As global investors and business leaders look to Africa as the next region of transformative economic growth, they are paying increasing attention to Nigeria. With about 170 million inhabitants, the country has long been the most populous in Africa, but it is only now being recognized as the continent’s largest economy. In April 2014, the government began to release “rebased” data that showed a gross domestic product of $510 billion in 2013, compared with $354 billion for South Africa. The rebased data also revealed an economy that was far more diverse than previously understood and that, with the right reforms and investments, could become one of the world’s leading economies by 2030. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), Nigeria’s renewal: Delivering inclusive growth in Africa’s largest economy, examines how the country can live up to its economic potential while making growth more inclusive, thus bringing more Nigerians out of poverty.

Progress and productivity

Nigeria’s troubled history and its ongoing struggles with terrorism and poverty are well known. Yet the country has made solid economic progress since 2000, averaging annual GDP growth of 8.6 percent under civilian rule from 1999 to 2010, according to pre-rebased data, compared with just 1.5 percent a year under military rule (1983–99). And the new data show Nigeria is no longer just a petro-economy. While oil and gas remain critical sources of government income and of exports, the country’s entire resource sector today accounts for just 14 percent of GDP. Agriculture and trade are larger and faster growing. In addition, it is not generally recognized that Nigeria’s productivity, albeit low, has been growing recently and now contributes more to GDP growth than the country’s expanding population.

Read more ...

Hotoro, Kano, Nigeria (CNN)Girls rescued from Boko Haram terror camps in Sambisa Forest on Tuesday are "not the Chibok girls," Nigerian Army spokesman Sani Usman said.

However, one official did not rule out that captives from other Boko Haram camps that were raided might include some of the 200 girls abducted in April 2014 from a school in Chibok.

Nigerian troops rescued 200 girls and 93 women Tuesday in the Sambisa Forest in the northeastern part of the country, the Nigerian Armed Forces announced on its official Twitter account. The forest is a stronghold for the militant Boko Haram group and is not far from Chibok.

Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said the rescued girls and women are still being screened and none has spoken to their families yet.

The 2014 mass abduction from Chibok led to an international social media movement, #BringBackOurGirls, to rescue them. Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group, has been kidnapping females for years and has hundreds in their custody.

Read more ...

As reports that 50 Nigerians have been affected in the xenophobic violence in South Africa, the Nigerian government has concluded arrangements for the evacuation of its citizens from that country beginning on Monday.
Those interested in returning home have been advised to contact the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa just as the government had directed Nigerians in all troubled spots to close their shops, stay at home and stay out of trouble.

A statement issued by the Nigerian Office in Pretoria on Saturday called on nationals in that country to contact the office.

The acting Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr. Martins Cobham, said on Saturday that the situation was being monitored on lower, middle and high threat and he emphasised the need for Nigerians in the country to avoid areas of imminent threat, abide by the laws of the host country and cooperate with local security agencies.

The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene, said that at least 50 Nigerians were displaced at Jeppes Town, near Johannesburg.

"We met about 300 Nigerians in Jeppes Town, near Johannesburg who fled for their safety and about 50 of them do not have any place to stay.
“We are making arrangements with the Nigerian mission in South Africa to get them a place to stay for their safety,” he said in a statement.

"The Nigerian Union has also presented relief materials to those affected by the attacks and we are in touch with various branches of the union in the provinces on their safety and security," Anyene added.

According to him, Nigerian shops and businesses in Durban and Johannesburg had been looted and some burnt.

Anyene reiterated the union’s call to the Federal Government of Nigeria to put more pressure on the South African government to halt the attacks

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, and #BringBackOurGirls campaigner Obiageli Ezekwesili are among those on the Top 100 list.

