
Post elections activities in the Country have been relatively peaceful. Even though few attacks have been recorded, aggrieved parties later sheath swords and accept defeat in order to avoid public unrest.
Just last year, the October 1st deadline given to the Igbos living in the Northern part of the Country by the Northern Youth, and calling Nigeria a “zoo” by the erstwhile leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, all capable of aggravating tensions, were all contained.
Even religious bias and sentiments that could cause major uproar were also suppressed with the spirit of resilience embedded in Nigerians.
Despite various reports on poverty and leadership challenges, Nigerians are largely considered one of the happiest people on earth with almost excess love and involvement in entertainment. Nigerians are also known to struggle well and survive in just any community to find to put themselves. It is normally observed that should most powerful nations go through half of what Nigeria has been through, they will not survive it.