Country Reports

Nigeria Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

President Muhammadu Buhari is vulnerable to defeat in the February 2019 election given his limited progress in promoting economic growth and tackling corruption and security issues, along with high-profile defections from his ruling All Progressives Congress. In a possible second term, Buhari would likely continue his focus on agricultural self-sufficiency and transport infrastructure, with little interest in measures to boost foreign investment. The opposition People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) chances of victory were boosted by the primary victory of former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, without damaging party unity. Abubakar has criticised Buhari for deterring investment and would be likely to streamline procedures to start a business and offer fiscal incentives, focusing on non-oil sectors. He has also pledged to privatise the state oil company, although he would face intense resistance from vested interests. An order in August 2018 to telecoms firm MTN to repatriate USD8.1 billion and a USD2 billion tax arrears bill a few days later underline high risks of arbitrary tax demands or financial penalties – often using regulatory loopholes – to squeeze profitable enterprises in search of windfall payments. The repatriation dispute was settled on 24 December 2018 for just USD53 million. Nigeria’s economy is recovering gradually but several risks overshadow the 2019 outlook. Oil export receipts remain vulnerable to volatile global crude oil prices, while limited hard-currency access, double-digit inflation, and capital flow reversals weigh on non-oil growth. Political uncertainties ahead of the elections hamper progress with key economic reforms needed to unlock growth potential. An uneasy militant truce is likely to prevail in the oil-producing Niger Delta in the 12-month outlook, although there is a risk of large-scale political violence around the election. There is a rising risk of the Islamic State-affiliated faction of Boko Haram resuming IED attacks outside the northeast: a series of successful attacks on military targets underline its growing capability and weapons stockpiling. © 2019, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Last update: January 25, 2019

Operational Outlook

The main trade union organisations are likely to step up calls for nationwide strike action over demands for a tripartite agreement on the minimum wage to be implemented. Unions in the oil industry are likely to remain active and frequently threaten strikes, although these are commonly averted through negotiations, or of short duration. An anti-corruption drive is likely to remain largely ineffective due to the entrenched interests of powerful government figures, and limited resources of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Corruption investigations involving co-operation from foreign holders of illicit funds are more likely than domestic processes to lead to successful asset recoveries.

Last update: January 24, 2019



A surge in repeated successful attacks on military bases by the Islamic State faction of Boko Haram is making official claims the group is technically defeated look increasingly nonsensical. The Islamist militants appear at their strongest since late 2014 against a demoralised and poorly resourced army, and likely have an aspirational target to resume attacks outside their northeast heartland. The faction led by Abubakar Shekau will continue to stage regular suicide bombings. The Niger Delta Avengers poses a reduced threat as prominent leaders are likely bought off by concessions, but the threat to oil and gas infrastructure is only likely to diminish significantly after early 2019 polls.

Last update: January 25, 2019

War Risks

Nigeria has improved security co-operation with neighbours Cameroon, Chad, and Niger to obstruct Boko Haram militants crossing borders to stage attacks. This is likely to lead to progressive securing of porous frontiers, with an elevated risk of border closure at short notice, particularly with Niger. The risk of civil war is very high, because of anger of Christian communities in Middle Belt states along Nigeria's east-west sectarian fault line towards President Muhammadu Buhari's perceived failure to counteract the raids of Fulani herdsmen. A surge in reprisal attacks is likely to drive violent unrest in Middle Belt cities around the February 2019 election period.

Last update: January 25, 2019

Social Stability

Very high

Sectarian violence is again rising in the Middle Belt, especially Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, and Kaduna states, with widespread conflict between farmers and pastoralists. The violence will continue at a high level because overstretched security forces cannot stage prolonged operations. It will drive demonstrations in urban areas calling for an improved government and security force response, and reprisal attacks on Muslim communities. Protests by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria calling for their leader's release from detention will continue in federal capital Abuja, despite security forces showing themselves increasingly prone to violent repression, shooting dead 45 demonstrators in late October 2018.

Last update: January 25, 2019

Health Risk


Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: November 27, 2013

Natural Risks

Very high

The Harmattan (wind) affects the coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea, including Nigeria, every year from November to April. It carries large quantities of dust and sand, which can lead to significant disturbances in air traffic and breathing difficulties.

During the rainy season (May to October), localized flooding is also possible, which can cause traffic problems. The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) predicted that 27 out of the 36 states are likely to see flooding in 2017. The states include Abia, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, Lagos, Delta, Yobe, Kano, Imo, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Anambra, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Cross River, Kaduna, Jigawa, and Benue.

Because of significant ocean currents on the Nigerian coast, individuals should exercise caution when swimming as cases of drowning are reported each year.

Last update: February 13, 2018


Very high

It is recommended to use air transportation when traveling around the country. For flights to major destinations within the country, Air Peace and Med View airlines are recommended. The schedule of the airline operators can be confirmed on their websites.

Except for main roads in the north and southwest (Lagos region), road infrastructure is typically poor: roads are usually poorly maintained and not well lit. Travel by car is often dangerous due to these conditions as well as the aggressive driving habits of many locals (speeding, erratic driving, aggressive passing, etc.). Driving at night should be avoided altogether due to the elevated risk of attacks. In case of an accident involving personal injury caused to locals, it is also strongly advised to go immediately to the nearest police station because of the risk of a hostile reaction. Finally, it is important to respect the many roadblocks erected by security forces, both in cities and the countryside.

Intercity travel that cannot be made by airplane should be made in convoys of several 4x4 vehicles with a sufficient supply of water, food, and fuel, and accompanied by armed guards. In some areas (Niger Delta and outside the secure areas of Abuja and Lagos in particular), an armed guards escort (MOPOL) is required. It may be advisable to inform a trusted individual about the planned route and schedule. When possible, it is recommended to vary travel routes and time in order to thwart the surveillance of potential criminals.

In cities, it is recommended to avoid using taxis due to the risk of being targeted by criminals. This recommendation also applies for moto-taxis in Lagos, which are known to be dangerous. It is advised to use taxis with drivers employed by a reputable company. Carjackings and thefts, sometimes committed by armed men, are frequent on urban and rural roads. It is recommended to keep valuables out of sight and to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up.

A rail network exists in the country but is in poor condition. However, in an effort to modernize the country, the president plans to rebuild 3505 km (2178 mi) of railway lines and on July 26, 2016, inaugurated the first high-speed train line linking Abuja to Kaduna.

Last update: February 13, 2018


Access to electricity is not guaranteed throughout Nigeria; only 55.6 percent of the population has access.

In 2015, only 69 percent of the population had access to running water.

Access to information technology is widely available in Nigeria (mobile phones are owned by 78 percent of people and 43 percent have access to the internet). Increasing access to information technology has led to the development of e-commerce in the country. The Nigerian-based website Jumia is one of the foremost e-commerce websites on the continent.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information


The north of the country is hot and dry with a long rainy season (April to September). The south is more humid with a rainy season from March to November. Generally speaking temperatures are lower in the south but very high humidity levels can make conditions much more unpleasant there. A respite from this humidity often comes in December and January as the Harmattan, a hot and dry trade wind from the Sahara, passes through the region.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +234
Police: 090 40 87 21
Ambulance: 199


Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: January 21, 2014