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Nigeria being a failed state

The Argument For Nigeria Being a Failed State: What Needs to Change?

The Argument For Nigeria Being a Failed State: What Needs to Change?

Nigeria is a country that has been plagued with issues such as poverty, corruption and violence. There are many arguments about whether Nigeria should be considered a failed state or not; this post will give you the argument for why it should be considered one.


Section 1: The Government

In an interview, former Governor of Kano state Ibrahim Shekarau stated the following.


"I am not saying Nigeria is a failed state, but I will say that the federal government, of which I was a part, since 2003, brought nothing to the state in terms of infrastructure and in terms of our development. But some of the states, they have the wherewithal to feed, educate and healthcare. They have the wherewithal to generate electricity, and the ability to water their people. If we were a failed state, then states should be able to say: yes, we are able to do it. But when you have the federal government which brings nothing, we go out to beg for money, we get loans, and when you have states that are able to do it, you say they are failing.



There is a strong corruption in Nigeria and this is the same all over the world. This is a result of the economic crisis and the lack of transparency in the government. This is one of the reasons why Nigerians are interested in politics and why the average Nigerian has such low levels of trust in the government. The government must be transparent and act in the best interests of its citizens.


Military Government


The Nigerian government has a very bad track record when it comes to being honest, but this isn't the only reason why the country should be considered a failed state. During the civil war of 1967-1970, the government ordered the massacre of an estimated 2.5million Nigerians.



Nigeria’s poverty rate has been on the increase for years. According to the World Poverty Clock, Nigeria’s per capita income (PCI) is $542, which is $13 lower than the average for other middle-income countries. The PCI for Nigeria is almost $400 less than the PCI for Haiti.




With the exception of tertiary schools, Nigeria has a very low education level. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) Nigeria has a literacy rate of 40%, compared with 86% in Tanzania, 80% in Kenya and 56% in South Africa. The results for the 2016 Primary 4 (ages 5-7) learning scores are below; a score of more than 200 is generally considered high.


Life Expectancy


Not only is the poverty rate high in Nigeria, the mortality rate in the country is also very high.



There are many who believe that Nigeria is a violent country. There are people who live in Nigeria and have never gone to a mall, cinema or party due to the fear of crime, kidnappings and other forms of violent crimes.


This in turn causes people to become isolated and afraid of society, which causes them to have low self esteem.




I once had a conversation with a person who works at a hospital and he told me that 70% of their patients come from Nigeria. This is a shocking statistic and indicates that there are many people in Nigeria who are poor. It is this that breeds violence and the feeling of being trapped.


Nigeria's Economy

Nigeria's economy is estimated to have a GDP of $400 billion and is the 15th largest economy in the world. The population of Nigeria is over 180 million people and is one of the most populous countries on the planet.


When it comes to the economy, Nigeria is known for its exchange rate, rather it is called the naira, which is the currency of the country.


The power supply in Nigeria is also an issue, as there are numerous complaints regarding the power supply in the country, especially since the recent switch to Discos. Inflation has also been a big issue for the country and the citizens of Nigeria, which have been many complaints in the country. Unemployment has also been a problem for the citizens of Nigeria and the youth.



Nigeria is a country with many more things going for it than a lot of people realize. There is one argument, however, which is well argued and yet, unfortunately ignored.


Nigeria needs to change the way it is going and stop relying on oil as a country’s main source of revenue and stop waiting for another oil crash to force action and follow in the footsteps of Dubai.


If Dubai can effectively take a break from oil and shift to more sustainable economic activities, then why can’t Nigeria do the same? There are some excellent reasons why Nigeria needs to make some changes and a rapid reduction in dependency on oil.



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