Nigeria needs to focus on its own domestic issues if there will be any more successful engagement with the world. With Nigeria’s abundance in wealth from its vast oil deposits and being known as one of the richest countries in Africa, Nigeria has had plenty of foreign partners and has an enormous amount of potential to not only revamp its own currently weak infrastructures but the ones of neighboring countries around it as well. However, some major debilitating issues such as corruption, poverty, and terrorism are not addressed over the coming years, Nigeria will prevent itself from any reaching its maximum potential and seeing any noticeable improvements within their society.
Over the last five decades, Nigeria has been susceptible to disgusting amounts of corruption and bribery, through government officials siphoning off millions and sometimes billions of dollars to themselves and a small minority of Nigerian elites and military officials. Such corruption has caused there to be an enormous amount of disparity between the upper and lower classes, the creation of poor infrastructures and school systems that do not receive proper attention and maintenance, and large amounts of Nigerian citizens becoming unemployed or citizens not being able to obtain a job at all due to such poor infrastructures and school systems. However, the most unfortunate part about the corruption that has taken place in Nigeria is that most of its citizens have increasingly grown aware of what is going on within their government and are growing strong feelings of resentment and lack of any trust in their current government system. Naturally, when a nation’s government is unable to carry out basic societal responsibilities and provide for its citizens, it eventually loses its legitimacy and respect from its own citizens, causing them to naturally pledge their allegiance to a more responsive authority, which, in some cases, has taken the form of Boko Haram leaders, allowing the Boko Haram to gain membership and violently reign terror within the entire West African region. Furthermore, not only are Nigerian citizens lacking trust in the government, but foreign investors and foreign aid organizations are beginning to have this same lack of trust as well, feeling that their money is not being allocated properly. And, with the Boko Haram violently making its presence known in Nigeria and its other neighboring countries in the Lake Chad region, Nigeria needs this foreign aid more than ever.
In order for Nigeria to see any noticeable amounts of growth and reach its full potential, there needs to be leadership in Nigeria that will take the responsibility and initiative to properly allocate the large amounts of oil money earned annually into its infrastructures and citizens to create an environment that sees less impoverished and unemployed Nigerians and a flourishing private market that will allow for more foreign countries to want to invest in Nigeria. However, if Nigeria does not make the necessary changes to its society, government, and economy, it will remain a country full of “what if’s” and continue to head in the wrong direction.