Nigeria recently overtook South Africa to become Africa’s biggest economy. But the country faces myriad problems – including a brutal Islamist-led insurgency, high levels of poverty, and widespread corruption. Can it now become the continent’s leader?
Nigeria is already leading Africa by the sheer size of its population, its emergence as the largest economy on the continent and its cultural prowess via its music and film industry across the globe.
History provides further evidence of this in Nigeria’s peacekeeping role in West Africa, which brought stability to the region, quelling the civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
So how well is Nigeria fulfilling its leadership role? At present, Nigeria’s leaders lack a sense of awareness and purpose and this has led to confused policies and blunders such as the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, the passing of an anti-gay law and too many others to mention.
Nigeria in numbers
$509.9bn (£307.6bn) GDP in 2013
68 mobile phones per 100 people
52 years life expectancy
57% adult literacy rate