With a population of nearly 190 million and considerable oil wealth, Nigeria should also be a key actor in the international system. However, it has failed to overcome major ethnic and religious divisions, or to eliminate the role of the military in government. As a case, its main value lies in what it can tell us about the struggles that sub-Saharan African countries have faced in building united and workable political systems out of a heritage of colonialism. Nigeria is currently enjoying its longest spell of civilian government since independence in 1960, off ering hope for its long-term political stability. However, its economy remains dominated by oil, corruption is rife at every level of society, security concerns and poor infrastructure discourage foreign investment, and Nigeria has failed to build the kind of political system needed to bring its large and diverse population together on a strong foundation of national unity.
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