What Is Nigeria-A Nation Or A Country?

JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO Wednesday, August 25, 2021 Basis

There is no way we can do without Nigeria which happens to be our motherland. Meanwhile, there is a re-occurring question if Nigeria is a nation or a country? This post will provide an answer to the question-What is Nigeria-a nation or a country? What is the difference between a nation and a country? Which one applies to Nigeria the best? Can Nigeria be described as a state and as a country at the same time?

Difference Between A State And A Nation

Even though the terms State, Country, and Nation are often used in an interchangeable manner, they actually mean entirely different things. Country and State are synonyms and both of them mean political entity that has its own government. They cannot be used interchangeably with term Nation.

Characteristics Of A Country/State

  • Territory: Marked by the boundaries which have been internationally recognized and acknowledged
  • People: who reside there on a regular basis
  • Active economic life, along with a well-organized economy, the functions of which are regulating trade (foreign and domestic) and issuing money
  • Social engineering power, (e.g: education)
  • Transportation system for moving various goods, as well as people
  • Governmental powers which provide public service
  • Sovereign power: Comprising of king/queen, president/prime minister, etc. depending on the form of leadership. The other States should not have any power over the territory of the State
  • Recognition from external countries: It should be voted in by the committee of countries, such as United Nations
  • What Is A Nation?

    Nation can be defined as a group of people, who share common history and culture. They are bigger than a tribe or community. The nation usually unites a large number of people. For instance, the major nations in Nigeria are Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani, but they have no countries of their own. There are many nations without countries. The members of the nation do not have to live in one country. For instance, the Yoruba people often can be met in the other parts of Africa, like Benin or Togo, or in places like Caribbean islands and Brazil.


    Nation-State can be defined as a country which is mostly made up of people who belong to the same nation. Nigeria is not a nation-State, because it is a multinational territory and there are many people of different nations. To be a nation-State, the country has to consist mainly of the same nation. For instance, Japan, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, North Korea, South Korea are good examples of nation-States.

    Is Nigeria A Nation?

    Nigeria is not a nation, but it is a country which consists of multiple nations, ethnic groups, religions, and language families. The fact that there are three major tribes, Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo also shows that Nigeria cannot be called a nation, but a country. Many people from Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa tribes consider their own tribe a superior one and refuse to acknowledge the other ones and accept the differences between them. The issue of lack of the national identity among Nigerians often leads to lack of unity in general. Nigeria is a country but, hopefully, one day it will become a nation.

    Is Nigeria A Developing Country?

    It is not a secret that our country could have been much better when it comes to the social and economic development. Before we move on to defining Nigeria, we should find out what exactly are the definitions of developing and underdeveloped countries. There are no clear agreements on what does it mean, and sometimes the lack of set definition can confuse people. Let us focus on the Human Development Index data, as well as the rating of the least developed countries, which was put together by the United Nations data.

    What Is A Developing Country?

    The developing country is the state which has an industrial base of low development level and possesses a low Human Development Index (HDI). However, it is still not the type of country which has the lowest development. This definition is not agreed upon universally, and it is not clear which countries belong to this category. Many researchers compare the GDP of the countries to determine whether they are developing countries or underdeveloped.

    Characteristics Of A Developing Country

    • They have a lot of health risks, such as low access to pure water, hygiene, and sanitary conditions
    • There is also poverty when it comes to energy, the high pollution levels, and tropical diseases. Except that, there can be widespread economic abandonment which leads to poverty, the low levels of education, and governmental corruption
    Underdeveloped countries is the lowest level where the country could end up in the ratings. There is an official list of such countries, compiled by the United Nations. They are examples of the lowest socio-economic development. Usually, such countries are classified by extremely high levels of poverty, the weakness of human resources, and economic vulnerability. As of 2018, there are 47 countries which belong to the rating of the least developed. Nigeria has not been included in the list of the least developed countries, even though there are a lot of states from the African continent. Apparently, Nigeria is more developed than the majority of Africa. However, it still does not make Nigeria a developed country, because the GDP of Nigeria is too low to make the list of the developed ones safely, and the industrialization is very far behind most of the countries that made it to this rating.

    What Makes Nigeria A Developing Country?

    Nigeria meets the criteria of developing. It has all the problems that the developing countries usually deal with, but it is more stable than the underdeveloped ones. The International Monetary Fund named Nigeria as a developing country in their database of October 2018. In the 2018 Human Development Index ranking, out of 189 countries, Nigeria was ranked 157th. It is far from the perfect result, but Nigeria is not among the lowest countries either. There are many reasons why Nigeria is still a developing country, and definitely cannot be classified as developed. The major problems in Nigeria are poor health care, infant mortality, corruption, and high illiteracy rates, among many others.


    There are plenty of natural resources which can be used for increasing GDP, and the government needs to deal with social problems. Corruption also needs to be eradicated from society. Most importantly, the citizens should work every day to become the best versions of themselves, because after all, together we can change society.

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