Tag: Independence Day

Nigeria at 60: A Thousand Words in a Graph

Nigeria at 60: A Thousand Words in a Graph

On 1 October 1960, the landmass internationally known as Nigeria was granted independence by its erstwhile “colonial masters”, setting the stage for a journey that has now spanned sixty years. There are already a tonne of viewpoints and articles evaluating the sexagenarian with in-depth analysis, but I have chosen a different route. Instead of making a judgement call, I would present data and let you decide how Nigeria fared over six decades. After all, they say “a [graph] is worth a thousand words”.

First, I digress. I began this blog on 1 October 2014, so it’s been six years of writing continuously, sporadically, and sometimes infrequently. Across about 270 articles, I think I have maintained my course, writing about anything that caught my fancy — “The World As I See It”. Here’s a toast to whatever the future may hold for this blog.

Back to Nigeria at 60. As you proceed, you would see some graphs categorised under economy, health, education, and infrastructure. Within these categories, I have selected some indices to empirically assess Nigeria’s performance from 1960 to 2020. For indices such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that are inherently continuous (on an annual basis), data is shown for four milestone years, while for indices such as literacy level that is discrete because countries do not report on a yearly basis, I have taken the latest available data, which may or may not be for 2020. The data was extracted from the World Bank’s data portal that aggregates indicators from diverse sources.

Nigeria’s performance was compared with four sets of countries comprising:

  • African Peers – Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa
  • Asian Tigers – Singapore, South Korea
  • Similar Population – Brazil
  • Other Boomers – China, Malaysia

One last thing before you proceed. In my former life as a management consultant, my boss would have been highly disappointed that I would throw out data without any “so what?” analysis. I have deliberately chosen to sin today because if I had to discuss each graph, maybe this would become a thesis. May you read the thousand words that I have not written!

Population for context


Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Is it all about GDP?

GDP Per Capita

Is the “per capita” metric a good equaliser?


Life Expectancy

Does the health system affect life expectancy?

Maternal Mortality Rate

Why does childbearing cause deaths?

Infant Mortality Rate

Why are infants dying?


Adult Literacy Rate

Do we even need “western education”?

Educational Attainment

Should we bother with anything beyond secondary school?


Electric Power Consumption

What is the economic use of electricity?

Electricity Access

Should we bother providing electricity to the rural farmer?

Final Thoughts

They say data does not lie but you can lie with data. You have looked at a snapshot of Nigeria over sixty years. Have we done well? Or, do we deserve knocks just above our cerebrum? While you’re at it, there’s a thoughtful article from Tim Nwaobilo that I think you should read.

Image Credit (Nigeria at 60 logo): Government of Nigeria

Another Independence Day

Another Independence Day

Here we are again at another start to the month of October. For most people around the world, October is just the first day of the tenth month for each year, but in Nigeria, it is a day to mark the country’s shift from a colonial serfdom to an independent entity. Go throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria and the views of Nigerians would likely range from intense optimism to resigned dejection. On my part, herein lies my own view.  Continue reading “Another Independence Day”

Shackles of Independence

Shackles of Independence

Two centuries ago, Brigham Young said that “True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right.” Those words are as true as the knowledge that the earth is spherical. Whereas some persons view independence as being free to do whatever they like however they like, such persons have a myopic view that points to immaturity. When one is truly independent is when one comes to appreciate that independence implies a responsibility to do the right thing. It is the Nigerian state’s inability to understand this logic that has kept it in shackles for fifty-six years. Continue reading “Shackles of Independence”

October 1 is Christmas Day

When it’s Christmas season, one doesn’t need to be told. The decorations, the excitement that chokes the air, the giving of gifts, visits and lots more proclaim the Christmas season. Christmas is in December, right? What if you were told that for a community in northern Nigeria, October 1 has more “swag” than December 25? You would say it’s a Muslim community. Wrong! This community is more than 90% Christian. Yet for them, October 1 is “Christmas”. Continue reading “October 1 is Christmas Day”

55 Reasons for Unity

55 Reasons for Unity

On Saturday, 1st October 1960, thousands of happy Nigerians gathered at the Race Course Square (Tafawa Balewa Square) Lagos, to witness their young country’s independence ceremony. For many persons who shared greetings and basked in the ambient excitement, the full import of “independence” was not known. The knowledge that “the white man will go, and we will lead ourselves”, was enough reason to celebrate. Today, fifty-five years later, Nigeria is sorely in need of that common drive that fuelled the campaign for independence.

Continue reading “55 Reasons for Unity”