Opinion – Why the Igbos Are the Solution to Nigeria’s Economic Woes

The Nigerian economy today is in shambles. There are lots of discussions about the solution to problems facing Africa, especially Nigeria. In this article, we talk about the reasons why Igbos might be the solution to Nigeria’s economic woes.


Across ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Igbos are the most dominant and strong-willed natives in the land. With the Fulani-Hausa ethnic groups of northern Nigeria heading the chart, and Yoruba coming in second place, the Igbo tribe remains the third-largest Ethnic group in Nigeria.

These natives occupy majorly five states in the federation which Includes Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, and Imo state.

The Igbos can generally be regarded as highly Industrious and hardworking people. When we want to consider societal and national issues, the Igbos seem to be less likely affected by these problems basically because of some inbuilt qualities they possess.

igbos nigeria's economic woes

Attributes of the Igbo People


The Igbo people are courageous

They are always ready any day anytime to surmount every challenge in the pursuit of anything he sets out to accomplish. They are risk-takers and adventurous as they can relocate to a new place that they have never been to make their survival there. They create opportunities out of anything that can ensure their growth and sustenance.

The Igbo man is Resilient

Having the ability to ignore challenges and focus on an opportunity they see makes them very flexible. An Igbo person would start up something minimal and would diligently grow it with pain and hard work till eventually it will grow and flourish.

The Igbo people are creative

They can confidently put things together and make it work, increase and improve the quality of an existing structure for maximum satisfaction.

They have a reliable support system

An Igbo person succeeding in his business will not want to benefit alone; he will take up certain people and make them successful as well. They can work with each other multiplying investments, building clubs, unions, and associations. These natives will always seek to dominate and conquer territories.

They have the entrepreneur spirit

Your success in your business will demand knowledge, mentorship, and of course, the capital. They learn fast and can allow members of their family work another family where he discovers the trade of his master and also receives mentorship. When he has grown in knowledge, his master will establish him to start his own business by setting up a separate company for him to run or giving him money to make a living out of it. This system of support has made many poor men wealthy for life.

Where the limitations lie

However, Nigeria is the motherland. We have both human and natural resources in this great country. But, we suffer a lot of critical challenges which hinder growth and development.

For a nation that has approximately 200million inhabitants, it’s sad to say that Nigeria has not mastered how to use its human resources for benefit. Nigeria, blessed with natural resources which are both renewable and nonrenewable across the 36 states of the federation, has not adequately utilized the benefits which these natural resources bring.

These natural resources come as limestone, solid minerals, gas deposits, coal deposits, etc. The country is also blessed with fertile lands where agricultural activities can be carried out to provide food and wealth for the nation. But we ignore all of these because we prefer foreign-made goods.

With such great resources available for our use freely, we need our human resources to utilize and turn our natural resources to our favor, and the need for the Igbo cannot be overemphasized.

Nigeria’s economic woes have always been a topic that has for long been deliberated upon; be it in our institutions, on the media and even in the national assembly. The problem is not hidden from the masses as we are not ignorant of the facts. But the challenge to move forward must come from us the citizens in collaboration with our political leaders who are not making things right in the rule of governance and laws for the people.

There is a need to rise to our growth and development away from the woes which tie us down, and the Igbos have a significant part to play to make this dream a reality.

The Igbos have the solutions to Nigeria’s economic woes


Looking at the following economic woes, we can see where the Igbos have the solution:

The problem of interaction between the government and society

There needs to be a relationship between the private sector and state civil society. This relationship will enhance economic, political, and social affairs. It is beyond doubt that good governance starts from us, and ethical leadership will provide the right circumstance for its people to experience quality governance and justice. The Igbo in their ability to carry everyone along in their endeavors will not fail to go down to the grassroots, hear the cry of the people, and take up responsibilities for the wellbeing of the nation.

The problem of Corruption among Citizens

The Igbos are known to start up something little and grow it to full maturity. They believe there are no short cuts to success, but with determination and hard work, a lot can be achieved. Corruption affects almost the whole world, but Nigeria’s tails are enormous. When funds that are meant to be for the development of the nation are secretly hurled among top public officials, it becomes a problem as people suffer to make ends meet. The Igbos understand the demands of unity and working together for the greater good. This is why they travel the path of success and  never go alone because they carry as many persons as possible.”

The problem of poorly executed policies

One of the causes of stunted growth in the economy is greed and inconsistency among political leaders. At the start of their tenure, they come with a new set of rules, policies, and development and neglect the previous policies. One interesting fact to know about the Igbos is their ability to stay focused on a task until it is acquired. This is why they strive for maximum satisfaction. They always pick up from where their predecessors stopped and continue from there till the end.

The problem of poor human development

In a bid to conquer territories, the Igbos build networks, networks that ensure the continuity of life. Their entrepreneurial mindset makes them utilize human resources. Today, the nation suffers a reflection of lousy quality economic health and human development. This problem is bound to continue if nothing is done about it.

The problem of Crime and Terrorism

It is alarming to know that most people have sleepless night because if this problem, some people find it difficult to walk around their neighborhood. Nigeria has failed in this aspect of public security. We experience terrorist attacks, bombings, kidnapping, etc. Nigeria is now classified as the 4th country in the world with the highest mortality rate as a result of conflicts. The Igbos believe in peace and justice for all irrespective of titles and status. Therefore, they find ways to build friendly environments and foster unity in their little communities.

Problem of unemployment

This happens to be the most consistent problem in Nigeria, as many young people get disappointed as the rate of joblessness arises. A lot of Nigerian graduates after graduation have a decrease in morale when they face unemployment. The Igbos are mostly less affected by the country’s recession because of their entrepreneurial skills. They are opportunity seekers and make the best of it when brought to them. When we have more avenues for entrepreneurship, employment opportunities will increase in society.

Problem of Education

With the current system of education, there is a need for an upgrade in the educational sector. The Igbos does not believe in Nigeria’s educational system, which is purely theoretical. But we can learn from them in terms of accountability, partnership, transitional knowledge, and mentorship which make the Igbos successful. They create vocational systems where you learn, and they guide you through to the point of independence.

These and many more are where we suffer as Nigerians, and the Igbos are the best bet and solution to the issues of the nation.

There are lots of these natives that have left an impact on the nation; some of which are:

  • Chinua Achebe (1930-2013) – A man we can recognize as a novelist, a poet, and a critic.
  • Zulu Sofola (1935-1995) – A remarkable woman and the first Nigerian female playwright and dramatist. Also known as the first female professor of Theater Arts in Africa.
  • Adiele Afigbo (1937- 2009) – He is a Historian known for the history and histography of Africa and Igbo history.
  • Priscilla Ekwere Eleje – First Nigerian female to have her signature on the Nigerian currency and current director of currency operations, Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • Major (Dr.) Albert Okonkwo – He was a military administrator in the mid-western states, in 1967.
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904 – 1996) – He was Nigeria’s foremost president and the Owelle of Onitsha.

Admittedly, the Igbos has so much to give back to the country. It is time to work together, building on the strengths and cultures of our different ethnic groups to solve Nigeria’s economic woes. Indeed, the Igbos are the solution to our financial woes.



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