Why is Nigeria called the Giant of Africa?

The word giant is typically used to describe anything that is generally supersized, full of power, importance, eminence and of great size and legendary

In wrestling we had Andre the Giant, a French professional wrestler and actor who famously entertained alongside Hulk Hogan in the WrestleMania series. Another giant was Goliath of Gath, the biblical warrior defeated by a small boy called David who later became king. There's also the story of the biblical giants in the land of Canaan, said to be the Nephilim who were colossal behemoths that made the Israelites look and feel as small and insignificant as grasshoppers.


The common attribute is that they were all exceptionally large and legendary. It can therefore be inferred that the giant of Africa really has to be great at a number of things. This is a fair description of Nigeria for three main reasons discussed below.

Learning outcome: Nigeria is truly a great country and by the time you are done reading this article, you will either want to visit or feel like eating; or both.

According to Google, related questions that have been asked include
  • What is the giant of Africa?
  • What makes Nigeria the Giant of Africa
  • Which is the richest country in Africa?
  • How is Nigeria the Giant of Africa?
  • Is Nigeria still the Giant of Africa?
  • What's the most popular country in Africa?
  • Which country is the giant of Africa?
  • What makes Nigeria the giant of Africa?
  • Reasons Nigeria is called the giant of Africa
  • What country in Africa has the largest population
  • Has Nigeria lost its title as the giant of Africa to South Africa?
  • Is Nigeria rich or poor?
These questions have informed the decision on the format and content of the article.



The 1st reason Nigeria is the giant of Africa is population. Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa. You may have heard in the past that 1 in 4 Africans is a Nigerian. That may no longer be factually correct. Current (2017/2018) estimates are Africa ≈ 1.27bn, Nigeria ≈ 195m. The ratio is 1.27bn÷195m ≈ 6:1, rounded down being estimates. So, the reality is that roughly 1 in 6 Africans is a Nigerian. Not 1 in 4.

The 2nd reason is wealth. Given a population that is hardworking with unbridled drive to succeed, fantastic agriculture, vast natural resources and strong GDP, Nigeria was a global economic superpower.

In the 1970s and up to 1985, the currency (Naira) was much stronger that the US Dollar at an average of N0.65 kobo to N0.90k for USD 1. In 1986, Nigeria implemented the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) which required a reformation of the foreign exchange system as required by the IMF/World Bank et al. Things went downhill from then on. In 1986 the FX rate declined to over N2 to USD1. In 1987 is doubled and fell further to N4 to USD1. Guess who benefited from this and who lost overall.

The discovery of crude oil made Nigeria stupendously rich and we were able to build strong infrastructure, Universities, Arts (Nigeria hosted FESTAC 77), Music, national airline (Nigeria Airways) that was the best in Africa, sports (Nigeria dominated the All Africa Games for years) especially football as exemplified by a beloved son of Africa - the magical Austine Jay Jay Okocha, the guy that's so good we named him twice; Poetry and other literary works, military, Telecoms, TV, etc. We helped other countries in terms of food aid to famine ridden countries, resolution of internal conflicts and award of scholarships to Africans. Not so much now! Gone are the glory days of Nigeria. Corruption has brought the country to its knees today. Shame!! 

Nonetheless, Nigeria remains Africa's top economy. According to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, “the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew in Q3 2017 by 1.40% (year-on-year) in real terms, the second consecutive positive growth since the emergence of the economy from recession in Q2 2017”. The IMF projects that the economy will expand with GDP growth rate of 1.9% in 2018. Given available technologies and opportunities Nigeria is presented with today, and the increasing highly educated and technically advanced population, there's a strong indication that the economy will become more diversified and richer than it has ever been.


The 3rd reason was and still is political influence. The is tied to 2 above as the wealth made it possible for Nigeria to exert political influence in the world and at the UN, particularly independence for the rest of Africa through the OAU (now called AU). This enabled Nigeria to engage actively with the pan Africanism movement that swept across the continent. Nigeria was also very directly active in campaigns for the proscription of racism and apartheid in South Africa.
  Looking forward, Nigeria's current efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) may well be an effort in futility. Nigeria needs to put its house in order and resolve internal conflicts, get rid of corruption by conducting a public enquiry and revisit some of the bad economic policies that crippled the economy. Additionally, at HetoGrow Capital, we believe that the business environment needs to be remodelled and repositioned to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Nigeria has great cultural and tourist attractions that can be optimised commercially and promoted globally. Its almost always summer in Nigeria. This is great for promoting top attractions in the country to showcase best of Nigeria tourism, encourage local ecotourism and consumption to stem outward flow of currency. 


