Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and full of entrepreneurial activity, an often-neglected observation under the wave of adverse media reports on the country’s security situation. While there are high levels of corruption and violence in Nigeria – much of it linked to its oil-producing regions and the hydrocarbon economy – there are also significant opportunities for reform.
With oil prices volatile and plummeting, the need to move the economy away from oil and gas is viewed as pressing by domestic stakeholders. But although politics is seen as fierce and chaotic, it appears to be solidifying the institutional mechanisms of changing rule through elections and coalitions.
Nigeria hasn’t yet plunged into a constitutional crisis nor seen high levels of internecine violence, which at the turn of the century would have seemed possible. While the nature of instability is that conditions could go either way, the opportunities for political representation run deep in Nigerian politics and representatives are unlikely to trade these for a complete return to authoritarianism.
These changes in the political settlement will impact upon policy design and outcomes. ACE’s sectoral analysis points to feasible and high-impact opportunities in productive sectors that would help to tackle corruption, meaning that our incremental approach will adapt well to these changing dynamics. With our partners, we believe the pursuit of reforms at sectoral levels will lead to more broad-based positive developmental outcomes for the country.