There are only five countries in the world with more people than Nigeria- that African behemoth with a population bigger than that of France and Britain combined. This African country is not only big, it is wealthy beyond the scope of whatvmost African states can dream of.
Measured in purchasing power parity, the Nigerian economy is bigger that of the the next two largest economies (South Africa and Egypt) combined. Resource wise Nigeria is even more in a league of its own. It produces 2.5 million barrels a day with a proven oil reserve of 40 billion barrels- worth a staggering $4 trillion.
Yes it is true oil accounts for %80 of Nigeria’s export earnings, this is hardly what makes Nigeria wealthy, on the contrary easy money has been the bane of Nigeria’s economic development. The vast majority of Nigerians have not benefited from Nigeria’s vast immense oil wealth, Indeed it can be argued that oil has made Nigeria poor not rich.
Oil accounts for a paltry %25 of Nigeria’s overall GDP. In any given year the Nigerian government rakes in between $60 to $80 billion a year from crude sales. But we have to consider the fact that a quarter of this will be stolen, nearly half will be wasted on recurrent expenditure. What ever trickle is left will be spent on capital expenditure, and even at that a good chunk of it will be misappropriated.
NO. Nigeria’s is not oil rich. 2.5 million of crude for a population of 180 million can hardly draw parallel with Angola, a country with similar daily crude output but with a population roughly in excess the size of Lagos
The wealth of Nigeria lies with it’s fiercely entrepreneurial people, an aggresive trait of survival and resilience, and perseverance, a trait most African countries have a hard time comprehending. This is why Lagos, a resource poor state is Africa’s 5th richest economy with a GDP nearly twice the size if East Africa’s largest economy- Kenya. This is why Africas richest man for the 6th consecutive year, Aliko Dangote is a commodity tycoo but a manufacturing magnet. This is why Nigerians are able to overcome the Boko Haram crises, the epileptic power supply, the social unrest…to become Africa’s entertainment super power, with Nigerian movies and music industry dominating Africa.
When you add the relative sophistication of Nigeria’s Banking, the explosion of Nigeria’s telecoms sector and a rebound in manufacturing, you realise Nigeria is an abnormality in the traditional African stereotyping sense. It has the hallmark of a superpower. The parallels are unmistakable. It is in a league of a few nations in the world that actively and profitably export her culture. Nollywood for example is the biggest employer of labour in Nigeria.
Further more, Nigeria’s informal sector is hardly included in the National Bureu of statistics, the agency responsble for collecting data for calculating GDP nunbers, you realise the Nigerian economy is still grossly underestimated, its real GDP may be closer to $1.5 trillion.
Against this backdrop there is no doubt that Nigeria, by virture of her size, resources and stagering potential represents Africa’s best hope for an all powerful black super power nation.
Nigeria’s foreign policy has historically centered around Africa. Nigerians are naturally assertive and this is reflected in its independent foreign policy. The country mantain good relations with the West or East. Despite having Africa’s largest muslim population, Nigerian muslims hardly anti semetic, neither do they care about what happens in Gaza.
Despite having Africa’s largest christian population the country is hardly anti Islamic. The ” religious crises” tag used by Western media to illustrate Nigeria’s internal crises is a myth rife with willful ignorance. Nigeria mantains relationship with Palestine and Israel. Nigeria mantains strong trade and diplomatic relations with the United States, China, Russia and North Korea.
Nigeria’s military, though still grapling with the Boko Haram Insurgency remains one of the most powerful and largest militaries in Africa with one of the continent’s biggest defense budget.
Nigeria is also a technological powerhouse. Thanks to a culture that places premuim on education, It has one of the continents most educated people. The country has Africa’s biggest and most extensive space programs with more infrastructure in orbit than the rest if Africa combined.
In infrastructure Nigeria is up there. It is the only black country to built an entire city from scratch. More remarkable is the speed at which it achieved this feat. Abuja as the new Federal capital city was conceptualized in the seventies and construction began in the early eighties. Today Abuja is considered the best purpose built city in Africa.
Giving its assertive and independent foriegn policy, its ernomous wealth, its potentials and cultural influence, it is easy to understand why the resource poor mentally subjugating countries like France becomes uneasy about the rise of an African behemoth like Nigeria.
France has historically not been comfortable with an English speaking and influential African power like Nigeria nestled at the very edge of its periphery of influence, and has always sought to divide Nigeria by its centuries old strategy of divide and conquer. The friction between Nigeria and France started when just months after gaining independence Nigeria broke up diplomatic relations with Paris over the testing of an atomic bomb in Niger Republic, Nigerias next door neighbor.
This was the first time an Independent African nation directly challenged a European power. At this point it became obvious to France is going to constitute a menace to the continuous subjugation of its colonies. It was game on. The Nigerian civil war provided France with the first opportunity to breakup this troublesome black nation, hence not surprising the French leadership provided military, technical and financial aid to Biafran separatist rebels. However with limited support from Britannia and Russia Nigeria prevailed. But that doesn’t mean they wont try again,
ECOWAS was proof to the world that black people were capable of creating an economic, political and military intergration on a scale that was the envy of Europe. Long before the present EU was formed ECOWAS was. France have seen the success of a West African economic, political and military integration and the role Nigeria had to play in it creation and It scared the pants ou of them .
Paris feared a Nigeria led economic intergration amongst West African States will extend further into Francophone countries.To the French Nigeria had already gobbled up Senegal, Mali and Gambia, Chad and Cameroon might be next. For this reason France – one of the world’s oldest democracy has hypocritically funded and supported the 35 year old dictatorial regime of Chad and Cameroon, providing military aid to Paul Biya and Idris Derby to continue the subjugation of the people.
