How Great Is Nigeria! By Jonathan Mairiga
All over the world, Nigeria as a country has caught the attention of nations and there seem to be a secret investigative panel set up to uncover the mystery behind her greatness. Nigerians are setting the pace and are becoming the standard by which others measure themselves. This is very factual. Nigeria in itself is one of the endowments of Africa. Certainly, no one can abdicate the position in which God Almighty has placed (Albert & Danjibo, 2012).
Nigeria my country is the largest single unit in Africa. It is a West African country that borders the Chad republic and Niger on the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the south, Benin republic on the west, and Cameroon on the east. With a population of over 174 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country, the largest black nation, as well as the 7th most populated in the entire world. This means for every seven Africans, one is a Nigerian and one out of every five persons of African origin is a Nigerian. It is not a number thing. Put it correctly; Nigeria is simply blessed and great. You will never feel alone in a country with this kind of distinct population. Nigerians are all around the globe inscribing their names on the map of every continent (Isawa, 2000)
It is truism that Nigeria is blessed with human and natural resources. There are many things that make Nigeria exceptional. Here are just a few reasons that make Nigeria a great nation; firstly, since its return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria has enjoyed 18 years of uninterrupted democratic rule. The successful political transition from one government to another has proved that our democracy is growing and sustainable. Nigeria has a vibrant cultural scene. It is home to seven percent (7%) of the total languages spoken on earth. The importance of this fact is appreciated when one understands that language is the “soul of culture. It is language that births the proverbs, riddles, stories and other aspects of culture that gave us identity (Salusi, 2013). Nigeria is the world’s 12th largest crude oil producer and also the 8th largest exporter, producing on average 2,525,000 barrels daily. The country also has the 10th largest proven petroleum reserves worldwide. Oil plays a vital role in the nation’s economy, contributing to over 85% of the entire government revenue (Ojameruaye, 2011). This seems to be one of the most recognized facts about Nigeria. Importantly, Nigeria is the only developing country that has been courageous enough to accept that corruption is a problem, and consequently instituted anticorruption agencies, EFCC and ICPC that have continue to advocate the war against corruption. According to the World Resources Institute, Nigeria is home to 4,715 different types of plant species, and over 550 species of breeding birds and mammals, making it one of the most ecologically vibrant places on the planet. In Nigeria, whatever you plant grows. The Nigerian movie industry is another unique side of Nigeria’s greatness. Still within the African front, it is doubtful if South Africa could have ended apartheid and achieve black rule if not for the leadership role Nigeria played in the anti apartheid struggle. Not only did we commit hundreds of millions of dollars to support that struggle, of the three presidents who have rule south Africa after apartheid, two of them once took asylum in Nigeria. Both President Mandela and Thabo Mbeki lived in Nigeria before becoming president (Richard & Gordon, 2011). Consequently, Nigeria spent over $3billion and lost hundreds of soldiers to end the wars both in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This has now become a veritable model to emulate, not just in its operation efficiency, but also in giving international, local and regional actors, the pride of place in the resolution of conflict. If we do not blow our trumpet, nobody will. Generally, Nigeria pursued and has continued to pursue, a policy of good neighborliness without bullying. It has always been willing to care and share the benefits of its relative prosperity with its less endowed neighbors (Dike, 2013). In this context, Nigeria is regarded as the ‘bearer of the lamp at the end of the tunnel’ of economic and political abysmal conditions. Finally, Nigeria is a land of opportunities. It is pretty much a virgin market with capacity for many business ideas and great investments. Nigerians are sharp, brilliant and very accommodating. An average Nigerian loves learning and is never afraid to try new things. Their strong mental attitude does not go unnoticed in any field they find themselves. It is generally believed that in every Nigerian family, there is a genius. Nigerians are the happiest people in the world. We are deliriously happy. With over 160 million potential customers, you simply can’t go wrong. Nigeria is a great country simply because in Nigeria you will find Nigerians (Chukwuemeka, 2013).
I am in love with Nigeria not just for what she is but for the future I see. Nigeria is gradually taking her course in the League of Nations. This gives me the confidence that not too long from now, this country will be a nation to be reckoned with. Nigeria is full of great minds in various fields of human endeavors. Giving the right enabling environment, the world will marvel at what Nigeria will soon become (Suberu, 2010).
From the foregoing, Nigeria needs to present a compelling and coherent image to the world if it wants to be taken seriously by instilling a renewed spirit of patriotism and hope in all Nigerians. . We have to believe in ourselves so that we can define who we are, and tell our story by ourselves. It is time to keep emphasizing on our strong point as a beacon of hope for the black continent with vast human capital and geographical space. We can boldly say that, Nigeria has a manifest destiny to lead Africa out of the woods.
Albert, O, & Danjibo, N.D (2012) Peace, Security and Development in Nigeria: Archers John Publishers, Ibadan
Alex, T.(2010) An Introduction to African Politics: Routledge, London
Chukwuemeka, A.(2013) “Let Us Return Nigeria to Regional Structure” TELL Magazine
Dike, V.(2013) “Leadership, Politics and Social Changes: Nigeria and the Struggle for Survival, Free Press New York
Isawa, J.E.(2000) Nigeria: A Rebirth for the Twenty- First Century: Institute of Governance and Social Research
Ojameruaye, E.(2011) “Reflection on Nigeria’s Social and Political Development: Nigeria’s Unfinished Agenda at 51
Oluwasanmi, J. (2007) Nigeria, Which Way Forward?: MOATEX Ventures Akure
Richard, L. & Gordon, J.(2011) Leaders and Leadership Process: Reading, Self-Assessments and Applications (6th Edition) New York
Salusi, L. (2013) “Democracy and Leadership in Nigeria: Sage Publishers, London
Suberu, R. (2010) “The Nigerian Federal System: Performance, Problems and Prospects”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 28: 4
I am a young scholar who has a passion for literary works and creativity and has participated in few writing contests with some awards won. As a columnist in some national dailies, I share my thoughts and insights on contemporary national and international issues. I am currently a student of Geography at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.