Often referred to as the "Giant of Africa", Nigeria is home to more than 500 ethnic groups with more than 500 languages and about 230 million population. How does this diversity contribute to the world economy? Prince Adewalo Adebayo explains it all in the Dinis Guarda YouTube podcast interview

Nigeria boasts a rich history and diverse cultural heritage that have significantly influenced its global landscape. Nigeria's journey as a nation has been shaped, guided, and propelled forward by the collective efforts of its people. 

From diverse ethnicities and cultures, Nigeria's citizens have played an instrumental role in building the foundation of the nation. Their resilience, determination, and shared values have been crucial in overcoming challenges, fostering unity, and charting a path towards progress and development. 

"Nigeria has a very rich diversity. There is no one ethnic group in Nigeria. Each ethnicity is like a nation of its own. These are different nationalities, basically, who have been independent for a long time, but were put together under colonial rule", said Prince Adewole Adebayo of Ondo Kingdom in Nigeria in a recent episode of the Dinis Guarda YouTube podcast.

Nigeria is the most populated country in the African continent and is projected to be the fourth largest in terms of population by 2050. Although the country has immense wealth of natural resources, the infrastructural resources are limited. 

With its large population and limited resources, Nigeria has given rise to a unique breed of individuals known for their competitive nature and unwavering determination. 

"The country has been having challenges with all kinds of infrastructure support. So, you need to get yourself together and be quick", Adewole says.

This inherent drive has enabled Nigerians to excel and thrive in diverse corners of the world, leveraging their exceptional skills and talents to make substantial contributions across various fields. 

The cultural diversity of Nigeria is its strength

Nigeria's strength lies in its cultural tapestry, woven together by various ethnic groups and traditions. The people of Nigeria have embraced their diversity, recognising it as an asset that enriches the nation's identity. 

"Wherever you find yourself in different parts of Nigeria, you will see that Nigerians have different traditions. It is a country with vast geographic diversity, with deserts, forests, maritime, and much more. 

It's one country, but you have all the experiences: It's a cultural Olympiad. And so, when Nigerians go to any part of the world, they blend so well, because they have an innate ability to align with your world view and experiences", says Adewole.

Rather than allowing differences to divide them, Nigerians have harnessed their varied cultural backgrounds to create a united and vibrant nation. This unity amidst diversity has enabled the nation to draw upon a rich tapestry of ideas, experiences, and perspectives, propelling Nigeria forward in the global arena.

Nigeria: Resilience in the face of challenges

Throughout history, Nigeria has faced numerous challenges ranging from political turmoil to economic hardships. Yet, the Nigerian people's indomitable spirit and resilience have stood strong. In times of adversity, citizens have come together to overcome obstacles, rebuild communities, and forge a path towards progress. Adewole explains:

"Nigeria has a population of 230 million, but its area is even less than South Africa or Tanzania. So, Nigerians are very competitive. From a very young age, they are trained to compete for a lifestyle that encompasses values like struggles, as the competition starts at home itself."

Having risen from humble beginnings, Nigerians have honed resilience and perseverance to achieve remarkable success in fields such as business, arts, sports, and academia, becoming role models for future generations.

Nation-building through education

Education has emerged as a cornerstone of Nigeria's nation-building efforts. The Nigerian people understand that education empowers individuals, fosters critical thinking, and drives societal advancement. The nation's citizens have demonstrated a deep commitment to education, from grassroots efforts to promote literacy to the pursuit of higher learning both within the country and abroad. 

Speaking about the present situation of subjects, Adewole told Dinis that a Mathematics teacher in Nigeria needs to memorise all the theorems and concepts like Calculus to be able to teach, due to the scarcity of learning resources. 

"If you don't come to a system where you have an abundance of tools for demonstration and learning, you just excel; provided you don't slow down and assume that life is now more comfortable", he commented.

This commitment to education and excel is equipping Nigerians with the skills and knowledge that make them stand out of the crowd and therefore, shape the future of the nation.

Active citizenship and civic engagement

The Nigerian people's role in building the nation extends to active citizenship and civic engagement. 

"Nigeria is an artificial crossroads of culture. Considering the fact that it was formed 100 years ago, it is still a new country. But, the amount of time that the Nigerian government has ruled the community is 5% of the time Nigeria has committed to building its community. 

The way we are named, dress, talk, or organise ourselves in society is not informed by Nigeria's modern constitution. It is only modified by it", says Adewole.

The people of Nigeria are actively dedicated to developing the democratic processes by participating in elections, advocating for social justice, and holding leaders accountable for their actions. Grassroots movements and civil society organisations have played a pivotal role in addressing societal challenges and driving positive change.

Nigeria's contributions to the global community

Nigeria's people have not only built their nation but have also contributed significantly to the global community. Nigerian professionals, intellectuals, and experts have made their mark on the international stage, bringing their knowledge, skills, and expertise to various sectors. 

"Every Nigerian wants to be known, celebrated, and recognised for their achievements in their respective fields. This global consciousness, combined with internal competitiveness and personal drive to succeed is what makes Nigerians outshine in every part of the world", said Adewole.

This global influence is evident in fields such as medicine, technology, literature, and sports, where Nigerians have consistently excelled and garnered global recognition.