Nigeria. According to
CountryAAH, President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term on
23 February. The election was postponed unexpectedly a week
after the electoral authority reported problems in getting
ballots. Buhari received 55% of the vote. Main opponent
Atiku Abubakar and his People's Democratic Party (PDP)
refused to recognize the result, but the Election Commission
rejected the protest. Unrest before and after the election
required at least 39 dead. The turnout was just over 35% of
the approximately 84 million eligible voters. In 2014, 43.6%
Buhari's party The Progress Congress (APC) also secured a
majority in both chambers of the federal parliament. During
the election campaign, the parties promised to create more
jobs and improve infrastructure. Buhari swore in May 29.
At the end of August, Buhari appointed his new
government. Twelve of the 43 ministers returned, including
Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed. Her portfolio was expanded
with budget issues. Buhari retained the Minister of Oil's
portfolio, but newly appointed Timipre Silva is expected to
handle the daily rollout of Africa's largest oil producer.
The government has a number of problems to master. Many
people saw their income fall for the fourth year in a row.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported in May that
the trend would continue for another six years. The official
unemployment rate was set at 23% and had increased for 15
consecutive quarters. Nearly half of Nigeria's population -
about 94 million people - live on less than $ 1.90 a day, a
measure of extreme poverty. The figure is higher than in any
other country according to calculations by the World Data
In October, the IMF noted that growth in the second
quarter was 1.94%, a slight decline and that it did not keep
pace with population growth.
In July, Nigeria joined the new African Free Trade
Agreement AfCFTA after some hesitation. The following month,
its land borders were closed. The reason was said to be to
stop the extensive informal trade in, among other things,
rice and gasoline. Neighboring Benin is a major importer of
rice from Asia that is being resold, which beats growers in
Nigeria. Gasoline sales in Nigeria fell by almost 13% in
October, a sign that quantities of subsidized gasoline were
smuggling to neighboring countries. At the same time,
customs revenue has risen in Nigeria.
This year was ten years since the extremist Islamist
movement Boko Haram began its campaign of violence in
northeastern Nigeria. Security forces, as well as villages
and cities, were also attacked this year. About 2 million
people live as internal refugees, the highest number since
the conflict started according to Norwegian Refugee Council.
Many live under difficult conditions. Over 27,000 people
have been killed while the Red Cross estimates that 22,000
people have disappeared as families split. Over 100 of the
more than 270 schoolgirls that Boko Haram robbed in April
2014 in the city of Chibok in the state of Borno were still
In July, the Shiite Muslim Movement IMN (Nigeria's
Islamic Movement) was banned. The Iranian-friendly group's
supporters fought several violent riots with police in the
capital Abuja. They demand that prisoner Ibrahim Zakzaky,
imprisoned in 2015, be released to receive care. The
majority of Muslims in the country are Sunnis.
South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa lamented attacks
on Nigerians and other foreigners when Buhari visited South
Africa in early October. A series of xenophobic attacks hit
stores and companies owned by foreigners. Both African
giants have extensive economic ties, for example in mobile
telephony and retail, as well as oil exports.
Nigeria was close to being classified as polio-free by
the World Health Organization (WHO) during the year. The
whole of Africa would thus be polio-free.