• A key regional player in West Africa, with approximately 184 million inhabitants, Nigeria accounts for 47 percent of West Africa’s population, and has one of the largest population of youth in the world. A federation that consists of 36 autonomous states, Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse society. With an abundance of resources, it is Africa’s biggest oil exporter, and also has the largest natural gas reserves on the continent. 

    The fifth consecutive national elections held in 2015 marked the first time in Nigeria’s history that it saw a peaceful transfer of power between two political parties. The current administration, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, identifies fighting corruption, increasing security, tackling unemployment, diversifying the economy, enhancing climate resilience, and boosting the living standards of Nigerians as main policy priorities.  Nigeria’s federated structure gives significant autonomy to states.

    Between 2006 and 2016, Nigeria’s GDP grew at an average rate of 5.7 percent per year, as volatile oil prices drove growth to a high of 8 percent in 2006 and to a low of -1.5 percent in 2016. While Nigeria’s economy has performed much better in recent years than it did during previous boom-bust oil-price cycles, such as in the late 1970s or mid-1980s, oil prices continue to dominate the country’s growth pattern.

    Moreover, the volatility of Nigeria’s growth continues to impose substantial welfare costs on Nigerian households. The onset of the oil price shock in mid-2014 confronted the government with the pivotal challenge of building an institutional and policy framework capable of managing the volatility of the oil sector and supporting the sustained growth of the non-oil economy. 

    After contracting for five consecutive quarters, the economy has returned to growth in the second quarter of 2017. With a renewed focus on economic diversification, promoting growth in the private sector and driving job growth, GDP grew by 0.6 percent (year-on-year) in the second quarter of 2017, driven by recovering oil production and some recovery in non-oil industries, too, and modest growth in agriculture.

    Economic growth is expected to have remained positive in the second half of 2017, averaging about 1.0 percent for 2017; driven by the continued recovery of oil production, sustained growth in agriculture, and the positive impact on investment and other private sector activities from the improved availability of foreign exchange to support imports.

    As the government begins to implement the structural reforms outlined in its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017–2020, growth can be expected to strengthen further in the medium term, reaching about 2.8 percent by 2019.

    Development Challenges

    Nigeria has made significant progress in socio-economic terms over the last 15 years. Between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria’s Human Development Index value increased by 13.1 percent. However, the country continues to face massive developmental challenges, which include reducing the dependency on oil and diversifying the economy, addressing insufficient infrastructure, and building strong and effective institutions, as well as governance issues, public financial management systems, human development indicators, and the living conditions of the population.

    Inequality in terms of income and opportunities has been growing rapidly, and has adversely affected poverty reduction. The North-South divide has widened in recent years due to the Boko Haram insurgency and a lack of economic development in the northern part of the country. Large pockets of Nigeria’s population still live in poverty, without adequate access to basic services, and could benefit from more inclusive development policies. The lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, of regional inequality, and of social and political unrest in the country.  

    Last Updated: Dec 12, 2017

  • The World Bank Group (WBG) has enjoyed a strong partnership with Nigeria that has deepened significantly since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999. TheCountry Partnership Strategy FY14-FY17 (CPS) was endorsed by the Bank in September 2013.

    Support for Nigeria is structured around several priorities:

    • Promoting diversified growth and job creation. Increasing opportunities for youth, women, and the poor, particularly in marginalized areas.
    • Improving the quality and efficiency of social service delivery at the state level to promote social inclusion.
    • Strengthening governance and public sector management with gender equity and conflict sensitivity as essential elements of governance.
    • Restoring macroeconomic resilience and growth through development policy financing, and performance based lending.
    • Agricultural productivity and increasing access to finance.
    • Enhancing engagement in the conflict-affected North-East Nigeria addressing service delivery gaps, livelihood deficits and social cohesion issues.
    • Advancing structural reforms for private sector-led, non-oil growth; and increasing opportunities.
    • Increasing engagement in the climate resilient agenda.

    Last Updated: Dec 12, 2017

  • Anticipated results for the Country Partnership Strategy FY14-FY17 (CPS) are:

    Federally-led Structural Reform Agendas for Growth:

    • 16% increase in power generation capacity; 8% increase in transmission capacity.
    • 1 million solar lanterns distributed.
    • Increase in the average income of farmers: improved access for small farmers to inputs and technology, and increases in their average income.
    • 20,000 hectares of improved irrigation in Northern Nigeria; 2,800 hectares treated for erosion.
    • Improved road transportation connectivity for rural markets: improved road access for 2 million people in rural areas.
    • Enhanced preparedness to respond to natural hazards, climate risks, and natural disasters (resilience).
    • An additional 2 million micro-entrepreneurs provided with financial services.
    • An additional 100,000 loans provided to SMEs.
    • Increased supply of long-term financing to the housing sector.
    • Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Social Service Delivery at the State-level: Increased employment readiness for youth in supported states: 100,000 youth received orientation and life-skills training.
    • Improved targeting of social protection and increased access of poor and vulnerable households to social and economic services.
    • Improved coverage and quality of health service delivery.
    • Improved learning environment and management: increased number of teachers in rural areas; improved learning outcomes in benefitting schools.
    • 1.3 million increase in people with access to improved water supply.

    Governance and Public Sector Management:

    • Enhanced transparency on budget execution in targeted states and at the Federal level.
    • States that have adopted the procurement law increased from 24 in 2013 to 30 in 2017.
    • Increase in public procurement contracts above threshold awarded through open competition.

    Last Updated: Dec 12, 2017

  • The WBG is an active partner in donor coordination. Its partners in Nigeria include: African Development Bank (AFDB); Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); European Union (EU); French Development Agency (AFD); German Agency for International Development (GIZ); German Development Bank—KfW; International Monetary Fund (IMF); Islamic Development Bank; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); UK Department for International Development (DfID); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the Agencies of the UN, particularly the UNDP, UNICEF and the World Bank Group (WBG). 

    Last Updated: Dec 12, 2017



Nigeria: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
102 Yakubu Gowon Crescent
Opposite ECOWAS Secretariat
P.O. Box 2826, Garki
Abuja, Nigeria
For general information and inquiries
Olufunke Olufon
Sr. Comm. Officer
+234 703 583 0641
For project-related issues and complaints