Overview about Nigeria

Overview about Nigeria

1.First of all

First, please see the travel information about Nigeria on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ overseas safety website. There are three states in red that say “I recommend evacuation.” Some parts of the north and south “recommend postponement of travel.” The rest is “Please consider whether to travel”. There are no level 0 white areas, not even level 1 “be careful” areas. The travel information issued by other countries regarding Nigeria is similar. I think the current image of Nigeria seen by many people is like this. Two to thirty years ago, many would have had a stronger image of Nigeria as an oil powerhouse with great business potential. But now, unfortunately, this is a reality and you need to be careful when it comes to traveling. However, I would like to introduce today that the country has various aspects other than security that should be noted.

Nigeria is located in the depths of the Gulf of Guinea. The capital is Abuja, the political center. Lagos, in the southwest, is the largest city in West Africa and the economic center. Most business people live in Lagos. Most of the residents in Abuja are related to the Embassy and JICA, but some business people are also living there.

2. Nigeria’s politics and security

Roughly speaking, Nigeria has many Muslims in the north and Christians in the south. And various ethnic groups are gathering. A well-balanced rule of a country continues to be an important issue. Regional balance often appears in discussions over elections and ministerial personnel.

There was a presidential election in March this year. Buhari and former president Jonathan fought, and for the first time after independence, the opposition led by Buhari won. Although there were concerns that terrorism and injustice would be rampant in the elections, there are many evaluations that the elections were relatively peaceful. Some have pointed out that the introduction of card readers has made fraud difficult, and so on.

Based on the regional balance, there is a political unwritten rule called the president’s north-south rotation. In the presidential election, candidates from the north and the south have been elected alternately.

Also, in Nigeria, the governor has traditionally had a very strong influence. The governor may be a political party executive or an influential minister, and may be said to be a very representative of the region when talking about regional balance.

President Buhari is 72 years old, a military officer, and has studied abroad in the United Kingdom and the United States. It seems that he has also visited when he was the Minister of Petroleum. The Buhari administration’s priority policies are security measures, anti-corruption measures, and economic policies, which were elected as pledges. He has a wealth of experience in military and security. In addition, attention will be paid to specific economic policies in the future.

In terms of international affairs, the presence of the United Kingdom and the United States is originally very large in Nigeria. The background may be that it was once a British territory and that it was an oil powerhouse. The United States is welcoming the Buhari administration and appears to be trying to strengthen relations. One example is President Bihari’s visit to the United States. Britain also seems to strongly support the Buhari administration. Nigeria is in a financially difficult situation, partly due to falling oil prices. Britain’s support seems to include advice on public finance management.

France is one that must not be forgotten. We are strengthening our cooperation with Nigeria through measures against terrorism.

3. Security

Boko Haram was born in 2002. Through various processes, it became the current organization. Last April, the kidnapping of a large number of female students in the northern town of Chibok was a big hit internationally. Boko Haram has northeastern Nigeria as its central base of activity. The area where travel information “recommends evacuation” corresponds to such a place. It is alleged that the Jonathan administration carried out a large-scale operation during this year’s elections, damaging them. However, suicide bombings targeting markets are still occurring in various places. Going forward, the Nigerian government will need to implement policies such as employment, welfare and community reconstruction to give people, especially young people, hope for the future. Many people may have the impression that Lagos is far from terrorism, but from the perspective of terrorists, it is well worth it as a target, so residents should avoid crowds during Ramadan. I am asking you to stay alert.

4. Economic overview

Looking at Nigeria’s GDP, it has achieved high growth overall, at around 5-6% over the last few years. The 2015 forecast is $ 594.1 billion when it grows at 4.5%, compared to 3.96% in the first quarter. I think one factor is the fall in oil prices.

There are multiple figures for the population, but in addition to the figures such as 170 million and 180 million, there is also a low estimate of about 150 million. Still, it is by far the most common in Africa. Second place is about 90 million in Ethiopia.

In Nigeria, GDP standards have been revised. Prior to that, the service industry was not properly included. The world ranking of GDP is 21st.

5. External economic relations

On the trade side, more than 90% of exports are natural resources. On the other hand, most of the imports are mechanical products and industrial products. In addition, direct investment is small, and the investment rate as a percentage of GDP is about 1.1%. It seems that the small investment is mostly concentrated in the south. The World Bank is indexing the business environment, with Nigeria at 131st in 2013, with India below and Brazil above. In 2014, it dropped to 175th place, with East Timor located above Nigeria. It is 170th in 2015. Among African countries, South Africa is 43rd, Rwanda is 46th, and Ghana is 70th.

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