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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
What do you think of Nigeria?
With one in every four Africans coming from Nigeria, what do you think of Africa's most populous country and its people?

The BBC World Service is marking Nigeria day this Wednesday, dedicating a series of programmes to trying to understand what makes Nigeria tick.

Nigeria is in many ways a bundle of contradictions. The country's 128 million people belong to over 250 different ethnic groups. It is Africa's largest oil producer.

Its history is littered with political coups and upheaval. It is named as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

And yet Nigerians are also said to be some of the most religious and happiest people in the world. And Nigeria has played a key role in the continent's peacekeeping, notably in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

What do you think of Nigeria and Nigerians? Has Nigeria lived up to its potential? If not, why not? How can we get the best out of Nigeria?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments. You can read a bel Below are selection below

I agree with Anthony Musonda who wrote that "Nigeria is a sleeping giant and has not woken up from its slumber". But my only fear is that Nigeria might never wake up; not because 'she' does not want to but because of bad leadership.
Kings, USA

Putting 250 ethnic groups into a unit is a terrible experiment. Europe will not last a year if put in the same situation.
Ti Timi, NJ, U.S.A

The problems of Nigeria are with its elites who form a ruling Cabal and enrich themselves not minding the poor masses. Nigerians cannot have militants at home in the Niger Delta area and on the other hand talking of Peace-keeping in other region of the continent.
Akpobari Dakara, Ogoni, Rivers state Nigeria

Nigeria will never achieve its potential as long as its people do not have any pride in their government.
Oyibo, Offshore Nigeria

Nigeria is a country in turmoil. The ethnic divide and religious conflict are the roots of its problems. The corrupt mentality of most Nigerians is also a factor. All these have to be addressed before the country can fulfil its potential.
Ola, London

Once corruption is conquered Nigeria will be one of the world's greatest nations. Unfortunately I can't see this happening soon
Toyin, Oxford UK

Nigeria is just Nigeria...unique, proud, aggressive, and full of hope....we shall surely get out of this mess somehow, someday
Ubong Obot, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Four out of every Ten African is a Nigerian is massive. Inspirational and selfless leaders with foresight in the mould of Mandela and Ghandi would have capitalise on that and take us to where India and Brazil are, fifteen years from now.
Tokunboh Faluyi,Abuja, Nigeria.

Nigeria, as a nation carries the torch of the black race all over the world. Her leaders must work even harder to realise the potentials of this vast nation instead of thinking of themselves all the time. Days of talking about the sleeping giant are gone. Its high time Nigeria made her potentials count.
Olajide Latif, London, UK.

For Nigeria it's been all about individual successes and collective failure.
Charles, USA

What I like about Nigerians is their sense of humour and their aggressive nature, but they can get too much in one's face.
Naana, Geneva, Switzerland

Nigeria has not lived up to its potential because of poor leadership in the past. I believe Nigeria will shed the third world toga within the next 10 years.
McThompson Ogbeide, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria is a great country because of the unique determination of its people to survive through education and business, regardless of discrimination or their circumstances. The biggest problem is that, as a country, Nigeria lacks strategic direction and Strategic leadership in many spheres of its society.
Arthur Ngoka, Wimbledon, England

US President George W. Bush was right in describing Nigeria as a "Continent". Nigeria is the solution and the problem of Africa. What we need is a strong, vibrant and united Nation.
Emman Salam, Hamburg, Germany

Nigeria is one of the few countries on earth with the greatest potential you can ever think of, but it has not yet lived up to its potential.
Aina A. O., Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria is a sleeping giant and has not woken up from its slumber. It has not been able to put into good use its vast pool of human resource while its natural resources are lying in waste.
Anthony Musonda, Zambian, Munich, Germany

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