AU Watch

Nigeria

Brief Overview

A key regional player in West Africa, Nigeria accounts for about half of West Africa’s population with approximately 202 million people and one of the largest populations of youth in the world. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse federation which consists of 36 autonomous states and the Federal Capital Territory. With an abundance of natural resources, it is Africa’s biggest oil exporter, and has the largest natural gas reserves on the continent.

The country held national elections in 2019, for the sixth consecutive time since its return to democracy in 1999. The incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari won the elections and was sworn in for a second term on May 29, 2019. He has identified fighting corruption, increasing security, tackling unemployment, diversifying the economy, enhancing climate resilience, and boosting the living standards of Nigerians as main policy priorities his government seeks to continue to pursue in his second term up till 2023. Nigeria’s federated structure gives significant autonomy to states.

Oil price volatility continues to influence Nigeria’s growth performance. Between 2000 and 2014, Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average rate of 7% per year. Following the oil price collapse in 2014-2016, combined with negative production shocks, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate dropped to 2.7% in 2015. In 2016 during its first recession in 25 years, the economy contracted by 1.6%.

Since 2015, economic growth remains muted. Growth averaged 1.9% in 2018 and remained stable at 2% in the first half of 2019. Domestic demand remains constrained by stagnating private consumption in the context of high inflation (11% in the first half of 2019). On the production side, growth in 2019 was primarily driven by services, particularly telecoms. Agricultural growth remains below potential due to continued insurgency in the Northeast and ongoing farmer-herdsmen conflicts. Industrial performance is mixed. Oil GDP growth is stable, while manufacturing production is expected to slow down in 2019 due to a weaker power sector performance. Food and drink output are expected to increase, likely in response to import restrictions. Construction continues to perform positively, supported by ongoing megaprojects, higher public investment in the first half of the year, and import restrictions.

Growth is too low to lift the bottom half of the population out of poverty. The weakness of the agriculture sector weakens prospects for the rural poor, while high food inflation adversely impacts the livelihoods of the urban poor. Despite expansion in some sectors, employment creation remains weak and insufficient to absorb the fast-growing labor force, resulting in high rate of unemployment (23% in 2018), with another 20% of the labor force underemployed. Furthermore, the instability in the North and the resulting displacement of people contribute to the high incidence of poverty in the North East.

Without significant structural policy reforms, Nigeria’s medium-term growth is projected to remain stable around 2%. Given that the economy is expected to grow more slowly than the population, living standards are expected to worsen. Growth is constrained by a weak macroeconomic framework with high persistent inflation, multiple exchange rate windows and forex restrictions, distortionary activities by the central bank, and a lack of revenue-driven fiscal consolidation results. Rising public debt, and increasingly complex policy interventions by the central bank constrain private sector credit growth. External balances are fragile to hot money movements, and fiscal buffers are exhausted, making Nigeria’s economy vulnerable to external risks.

The new government has the opportunity to accelerate the pace of structural reforms to build an institutional and policy framework capable of managing the volatility of the oil sector and supporting the sustained growth of the non-oil economy. Bold reforms that could have a significant impact on the economy’s trajectory are the removal of subsidies, elimination of forex and trade restrictions, greater transparency and predictability of monetary policy and increased domestic revenue mobilization. Such reforms would help raise living standards of low-income groups while increasing spending on much needed public services. The signing of the Africa Continental Trade Agreement, after extended deliberations, may also provide some positive momentum over the medium-term.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria
Capital: Abuja
Population: 186 million

Area: 923,768 sq km (356,669 sq miles)

Major languages: English (official), Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa

Religions: Islam, Christianity, indigenous beliefs

Life expectancy: 52 years (men), 54 years (women)

Currency: Nigerian naira

UN, World Bank

President: Muhammadu Buhari

Development challenges

While Nigeria has made some progress in socio-economic terms in recent years, its human capital development remains weak due to under-investment and the country ranked 152 of 157 countries in the World Bank’s 2018 Human Capital Index. Furthermore, the country continues to face massive developmental challenges, which include the need to reduce the dependency on oil and diversify the economy, address insufficient infrastructure, and build strong and effective institutions, as well as governance issues and public financial management systems.

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.  

Important Addresses and Contacts

Physical Contacts of the Presidency

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Physical Contacts of the Prime Minister’s Office

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Physical Contacts of the National Assembly

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Physical Contacts of the Chief Of State and Cabinet Ministers

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Physical Contacts of the Ministry of Interior

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Physical Contacts of the Ministry of Justice

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Physical Contacts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Physical Contacts of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs

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Physical Contacts of the National Human Rights Commission

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Physical Contacts of the Police

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Physical Contacts of the Military

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Important Information of Key Human Rights Issues in Nigeria

Number Prisons in Nigeria
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Police Stations in Nigeria

Corruption in Nigeria

 

What are the current and ongoing human rights issues in Nigeria?

 

(1) Freedom of the Press

 

(2) Human Rights Defenders Issues

 

(3) Impunity

Membership of African Regional Organisations

 

African Union (AU)

Joined the OAU in 

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Key Regional Human Rights & Governance InstrumentsSigned and Ratified

 

  1. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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2.Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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  1. Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights

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4.Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

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  1. African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption

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  1. African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

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  1. Statute of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL)

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  1. OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa

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  1. African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention)

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  1. Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment

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  1. African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa

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