Author | Editor: Kuznar, L. (NSI, Inc.)
Two datasets on wealth and status distribution in Nigeria were analyzed: 2017 World Bank quintile and decile estimates of income, and 2013 USAID Demographic Health Survey (DHS) wealth factor scores.
Nigeria has a largely risk acceptant population based on inequality and cross-cutting rural/urban, ethno- religious, and elite/common cleavages. The result is a population vulnerable to ambition, distrust, and grievance at all levels. These grievances are well-manipulated by elites in the country’s main ethnic groups, the Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo. These cleavages threaten economic growth and political stability in Africa’s most populous nation that has the continent’s largest economy. Nigeria is also a major oil producer, making it an attractive target for influence by world powers.
Significance for Risk Taking and Stability
The levels of inequality indicate a highly risk acceptant population; Nigerians are a population primed for taking risks. Synergies between ethno-religious, rural/urban, and educated elite/commoner cleavages and risk acceptance present a political volatility situation that threatens trade and economic growth.
Implications for US Interests
The US is heavily vested in Nigeria, especially in its oil industry but also in Nigeria’s political influence on the African continent. Inequality-fueled instability threatens this interest.
Implications for China’s Interests
China shares much the same economic and political interests in Nigeria as the US, and therefore is equally threatened by instability.
Implications for Russia’s Interests
Russia is much less vested in Nigeria but has sought influence at least through support of a potential nuclear industry in the country. This interest is also threatened by Nigeria’s instability.