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Country Reports

Nigeria Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Nigeria is likely to face a capital expenditure freeze and a major cut in recurrent expenditure after the latest iteration of the 2020 budget, published on 13 May, revealed that the government expects to collect revenue of just less than half of the projected USD27 billion in spending. The National Assembly has authorised President Buhari to borrow up to USD22.8 billion, but raising much more than the USD5–6 billion likely available from multilateral creditors will probably be highly problematic, considering Nigeria’s lending profile with bilateral and commercial creditors. The International Monetary Fund agreed on 28 April to meet in full Nigeria's request for USD3.4 billion in emergency assistance, the largest sum agreed with a country to counter COVID-19 effects. The funding will help Nigeria limit civil unrest concerns by ensuring public-sector workers and security forces can continue to be paid despite a collapse in oil revenue.Nigeria devalued the official exchange rate of the naira by 15% against the US dollar on 20 March. However, a further devaluation is highly likely in the next few months, breaching the 400 naira to the dollar barrier, because of a pre-existing shortage of foreign-exchange reserves and because oil revenues are unlikely to recover significantly. The Islamic State-affiliated faction of Boko Haram is likely to take advantage of the spread of COVID-19 and associated security precautions to step up attacks, with the aim of regaining control of large areas of the three northeastern states where the group operates.One of the world's lowest VAT rates rose from 5% to 7.5% in March 2020 as part of the Finance Bill signed by President Buhari in December 2019, which incorporated the initial 2020 budget. However, pressure for ad-hoc taxes on non-oil sectors will remain, given revenue shortfalls, which will deepen because of a global economic slowdown and the fiscal authorities' inability to meet budgeted targets.
Last update: June 17, 2020

Operational Outlook

Labour unions are likely to continue making forceful demands throughout the COVID-19 crisis relating to job protection, safety of employees, and an early managed relaxation of restrictions to protect livelihoods. When the situation eases, unions are likely to maintain pressure for swift implementation of the minimum wage, including by impoverished state bureaucracies. A renewed anti-corruption drive by Buhari in his second term will remain largely ineffective due to powerful government figures' entrenched interests, and limited resources of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It has also been undermined by the appointment to leading roles of individuals previously investigated for corruption, reducing the likelihood of measures improving oil industry transparency.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Terrorism

Severe

Islamist militants appear at their strongest since late 2014 against a demoralised and poorly resourced Nigerian army. Attacks on convoys and destruction of weapons appear deliberately designed to undermine the operational capability of troops at a time when state resources are evaporating because of the COVID-19-pandemic-induced collapse in the oil price and global economic slowdown. The immediate aim is likely to assert control of parts of the northeast and establish a "caliphate". The faction led by Abubakar Shekau is less well-resourced but will continue to stage regular suicide bombings. Niger Delta militants pose little current threat as prominent leaders have likely been bought off by clandestine financial concessions.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Crime

Nigeria is a central link in African organised crime networks, with criminal groups from the country and, to a lesser extent, Ghana believed to control much of the continental cocaine and heroin trade. The country is also regarded as both a major supplier and final destination for human traffickers, while regional and domestic conflicts have led to increased flows of weapons into Nigeria. Oil theft is widespread in the Niger Delta as an adjunct to and funder of recurrent separatist militancy. Despite domestic attempts to boost anti-trafficking operations, institutional and resource weaknesses, porous borders, poor training and corruption continue to hamper attempts to fight crime.

Last update: June 17, 2020

War Risks

Nigeria has improved security co-operation with neighbours Cameroon, Chad, and Niger against Islamist militants, but their support is likely to be scaled down if Nigeria's unilateral closure of its borders to goods lasts beyond relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. The effective contribution from Chad, in particular, has been undermined by perceived lack of support from Nigeria. 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 Fulani herders’ attacks. The lack of viable long-term solutions and rising demographic pressures mean further periods of massacres by farmers and herders are likely.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Social Stability

Very high

Localised rioting and confrontations with the security forces are likely throughout Nigeria as long as COVID-19 lockdown measures persist. The key driver is likely to remain the persistence or reimposition of measures which affect livelihoods, and the ability to return to work in both the formal and informal sectors. Further anti-South Africa demonstrations are likely, as well as riots and looting targeting South African-linked businesses if xenophobic violence recurs there due to COVID-19-induced economic hardship. Previous reprisal incidents in Nigeria followed a wave of attacks in South Africa on 1–2 September 2019, which largely targeted Nigerians who own small businesses in cities and townships.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Health Risk

Severe

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: April 5, 2019

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: April 5, 2019

Transportation

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: April 5, 2019

Infrastructure

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: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

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

Electricity

Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019