- Nigeria’s economic downturn is hitting its population hard
- Sabotage of oil infrastructure is making the problem worse
- President Buhari has not handled these crises well, and is politically weak
- The situation risks spiraling out of control, with dire implications for Nigerians
Nigeria is a country in crisis. While its economy is technically in recession, that does not sufficiently convey the gravity of the situation in Africa’s most populous nation. The downturn has not only meant mass layoffs; those who have kept their jobs do not receive their salaries for months on end. Some public sector workers are owed more than half a year’s wages. Pensions have gone unpaid.
While the economy was already in trouble when President Muhammadu Buhari took over last year, his protectionist policies, including import bans and foreign exchange controls, have contributed to the naira’s free fall. Markets were not reassured when it took him six months to appoint a finance minister.