Political and economic situation

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the seventh most populous in the world. Lagos is the largest city, with a population of over 17 million. The Federal Republic of Nigeria consists of 36 states and one territory (Federal Capital) and President Muhammadu Buhari has been in office since March 2015.

Classified as a lower middle-income country by the World Bank (WB) , Nigeria has been classified as Africa’s largest economy since its rebasing in 2014, surpassing South Africa with GDP estimated at around USD 568 billion (2014). However, Nigeria still ranks low on the Human Development Index (152 out of 187), and 46% of the population lived below the poverty line in 2010.

Oil has been a primary source of government revenue since 1970. However, in 2012/2013 Nigeria’s oil production shrank due to regulatory constraints and security risks which hampered new investments. But according to the World Bank, oil rents still contributed 13.6% of GDP in 2013, and Nigeria remains Africa´s biggest oil producer. It has an estimated 5.11bn m³ of proven natural gas reserves – one of the top ten natural gas endowments in the world and the largest in Africa. Moreover, Nigeria is the fourth-largest net exporter of oil worldwide, with proven reserves of 37bn barrels.

Although the Nigerian economy continues to grow, its energy sector is in crisis, with low generating capacity per capita and high losses (both technical and non-technical). Load shedding is common throughout the country, and all prudent businesses have standby generators. There are no statistics on captive generating capacity, but estimates are as high as 14-20 GW. The Nigerian government privatized the electricity sector in 2013 with the aim to improve the reliability of electricity supply. The process of restructuring of the sector continues and is expected to gradually improve the reliability of generation, transmission and distribution.

Nigeria participates in the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).
The national currency is the Nigerian Naira. Currently the value of the Naira is very volatile. (Last update from 03 August 2016, USD 1 = NGN,  318.2 EUR 355.6 = NGN).