Nigeria is a well-known country in African due to the different actions it has taken in the past for the betterment of the African continent. It is referred to as the “giant of Africa” because of its influence in the affairs of other African nations.
Why Is Nigeria Important to Africa?
Several first-world countries have investments in Nigeria due to the opportunities available, so this makes them dependable on Nigeria for revenue, and in turn, it helps increase our influence in Africa. Some of the reasons why Nigeria is important to other African countries are —
1. Rise in population
A high population has its benefits. Nigeria is one of the African countries with a high population and the population keeps rising at a fast speed. It’s believed by 2047, Nigeria should have overtaken the US, making Nigeria the world’s third-largest nation, according to UN projections.
The huge and continuous growth in population presents an opportunity for this country, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of its citizen. This will be advantageous because the young dynamic population is testing their feet in the entrepreneurial world already. Besides, the workforce in more developed nations is getting older, and since they have a more robust economy, not many people are eyeing entrepreneurship. But this is not the case in Nigeria because the economy keeps shrinking and unemployment is high, so Nigerians are finding solutions by themselves through entrepreneurship. These solutions are usually exported to other African countries. For instance, Nigeria Fintechs offer their service to other African countries.
Even though a high population has its benefits, it could also be a catastrophe. As former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned that if the population keeps growing without proper planning then it could lead to a political catastrophe instead.
2. Oil production
Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in Africa. The tax revenue the government receives from the crude oil industry, and the foreign exchange Nigeria gets from its export are what keeps the economy running, and it’s the backbone of the economy. Even though most of the revenue was squandered by politicians over the years, the revenue Nigeria gets from oil still gives it an important position in Africa.
A large percentage of Nigeria’s export revenue is from oil exportation. NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) explores the oil fields in Nigeria, while the implementation of control and financial functions are by NNRS. The oil companies in Nigeria extract a bit more than 1/5 of the oil amount per day. These companies are Shell, Mobil, Chevron, and so on.
Nigeria’s primary investors are the UK, US, China, and Germany, so these make Nigeria important to not only Africans but to the world. The most active of these investors is China, and they have been buying oil and gas from Nigeria since the 1970s. In the 2000s, Beijing invested more than $ 4 billion in the development of Nigeria’s oil industry.
This is to show how Nigeria is still important to the African continent and the world in general. Those with investments in this sector will do everything they can to keep their investments profitable, and in return, they will have to develop certain aspects of the economy. With the revenue that Nigeria makes from this, it can offer aids and connections to other African countries.
3. The rise of Afrobeat
Nigerian musicians are at the forefront of Afrobeats. They’re touring the world to perform and bagging international awards. Popular Nigerian musicians like Davido, Wizkid, Burnaboy, Tiwa Savage, and so on are some of the biggest exporters of Afrobeat, and global music giants like Sony and Universal Music Group now have offices in Nigeria.
Apart from being on people’s playlists and being played on radio and TV stations, afrobeat is now played in clubs and festivals. DJ Rita Ray was quoted saying “Afrobeats is also influencing genres from grime to RnB, and music makers from Ed Sheeran to rappers like Drake and Stefflon Don, who have all embraced Afrobeats in recent releases. And that’s not to forget British-Nigerian singer, songwriter MNEK, whose writing and production credits include Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Madonna, Diplo, and countless more. Add up all the hits and he’d have more than a billion views on YouTube.”
This shows that popular European artistes are now embracing the Afrobeat sound, and this means Nigeria is getting more important within and outside the African continent. Nigeria can use its connections to foster African music and musicians in Europe, and this means more exposure and revenue for the African music industry.
After Nigeria gained its independence, it has been an important country to other Africans by offering food aids, resolving conflicts, ending apartheid, among others. While Nigeria might not have the power it once did, there are still certain aspects of its economy that give it influence among other African countries. The three major ones are listed above, and we made sure to give in-depth info on how they make Nigeria important to other African countries.