Nigeria has a HDI ranking of 153 out of 187 countries and territories. There are many different reasons as to why. To start off, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa with a population of about 178.7 million people. With that being said the average mean years of schooling for a Nigerian kid in 2012 was 5.2 years, compared to us Americans who many of us go between 10-20 years of schooling. Also, about 5.8% of the population is unemployed. The life expectancy at birth for a native Nigerian is only 52.8 years old. To these citizens of Nigeria poverty is huge. Almost 100 million people are living on less than $1 a day. Despite all this negative, a somewhat positive is the country's economic freedom score is ranked 115th in the world, not as bad as the country's HDI rank. Other statistics, the country has a GDP of $1.1 trillion, 2.7% growth, a 4.7% 5-year compound annual growth and $6,108 per capita.

A graph showing Nigeria's economic freedom score over the past nine years.

It is never easy to point at one prime reason why a country like Nigeria has not developed successfully. Nigeria's underdevelopment is more than lack of development visions and programmes. To start with Nigeria didn't get the best of draws of its geographic playing field. Being in Africa were most of the other very low, poor, underdeveloped countries are Nigeria fell into that category. One positive the country could have from its geographic standpoints is it has access to water as one of its outer edges. Yes, this could be used as a positive, it can also hurt and hinder a underdeveloped country like Nigeria, especially if a natural disaster came and hit Nigeria because they were close to the body of water can cause the country to be at a all time low, similar to what happened in Haiti in 2010 with the earthquake. Another cause is the poor implementation used by the government through out the years. Also, many Nigerian leaders have said how the wanted to develop and shown their vision, but didn't hold their end up on it and weren't held accountable. Finally, violence throughout African countries have caused many economies to the brink of collapse. Most recently affecting the West African countries like Nigeria. This has been a problem throughout Africa in history and continues to hurt the development of countries in Africa.

Map of Nigeria; middle
Other pictures show the work by the citizens and how they live due to being underdeveloped

Foreign Aid and development by developed countries trying to help undeveloped countries doesn't always work and has been controversial in the past, and this is no different in Nigeria. In 1999 Nigeria received a total net aid flow of $152 million dollars, $185 million dollars in 2000, and by 2004 reached $573 million dollars. This seemed to help Nigeria at first, but later fell back down, back up again, and once again back down. And now that over 100 million people in Nigeria are living on less than $1 dollar a day, it obviously hasn't worked. In Nigeria, MNC's are very active in Nigeria. A big one is 'Multinational Oli Companies on the Niger Delta, Nigeria'. This has been present since 1992 and still to this day causes countless number of oil spills in the Niger River. Nigeria receives the largest amount of foreign direct investment in Africa.

Nigeria is in a tough place to get better, but if they plan and want to they need to follow these steps. Nigeria needs a goal/plan and stick too it. There's been to much indecision and nothing has stuck concrete, they need to trust the process, the process they chose and go through with it, that's first and forth most. With Nigeria being the most populated country in Africa, I think their schools need to improve so they can take advantage of all these kids, educate them to then better the future of the country. I don't think Nigeria has to stick with a straight ISI or EOI policy, but they need to make much better use of their foreign aid. If it starts to take advantage now, it will only better the future and start development going in the right way now. Also, with receiving the most foreign investment in Africa it needs to take better advantage of that. Needs to capitalize on it and use the profits in a positive way which sticks to their process and what they want to create. If Nigeria can start to do this, it will better themselves and be able to make stronger, more credible alliances to help them even more. These are a few actions Nigeria needs to take to start developing in a positive way, it all starts with trusting the process and grinding the rough beginning stage out.

By: Donovan Davis

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