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

    Economic Outlook

    Nigeria’s economy grew by 2.7% in 2015, significantly below its growth of 6.3% in 2014.  Since the fall in oil prices in mid-2014, growth has been on a downward spiral, and the economy is currently in recession. In 2016, it continued to deteriorate further after recording negative growth in the first two consecutive quarters (-0.4% and -2.1% year-on-year in real terms, respectively). In the third quarter, GDP contracted by 2.2%, driven by a significant decline in the country’s oil output, shortages of power, fuel, and foreign exchange. Inflation doubled to 18.8% (projected) at the end of 2016, from its level of 9.6% at the end of 2015, mainly as a result of fuel and electricity price increases and the depreciation of the Nigerian naira during the year. Average inflation will likely remain in the double digits over 2017/2018.

    Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by about 1% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018, based on an expected increase in oil output, as well as the accelerated implementation of public and social investment projects by the Federal Government.

    The recent lower growth rate of the Nigerian economy has resulted in a renewed focus on economic diversification, promoting growth in the private sector, and driving job growth. 

    Political context

    The fifth consecutive national elections, held in March and April 2015 and won by an opposition party, marked the first peaceful transfer of power between two political parties in Nigeria’s history. The current administration took office amid a severely weakened economy, narrow fiscal space, large gaps in infrastructure, and poor service delivery. The 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 its main policy priorities. 

    Development Challenges

    Restoring macro-economic resilience and growth calls for stabilization and recovery measures while addressing the country’s medium and long-term development agenda, including efforts to improve security and combat corruption. 

    1. Although the private sector is the main driver of the economy, its potential has not been fully exploited as it faces significant challenges, mainly power, a poor regulatory environment, and a lack of access to finance.
    2. With a teeming young population, there is a need to promote job creation and achieve inclusive growth. 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. Promoting diversified growth and accelerating the creation of productive jobs through private sector growth and improvements in education and skills remain the medium-term challenge. Providing physical and economic infrastructure; enacting social policies that would increase opportunities for the poor and vulnerable; and addressing climate change and other stressors remain the major medium- to long-term challenge. 
    3. Other human development challenges include reducing the vast inequities in terms of access and quality of services in the health, education, and water, and improving the quality and efficiency of social service delivery at the state level to promote social inclusion.

    Nigeria continues to face terrorist attacks in the northeast, a restive insurgency in the Delta region, and the perennial inter-communal violence across the middle belt. At the root of the security challenges are high levels of poverty, joblessness, growing numbers of frustrated youth, and the degradation of natural resources and climate stressors. The critical and immediate challenge is ensuring the welfare of the internally displaced people, host communities, and population in the North- East.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 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: Apr 01, 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: Apr 01, 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: Apr 01, 2017



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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

102 Yakubu Gowon Crescent
Opposite ECOWAS Secretariat
P.O. Box 2826, Garki
Abuja, Nigeria
Abuja, Nigeria
Olufunke Olufon
Sr. Comm. Officer
+234 703 583 0641
Indira Konjhodzic
Country Program Coordinator
1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433