The purpose of this analysis is twofold. First, it undertakes a critical review of Nigeria’s performance within the five decades of its nationhood. Second, it compares its performance vis-à-vis a number of new states which started almost at the same time in both Africa and Asia using basic economic and political indicators. The article, however, infers that Nigerian political-economic performance is appalling, which has subjected citizens to living almost without the state in all ramifications. For a balanced view, the analysis argues that although there are few giant strides in terms of educational development and reduction in infant mortality as a result of improved health facilities, the gap between intent and actual practices is still very wide. The analysis recommends that the policymakers should visualize the next five decades and formulate appropriate reforms so that Nigeria may not eventually become a failed state.