With a population of about 173 million people, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa and accounts for 47% of West Africa’s population. It is also the biggest oil exporter in Africa, with the largest natural gas reserves in the continent. The challenging process of implementing reforms was revitalized through a Roadmap developed in 2010, which clearly outlines the government’s strategy and actions for implementing comprehensive power sector reforms to expand supply, open the door to private investment and address some of the chronic sector issues hampering improvement of service delivery. To date, over 10 generation and distribution companies were successfully privatized in 2014 while the transmission company was placed under a management contract awarded to a reputable international company selected on a competitive basis.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 6.1% owing to continued strong performance mainly in services, but also industry (apart from oil mining) and agriculture. The oil sector was in decline, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous year. Oil and gas GDP was estimated to have declined by 1.3%, relative to a decline of 13.1% in 2013. The sharp decline in oil prices since the third quarter of 2014 has posed major challenges to the country’s external balance and public finances. Oil accounts for close to 90% of exports and roughly 75% of the country’s consolidated budgetary revenues. The GDP numbers indicate that telecommunications, real estate, manufacturing, construction, entertainment increased their shares of GDP.
Nevertheless, much lower oil prices will continue to pose strong challenges for public finance at all levels of government during the year, and will also represent a major constraint on the ability of the new federal government to launch some of its ambitious programs.
The fifth consecutive national elections held in March and April 2015 and won by an opposition party were considered as fair and relatively peaceful by national and international Election Monitors as compared to the post-election killings and destructions of 2011.The successful general elections in 2015 is largely credited to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the leadership of the Presidential candidates. The New Government is focusing on anti-corruption, Jobs and unemployment, the economy and Security.
In the North East, Boko Haram remains a threat, and millions of displaced persons require assistance. There has been major destruction of infrastructure along with the loss of lives and impoverishment in this region. The new government will have a difficult time in the short term financing the major programs that it wants to roll out as well as reconstructing the North East devastated by the activities of insurgents
Accelerating the creation of productive jobs through private sector growth and improvements in education (skills) remains the major medium-term challenge. So far, the pace of job creation has been inadequate, leading to increasing frustration among underemployed Nigerian youth.
Last Updated: Sep 30, 2015