Nigeria will be celebrating its 61st year of being an independent nation today October 1st 2021, with a host of challenges and self-doubt by a huge chunk of its citizens, obscuring the fact that the country continues to March into the future with a lot going for it and a potential to become a great power.
Despite security challenges, entrenched poverty and unemployment in many regions of the country, Nigeria has made tremendous progress since October 1st 1960, when it gained independence from Great Britain.
In that time period the Nigerian economy has expanded more than twenty times to $430 billion and is now the largest on the African continent.
Thousands of new indigenous firms have emerged since then, expanding in sectors like Telecoms, Financial Services, Fintech, Cement, Agriculture, Services, Power and Oil and Gas and providing employment, innovation and paying taxes used to provide services and infrastructure for the country.
Reasons for optimism
By 2050, Nigeria will have a larger population than the United States, it is already larger than Russia and by 2100 it will be the third largest nation in the world with 733 million people, behind India and China, according to the United Nations.
Becoming Africa’s largest economy did not happen by chance and the road to being a great power will also need to harness and unlock the advantages in resources, (people and commodities), that makes Nigeria the only country on the African continent with the ingredients to be a superpower.
A deep bond market (FMDQ the main securities exchange had a market turnover of N215 trillion or $567 billion, last year), a vibrant stock market (one of the oldest in Africa), and thriving Private Equity (PE) venture capital space means that businesses in the country as well as the sovereign and subnational entities will continue to have access to deep pools of capital to fund future expansion and growth.
Recent surveys show that Nigeria ranks second in the attractiveness of African countries for PE investments over the last three years.
Healthcare and life sciences, technology, and agribusiness were viewed as the most attractive sectors over the next three years.
Vast oil and gas resources mean the country has access to cheap energy sources especially gas to power its industrial drive, rich arable land with many rivers will enable it feed its booming population especially with better reforms to Agriculture, and the booming fintech space provides opportunity for young Nigerians to build applications that solve domestic problems while tapping into global funding.
Nigeria’s 200 million people mean one out of every seven black people on earth is Nigerian.
To mark Independence Day 2021, MoneyCentral Media has published a special edition today on Governors that are growing their states, MDAs (at the Federal and State level) providing innovative, thoughtful leadership as well as regulations that are driving growth in Nigeria, and Private Sector Companies investing in the future of Nigeria.
These firms, Governors and MDAs are standing up to be counted in the quest to transform Nigeria into a great power.