Nigeria is ready to step up to the plate.
After years of colonial rule, followed by coups and military regimes, Nigeria has settled into a peaceful democracy to support the largest country and largest economy in Africa.
The country is working hard to establish its economy and move its government away from the corruption and mismanagement that plagued it for years. Nigeria has emerged as the biggest oil exporter in Africa and it also has the largest natural gas reserves. Those oil exports and reserves have led to a GDP estimated at $490.2B, but over 62% of Nigeria’s people still live in extreme poverty. Nigeria is working to reduce its dependence on oil by tackling infrastructure development and diversifying its economy.
- Independence from British colonial rule, with Prime Minister Balewa leading a coalition government.
- Prime Minister Balewa killed in military coup, sparking regional and ethnic tensions resulting in years of political instability and coups, including the Nigerian Civil War from 1967-1970.
- Parliamentary and presidential elections resume and Olusegun Obasanjo elected as president.
- Boko Haram kidnaps more than 200 girls from a boarding school. The US and Britain sends planes to help search for them and West African leaders agree to co-operate to fight the insurgents.
- Muhammadu Buhari wins the presidential election, becoming the first opposition candidate to do so in Nigeria's history, and Nigeria assumes command of a regional military force to fight Boko Haram.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) allowed The Naira (NGN) to float against the US Dollar, resulting in a significant devaluation of the currency (<30%).
Demographic + Economic Overview
As Africa’s most populous country, more than 250 ethnic groups reside within Nigeria’s borders. While English is the official language, more than 500 additional indigenous languages are spoken throughout the country. Literacy remains low, however, at just under 60%, with women significantly below that national average, at just under 50%.
- Income Level Classification:
- Lower Middle
- Higher Middle
Since the 1970s, oil has dominated the Nigerian economy and the fall in the global price of crude oil over the last few years has adversely affected all areas of Nigeria’s economy. As a result, Nigeria’s economic growth has slowed from 6.2% in 2014 to an estimated 3.0% in 2015 and inflation has increased from 7.8% to 9.0%. Under President Buhari’s change agenda, Nigeria has adopted an expansionary 2016 budget that aims to stimulate the economy through fiscal policy and development of the services and agriculture sector.
Oil accounts for nearly 90% of Nigeria’s exports, and roughly 75% of the country’s consolidated budgetary revenues. But 70% of Nigerians work in agriculture, contributing to the country’s exports of cocoa, peanuts, cotton, palm oil, corn, rice, and other crops. Agriculture, service, and industry (apart from oil mining) continued to show strong performance in contributing to the country’s GDP.