Nigeria – The Giant of Africa

“There is no country in the world with the diversity, confidence, talent and black pride like Nigeria” stated by Kenyan author, Binyavanga Wainana for Nigeria for being a stalwart of black pride and identity. The country regarded as the “Giant of Africa” has 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory known as Abuja, features over 250 different ethnic groups with many different languages. The former British colony is Africa’s most populous country with an estimated population of 202 Million (World Bank 2019) and will double in size to 400 million people by 2050. Nigeria has a diverse geography, with climates ranging from arid to humid equatorial. More spectacular, the Niger Delta (the second-largest delta on the planet), has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world and is also home to sixty percent of Nigeria’s mangrove forests. The country with a name derived from Niger river which is the largest and longest river in West Africa is home to one of the Oldest Locations of Human Existence, The Nok Civilisation (dating back to 1500BC).

It is interesting to know that Nigeria has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia and has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa with a religion composition of 52% Islam and 47% Christianity. The country is dominated by Sunni Muslims concentrated in the North whilst the South is dominated by Christians. Religion in Nigeria has also influenced some of the customs and the way of living in most of the Muslim Families as they consider the left hand to be unclean and using it to be a sign of disrespect. Those that believe this do not eat, shake hands or receive items with their left hand. Nigeria’s economy has been driven over the years by Crude oil exports as the nation is the largest producer and exporter of Crude Oil in Africa. The country is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is a major source of U.S. imports. The region’s biggest economy (an estimated GDP of $397 Billion in 2018) and largest consumer base is reliant on oil and gas for its revenue, the economy itself is more diversified, with manufacturing, banking and insurance, retail and agriculture all major contributors. However, each of these sectors could grow faster and create more opportunities if structural problems are overcome, among them, the country’s electricity shortage, corruption and bureaucratic bottlenecks.

On the Neil economic scale, a can of coke cost 150 Naira (R 5,96) and the price of a litre petrol is 138.62 Naira (R 6,30). Though Nigeria inflation rate fluctuated substantially in recent years it tended to increase through 1999 – 2018 period ending at 12.1 % in 2018 with a 4.43% decline from 2017.

Nigeria has managed to turn the entertainment industry into a major GDP contributor by transforming showbiz from an African perspective. In 2009, UNESCO reported the Nigerian film industry – also known as “Nollywood” – had overtaken Hollywood to become the world’s second-largest film industry, behind India’s Bollywood. In the following decade, output more than doubled to 2,500 films a year – and the industry is continuing to grow, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It is estimated to employ more than 1 million people and to generate more than $7 billion for the national economy, accounting for around 1.4% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product. New cinemas are opening, and box office revenue is predicted to reach $22 million by 2021.

 

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