Nigeria, like many nations in Africa, gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. It is the most populous country in Africa and will have nearly 250 million people by 2030. In its relatively short modern history, Nigeria has survived five military coups as well as separatist and religious wars, is mired in an active armed insurgency, is suffering from disastrous ecological conditions in its Niger Delta region, and is fighting one of the modern world’s worst legacies of political and economic corruption.
Poor investment in the nation’s critical infrastructure and underinvestment in health care, education, science, and technology are all leading to a “brain drain” in which Nigeria’s most talented and educated citizens are leaving the country. This will leave a future Nigeria even poorer.
Nigeria with its vast oil wealth, already large and growing population, religious and cultural diversity, history of weak governance, endemic corruption, poor health care and education systems, failing human service and industrial infrastructure, rising criminality, importance in West Africa and African security, and potential to disproportionately impact the global economy is a clear example of a nation at risk of failure with an ensuing major impact on the rest of the world. It is a challenging case study candidate.