This question is one I came across on Quora sometime ago. Interestingly, it was even asked by a non-Nigerian. However, many Nigerians also ask themselves this question every day. So, why is Nigeria such a terrible country?
The first thing I asked the poster was his definition of “terrible”. I mean, someone who thinks Nigeria is a terrible country definitely already has definitions in mind. And if he knew what it means to be “terrible”, then apparently, he already had the answer to the question.
So, I went over to the dictionary to search for simple meanings of the word “terrible”.
What Is The Definition Of “Terrible”?
According to the Android English Dictionary, the word “terrible” has the following meanings:
- Dreadful; causing alarm and fear.
- Formidable, powerful.
- Intense; extreme in degree or extent.
- Unpleasant; disagreeable.
- Very bad; lousy.
Going by these definitions, I don’t think the poster was going by the second at all. I’d go with definitions 1, 4, and 5 as the possibilities in his mind.
Is Nigeria Dreadful, And Causing Alarm And Fear?
This question can be easily answered by the people who live in fear every day in the North-Western part of Nigeria. This area has been ravaged by the Boko Haram sect for years, leaving the people living in fear.
Imagine waking up every day, and having to look over your shoulders throughout the day. Imagine living your life with the fear that you may be killed at any moment. Now, that is dread, and that is fear.
Is Nigeria Unpleasant?
Talking of unpleasantness, Nigeria seems to take a lead. The roads are bad, the streets are dirty, and the citizens are suffering. Many schools are in deplorable states.
Also, the Nigerian environment is not very business-conducive. People start businesses in Nigeria and fail many times. This is because even the economic climate is not very friendly. This means that the citizens have to do extra work to succeed at what they do.
Talking about businesses failing, here are 10 ways to make your business stand out in Nigeria.
Also, to avoid having to deal with the issues of offline businesses in Nigeria, here is a list of 5 online businesses to start in Nigeria.
Is Nigeria very bad and lousy?
In all honesty, the state of the country is very bad. The worst part is that it does not seem to be getting any better. Corrupt leaders and citizens are everywhere, worsening the already bad state of Nigeria.
Roads are bad. Electricity supply is bad. Social amenities are nothing to write home about in many areas.
Stuck in bad roads and traffic, you even get harassed by touts on the roads. These touts now use that as their own businesses, exploiting regular citizens. All of this is because of the state of the country.
So, is Nigeria a terrible country? You know the answer.
Now to the main question at hand…
Why Is Nigeria Such A Terrible Country?
The answer to this question is actually the cause of the definitions above being used for the country.
Here are reasons why Nigeria is such a terrible country, and why Nigeria is still backwards.
1. Ethnic Bigotry And Tribalism
Nigeria is a country with hundreds of ethnic groups and languages. This in itself is a good cultural heritage. However, Nigerians now use it as an avenue for hatred.
Ethnic bigotry has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigeria. Tribalism has become the order of the day. People disregard merit, and dish out favours and privileges based on tribal relations.
Nigerians have become intolerant to people of tribes different from theirs. Fights come up all the time among the various tribes.
This is one of the main reasons why Nigeria is such a terrible country.
2. Religious Bigotry
This is closely related to ethnic bigotry as it also involves hatred. The two largest religions practised in Nigeria are Christianity and Islam. Many fanatics of these religions sow seeds of hatred among the believers.
A number of Christians hate Muslims, and many Muslims hate Christians. Rather than work together to develop Nigeria, we work against one another, further dividing the country.
Why fight people or speak ill of them, based on their faiths? Why blame others for your problems?
Rather than solve the problems at hand, these religious bigots fuel them by their acts.
3. Corruption And Greed
When leaders are just out to enrich themselves, it is at the expense of the citizens. This is the situation in Nigeria.
Nigerian leaders keep embezzling funds belonging to the nation, fattening their bank accounts. This keeps the gap between the rich and the poor getting wider by the day.
Now, even the everyday citizens are also involved. People steal and cheat all the time. Greed has caused many to fall into the pit of internet fraud – “Yahoo Yahoo” and email scams. By the way, here’s the best “Nigerian Prince” Email scam in the world. It’s actually pretty interesting.
Nigerians are looking for quick money through illegitimate means when there are many legit business ideas flying around. Those illegitimate means are what keep Nigeria in its terrible state.
What Can We Do To Make Nigeria Better?
Of course, what we need to do is to stop these acts that make Nigeria terrible. Stop religious and ethnic bigotry, and stop corruption.
This may not be very easy, but it is possible. Nigerians need to wake up to their responsibilities.
We need to stop being afraid. No country out there became successful through fear. Fear kills progress, and Nigerians need to overcome it if we really want to get out of the “terrible” state.
In essence, the question you should ask yourself is not “Why is Nigeria such a terrible country?” Rather, the question should be “What can I do to make Nigeria better?” Or maybe “How can I get out of the terrible state of Nigeria?”
In your opinion, why else is Nigeria such a terrible country? Let us know in the Comments section below.
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Author: Vincent Abolarin
Vincent is a Nigerian blogger with special interest in the history and current happenings in the country. When he is not blogging, he enjoys reading and playing computer games.