The #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira campaign is certainly helpful. But at HetoGrow we think the tag should be #GrowNaijaToGrowTheNaira, the aim being to draw attention to the need to develop the real economy and enhance quality of #MadeinNigeria available for the people to buy. Nigerians in the diaspora should also be motivated to holiday back home and enjoy some of the scenes depicted in the below pictures at great vacation places like 
  1. Yankari National Park/Game Reserve/Wikki Spring - crystal clear warm water from a rock, Bauchi State
  2. Ibeno beach, Akwa Ibom State
  3. Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort, Ekiti State
  4. National Arts Theatre, Lagos State
  5. Canopy walk over Lekki conservation centre, Lagos State
  6. Obudu Cattle Ranch/Mountain Resort, Cross River State
  7. Grab a bargain at Bar Beach Sunday market or go surfing in Victoria Island, Lagos State 
  8. Agbokim Waterfalls, Cross River State
  9. Badagry Heritage Museum, Lagos State
  10. Ngwo Pine Forest, Enugu State
  11. Awhum Waterfall, Enugu State
  12. Ogbunike Caves, Enugu State
  13. National Museum, Lagos State
  14. Coconut Beach, Badagry, Lagos State
  15. Gashaki-Gumpti National Park, Taraba State
  16. Go kayaking on the lake or hike through the palm/coconut tree plantation at La Campagne Tropicana, Lagos State 
  17. Millennium Public Park, Abuja
  18. Kainji National Park, Niger State
  19. The Ancient Nok Settlement, Jaba, Kaduna State

Enjoy mesmerizing arts and crafts. Picnic and enjoy some local delicacies like jollof rice, roasted corn & pear or cocoanut. Or you "smoke" garri with akara, moimoi, smoked fish, suya, groundnuts (actually peanuts. I don't know why we call them groundnuts - they don't have to be ground to be eaten). Or you go for intercontinental delicacies like pizza, shawarma, fried rice or noodles, pasta al dente or as you like it; and sooooo much more. Oh Mehn! Tag someone #TakeMeWithYou!! If you are going outdoors for a protracted period of time, it is advisable to go with a solar power bank.


The pictures and videos shared on social media will also attract friends of Nigerians in the diaspora. This will complement government's efforts to attract FDIs.

But first things first. There has to be a coordinated effort to put your house in order first. Then the investments will come and you won't have to go begging. At HetoGrow we believe that there are four key areas of Nigeria's economy that must be tackled first to drive inward flow of FDIs.  
These are
  1. Infrastructure - specifically electricity generation and distribution, roads, education, public health and telecom. Sources of electricity need to be diversified to take advantage of swift high impact renewable energy technology solutions like solar farms.
  2. Legal system and enforcement agencies
  3. Inward investment in the real economy - agriculture and production of goods and services
  4. Get rid of corruption. A public enquiry should help.
Be proud of your country! Believe in Nigeria!!
I intend to organise a fun tour from the UK. If you wanna join the party, reach out.

Please leave a comment below and share your experience.

Posted by Dave Ebi

Yankari National Park/Game Reserve/Wikki Spring

The Ancient Nok Settlement, Jaba, Kaduna State. Photo credit: travelstart

Obudu Cattle Ranch/Mountain Resort, Cross River State


National Arts Theatre Lagos

Canopy walk Lekki conservation centre, Lagos State









Arts & Crafts in Lagos


Keep your mobile gadgets powered up with HG solar power bank 10000 mAh www.hetogrowshop.com






Bar Beach Sunday Market & Resorts in Lagos











Agbokim Waterfalls, Cross River State

Ngwo Pine Forest, Enugu State. Photo Credit: travelstart

Awhum Waterfall, Enugu State. Photo credit: travelstart

Ogbunike Caves, Anambra State. Photo credit: travelstart



Local dishes, snacks and intercontinental cuisines







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