In 2008 Nigerian troops raided several mosques in Maiduguri, rounded up hundreds of Boko Haram fighters, captured the spiritual leader of the sect Mohammed Yusuf and handed him to the Nigeria Police, where he was summarily executed. France led an international outcry against the Nigerian government in condemning Abuja for its disproportionate heavy handedness and called for sanctions against the Nigerian Army, not the Nigeria Police. The Nigerian Army stepped on the brakes and halted efforts by the army in hunting down scattered members the Jihadi group.
Ironically the Boko Haram Insurgency forced the Franco-Cameroonian military alliance to shelve its planned invasion of Calabar via a false flag operations (more on that later), but also provided France another opportunity to divide Nigeria via home grown proxy.
France actively provided financial and military support to Boko Haram via hundeds of thousands of dollars in ransome payment over staged abduction of French citizens by Boko Haram. At a stage thy even staged the kidnapping of te wife of a Cameroonian minister and paid $500,000 to the group as ransom, all in a bid to keep Nigeria destabilized.
When the Nigerian Air Force began inflicting heavy losses on Boko Haram the French set up an anti aircraft training camp in Diffa, Niger. Nigerian aircrafts flying reconnaissance missions over Niger uncovered a training camp with specialised equipment for long range anti tank and anti aircraft missiles. The Nigerian Intelligece Ageny believed these weapons were acquired with ransom money.
Prior before France played a million dollars to secure the release of a French missionary, Father Georges Vandenbeusch, who was abducted by Boko Haram near the border with Cameroon on the 13th of November 2013.
The Spokesman of the French Embassy in Niger Georges Vanin refused to comment on the report that France had been paying ransom to secure the release of its citizens.
Months before a French family of tourists were similarly captured at a game reserve inside Cameroon and released after an “undisclosed” amount of money was promptly paid as ransom.
Now I have often asked. How in God’s green earth can onei of the most capable an intelligence Agency in the world be outwitted by a bunch of ragtag illiterate fighters? How come %90 of Boko Haram captives are of no other nationality but French?
The year 2014 was meant to be Nigeria’s year of glory. Nigeria had just supplanted South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy for the first time. The economy was growing by a whooping a %7. Nigeria was the country of the moment. The World Economic Forum was being held in Abuja, the leaders of the G-8 were to descend on Abuja….
Then conveniently 300 school girls got kidnapped, and for the next several weeks, Nigeria was still the country if the moment, but with a negative twist. The charismatic Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was made a celebrity figure by various global liberal media houses. CNN tagged him the new KID IN THE BLOCK.
Not believing his luck with the precedented global media attention, the sect embarked on a senseless killing spree. Aged men and women were targeted, suicide attacks werecarried out in markets, they even struck the same target, a bus terminal in Abuja TWICE in an attempt to maximize the shock value.
The likes of CNN made Boko Haram top contender to wrestle the title of Worlds Deadliest Terrorist Group based on number if innocent lives taken. number. Of course ISIS will not give up the crime withour a fight. And so the circle of deaths is ramped up, and the Liberal media- the unofficial propaganda arm of terror showered them with media coverages. Such is the extent to which the Western liberal media has encouraged social unrest and violence and rewarded terrorism.
The French Republic is the worst thing that ever happened to Africa. Say what you want about the British, they are a pragmatic bunch with no interest whatsoever to exploit or interferes in the cultural and economic structure of their former colonies.France in the other hand is a modern pirate nation. They have actively sought to erase the cultural identity of their former colonies.
With Britain rarely interested in the affairs of Africa the only country in black Africa with the wherewithal to challenge French interests in Africa is Nigeria. Look what they’ve done in Africa in the last decade alon. They have erased the cultural identity of Francophone Africa.
They have funded and supported, not democratic countries, but dictatorial regimes. They have have balkanised the Central African Republic, they have engineered crises in Mali and Libya and dragged a reluctant United States and NATO into destroying Libya with no post conflict exit strategy.
The Libyan leader was killed like a petty armed robber and filmed live on al-Jazeera. With Libya destroyed a vacuum was created, an opportunity ISIS ceased upon. After has never been the same. Today Africa is in par with the Middle East in the realm of destruction and strife.
Nigeria’s cultural influence cuts across almost all of black Africa from east to west. Nigerian movies and movies are gaining in popularity in French West Africa. The people are beginning to see through the lies behind French demonization of Nigeria. They relate to our movies as they now realise we ain’t all that different after all. Gradually they are beginning to rediscover their sense of African identity. They loath the fact they have to pay colonial taxes to the very country that plundered their resources. Gradually they are begining to wrestling free off the shackles of mental slavery and are beginning to ask questions.
In Cameroon the marginalized English speaking people long to break free and join the Nigerian Federation. The French speaking Cameroonians are beginning to absurdity of economic dependence on France when they have Africa’s richest country as next door neighbour, a market of 180 million people,more than the combined population of West and Central Africa combined.
France will not give up without a fight. A democratic Cameroon and Chad is not in the best interest of France. To keep the dictators of both countries in power and preserve its influence France will provide both leaders with the weapons and finance they need to stay in power. Cameroon and Chad are nothing but a French aircraft carrier. To distract against calls for political reforms and unite the country against a common enemy the France is willing to stir up military confrontations between Nigeria and Chad or Cameroon.
It is in the best interest for the Nigerian government to realise that as long as there are dictators in Nigeria’s sphere of Influence, Nigeria will never be conflict free. Nigeria must push for democratic rule in these countries to secure her perimeter.