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Is Nigeria a failed state?

Is Nigeria a failed state and what future does it have? Find out more about this topic and country's prospect.

Despite of the modern development of the world, there're still lots of countries considered collapsed or very close to such condition. Many people keep asking: “Is Nigeria a failed state?” It's a very complicated issue, that's why you first need to understand the term meaning.

is nigeria a failed state

Failed state is described as a state, which has failed at the responsibilities and basic conditions of the sovereign government.

Main characteristics

failed state characteristicsTo find out the answer to the question “Is Nigeria a failed state?” you must be aware of the key features of any state in such condition:

•   loss of territory control,

•   weak central government,

•   erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions,

•   absence of ability to cooperate with the other countries as an international community member,

•   tension and criminal violence,

•   corruption,

•   hostilities,

•   high infant mortality levels,

•   low GDP levels,

•   growing inflation,

•   inability to provide various public services.

The described condition makes the state incapable of providing security, education, and governance.

On the contrary, any strong state possesses the following traits:

  • territory control,
  • high level of security,
  • political freedom,
  • civil liberties,
  • economic growth,
  • great performance according to the standard indicators: GDP, the UN's Human Development Index, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, freedom in the World report.

Long condition of failure may lead the state to starvation and even the civil war.

Fragile States Index

failed state Nigeria

Every year Fragile States Index ranks the countries according to their stability and pressures. They’re based upon the analytical platform of the Fund for Peace’s proprietary Conflict Assessment Software Tool. Let’s look at the recent research, carried out between the 1st of January, 2014 and the 31st of December, 2014. The lower index occurs, the better the condition in the country is.

Country

Index

Status

Finland

17,8

very sustainable (the only one)

Switzerland

22,3

sustainable

Portugal

29,7

sustainable

United Kingdom

33,4

highly stable

Japan

36,0

highly stable

Poland

39,8

highly stable

Spain

40,9

very stable

Hungary

49,1

very stable

Croatia

51,0

stable

Kuwait

57,5

stable

Albania

61,9

low warning

South Africa

67,0

low warning

Armenia

69,7

low warning

Namibia

70,8

warning

Ghana

71,9

warning

Turkey

74,5

warning

Lesotho

79,9

warning

Russia

80,0

high warning

Iran

87,2

high warning

Cambodia

87,9

high warning

Lebanon

88,1

high warning

Egypt

90,0

alert

Cameroon

94,3

alert

Kenya

97,4

alert

Cote d’Ivoire

100,0

high alert

Nigeria

102,4

high alert

Sudan

110,8

very high alert

South Sudan

114,5

very high alert

These are just several countries from the full list. You see, that South Sudan has the worst numbers (it's the last in the list). Nigeria goes 14th after South Sudan, which means, this state's in a very weak condition.

It's important to consider decade changing as well. Certain states have made particular improvement, while situation in the others has just become even worse. Looking at the Nigeria, its figures say that during the period between 2006 and 2015 everything has been getting worse. It is gaining points of fragility every year.

Factors

characteristics of failed stateIt's essential to understand, such condition cannot appear in one second and without any reason. It means that there are particular factors leading to it. These attributes, which are also pertinent to Nigeria, include:

Great amount of IDPs (internally displaced persons). This is one of the biggest problems in Nigeria. Many people were made to leave their homes because of the violent actions of the terrorist group of Boko Haram in Borno (North-Eastern Nigeria). People from many towns and villages were forced to move to the capital city or some other place. They just had no choice. Moreover, the government couldn’t provide them with food, security, and medical assistance, which made these people even more vulnerable.

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Legacy of vengeance. In the times of the civil war in Nigeria the Igbos experience violence and injustice from the state. The army was protecting Hausa-Fulani oligarchy interests and the terrorist attacks. There started ethnic cleansings of Igbos and other minority ethnic groups who were not Muslims or Christians. That is why even now people are afraid of their vengeance. And this fear makes the state continue suppressing them.

Uneven economic development. The policy of underdevelopment of Igbo states and the refusal of the government to build federal roads in Igbo areas have influenced the economy. Nigerian authorities don't want to provide those people with police, armed forces, and many other things.

criminalization failed stateEconomic decline. There's a drop in goods prices, trade revenue, foreign investment or debt payments, devaluation of the currency, and growth of hidden economies.

All these factors are typical of Nigeria and some other African nations. 

State criminalization/delegitimization. Almost everyone thinks that Nigerian authorities are the most corrupt and unscrupulous.

Public services deterioration. There are more police officers protecting politicians than plain people in Nigeria. The civil service has become an instrument in the politicians' hands.

Thus, you may see that although Nigeria hasn’t become failed yet, it is very close to it. Nowadays this state has a very fragile index. And if these figures will keep changing to the bad, it may soon become a failed state.

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