Undeterred by either scorching heat or pouring rain, depending on which part of the country they were queuing up in, and, perhaps even more remarkably, unafraid of the still-lingering threat posed by the brutal Islamist militants of Boko Haram, who, although beaten back in recent weeks by the Nigerian armed forces and their regional allies, still sallied forth on election day to launch attacks in several northern states, Nigerians came out in the millions to cast ballots this past weekend in the African continent’s biggest electoral exercise. Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari has claimed victoryin light of a strong lead over incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

The sheer logistics involved in the election were daunting. Just before the vote, Attahiru Jega, chairman of the commission, summarized the effort that would be required to conduct the poll with 68,833,476 eligible voters across the 36 states of the federation plus the federal capital territory. A total of close to 155,000 voting points had to be set up and about 700,000 polling officials in addition to the hundreds of thousands of security agents had to be deployed, a workforce which he noted was equivalent to “three times the combined strength of the armed forces of countries in the entire West Africa subregion.” 

Read more ...

Nigeria’s elections could be a turning point for Africa. If they are free, fair, credible, and if the results are accepted by most of its citizens, the country will become a beacon of hope for the continent, where democratic roots remain shallow. If the results are not credible or if they exacerbate festering religious and ethnic tensions, the consequence could be violence and political uncertainty at home and erosion in the credibility of democratic practices throughout the continent. Instability in Nigeria could invigorate the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram. Post-election upheaval could trigger a larger humanitarian crisis, potentially drawing in foreign militaries and humanitarian organizations. The elections could follow either trajectory.

Nigeria plays an outsized role in Africa. It has the largest economy and population, is the largest oil exporter, and it is vocal in its claims to continental leadership. Its population of 183 million, roughly one in five sub-Saharan Africans, is divided into more than 350 different ethnic groups and evenly between Muslims and Christians. The Boko Haram insurgency identifies with the self-described Islamic State and seeks to destroy the secular Nigerian state, its Christian president, and traditional Islamic establishments that support it and benefit from it.


Read more ...

It is a country where the kidnapping of 279 girls barely registers on the President’s agenda, yet most women are still not interested in Saturday's ballot. But a 60-year-old grandmother is fighting to change this.

Teju is a 22-year-old waitress. She won’t be voting in the Nigerian election on Saturday. “My voting card has its benefits,” she says.

“I’ll use it as my ID card but I have no interest in voting. Politics is a man’s game in Nigeria, my vote doesn’t count.”

Sangosanya Tolulope, a 33-year-old philanthropist in Lagos, adds: “There’s something at the back of people’s minds that says women shouldn’t get involved.”

On Friday, campaigning for the elections draws to an end. It has been dominated by two key issues: the rampant Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, and the corruption that has squandered the nation’s oil wealth.

Military checkpoints are being established in every city. Borders are being closed in anticipation of violence. The poll pits President Goodluck Jonathan against a former military ruler, Muhammadu Buhari. Neither of the men has inspired women to vote.


Even before Nichole Sobecki’s helicopter landed in Bama, Nigeria, on March 25, the staggering devastation was visible.

The militant group Boko Haram, which has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), held the key northeastern town for six months before military forces wrestled control of it about a week earlier. The American photographer, based in Nairobi but recently working in Abuja, was embedded with Nigeria’s army, which took back Bama as part of a multi-pronged effort that also includes forces from neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

“Corrugated iron roofs lie among charred debris, the walls of houses blackened with soot or in ruins,” she tells TIME. “Dusty roads inside the town offer further evidence of atrocities. The remains of a man lie in a sewer, in the fetal position surrounded by trash and human waste. A nearby bridge was used as an execution site,” she adds. “Soldiers cover their faces when entering Bama’s former prison to protect themselves from the smell of those killed as a final act of vengeance before Boko Haram fled the town.”

Sobecki says Bama is now a shadow of a town. 

Read more ...

Nigeria's two main presidential candidates have signed an agreement to prevent violence in tightly contested elections due on Saturday.

Ex-military ruler Abdulsalami Abubakar brokered the deal in talks between President Goodluck Jonathan and his main challenger Muhammadu Buhari.

The two promised to respect the outcome of a credible poll and urged their supporters to refrain from violence.

Some 800 people were killed after the 2011 contest between the two rivals.

Mr Jonathan is facing a strong challenge from Gen Buhari, with some analysts predicting a photo-finish.

Thursday is the final day of campaigning and the government has closed its land and sea borders to ensure a peaceful election.

Read more ...

Page 2 of 3

Go to top