Nigeria ranks 14 in global list of ‘failed states’ 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, beset by terrorism, wanton killings, militia groups, excessive sectionalism, widespread corruption and other security challenges, currently ranks 14 in the global list of Fragile States, formally known as the ‘Failed States Index’ (FSI), compiled by the United States Fund for Peace.

A fragile state, according to the Agency, “has several attributes. Common indicators include a state whose central government is ineffective, and has little practical control over some of its territory; other indices include excessive sectionalism, lines of schism, non-provision of public services; widespread corruption and criminality; worsening refugee crises, involuntary movement of populations; and sharp economic decline.”

The report uses 12 factors to determine the rating for each nation, including security threats, economic implosion, human rights violations and refugee flows.

Nigeria’s situation has not been helped by the recent Global Intelligence Community’s reports which indicate a large scale infiltration of the country, by the ISIS-WA (West Africa) Terrorist Group.

In the 2020 edition of the List of Fragile States, Nigeria scored 97.3 points to rank 14th behind Burundi, Haiti and Libya, in the “Alert” category, which is the third-worst category after “Very High Alert” and “High Alert”.

Countries in the High Alert category include Yemen, which is number one on the list of Fragile states, followed by Somalia, South Sudan and Syria in that order.

The High Alert category has such countries as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Sudan, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

The Alert category now has Nigeria, Burundi, Haiti, Guinea, Mali, Cameroon, Iraq, Eritrea, Niger and Libya in that order.

Other countries in the category include the Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Venezuela, North Korea and Liberia.

The next category, the High Warning category has Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Angola, Egypt among other nations.

Since 2005, the index has been published annually by the Fund for Peace and the Foreign Policy Department. The list has been cited by journalists and academics in making broad comparative points about countries or regions.

The following factors are used by the Fund For Peace to ascertain the status of a country.


Mounting demographic pressures and tribal, ethnic and/or religious conflicts; Massive internal and external displacement of refugees, creating severe humanitarian emergencies; Widespread vengeance-seeking group grievances and Chronic and sustained human flight.


Widespread corruption, High economic inequality, Uneven economic development along group lines and Severe economic decline.


Delegitimization of the state, Deterioration of public services, Suspension or arbitrary application of the law; widespread human rights abuses, Security forces operating as a “state within a state” often with impunity, Rise of factionalized elites and Intervention of external political agents and foreign states.


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