Sixty Years after Independence, Nigeria has yet to Achieve its Potential

Nigeria’s population is estimated at over 200 million, which means the country has skilled and unskilled labour in abundance. The population also makes it a fertile ground for global trade. Nigeria is also rich in mineral resources. It is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest, and the world’s 13th largest, producer and exporter of oil. These endowments should have made Nigeria one of the key destinations for global investment. And with its wealth in petroleum and natural resources as well as its vast agricultural potential, Nigeria should have by now become Africa’s undisputed economic giant. With mass unemployment and overstretching of inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure, many Nigerians have had to seek their fortunes abroad. Smaller nations such as Ghana, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are beginning to catch up. At the same time big corporations from industrialised and wealthy countries in Europe and South Asia find the Nigerian business climate inauspicious. That’s largely due to decaying infrastructure, corruption and insecurity. Big European corporations have over the years shut down or relocated their Nigerian manufacturing plants. However, Nigeria can transform its potential into success. With a huge population, its citizens can be mobilised and empowered to engage in manufacturing as China, Singapore and South Korea have done. This will change the society from a consuming country to a powerhouse in manufacturing and exportation.

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