Elections in Nigeria in 2023: charts that describe the country

students waving flags

Nigeria, with 214 million people, is the most populous and wealthiest nation in Africa, and its actions have a significant impact on the rest of the continent. After eight years under Muhammadu Buhari, voters will choose a new president, but whoever is elected will face some difficult obstacles.

Some of the issues that voters are considering are shown in the following charts.

Nigerians, like people all over the world, have experienced an increase in food prices over the past year as a result of the fallout from the conflict in Ukraine. However, prices had been rising prior to the fighting due to a shortage of foreign currency and the closure of the border to many imports.

The annual rate of inflation in 2022 was just under 19 percent, which was the highest level in 20 years. Garri, or cassava flakes, a staple food, has been one of the basic goods least impacted, but families are being greatly impacted by the sharp increase in the price of other necessities like tomatoes and vegetable oil.

Chart showing the change in price of basic goods

The government already spends more money than it takes in, so if the new president wants to assist people with the cost of necessities, they will run into this issue.

The oil-producing country must re-import gasoline because it has limited refining capacity and cannot profit from higher oil prices despite huge subsidies for gasoline.

Analysts are growing more concerned about the sustainability of the public debt as the cost of servicing the debt's interest payments occasionally exceeds government revenue in 2022.

Graph of Nigeria's public debt over time

Nigeria, one of Africa's top oil producers, has relied on the black gold as a source of both essential foreign currency and government revenue. However, the oil-rich nation hasn't used the money made to its advantage. - . A large portion of it has been lost or abused.

Additionally, over the past ten years, oil production has decreased. It reached its lowest point in 30 years in 2022.

The decrease in output has been attributed to oil theft and vandalism. This has caused Nigeria to lag behind other oil-producing countries, along with years of underinvestment and the age of the oil fields.

Graph showing Nigeria's oil output

Nigerian leaders must figure out how to use this young population because half of the population is under the age of 18.

To meet the needs and aspirations of all those young people, they must aid in the expansion of the economy.

Even though 40% of registered voters are under 35, a significant portion of the electorate, there are still a lot of people who are too young to vote. A direct appeal to them might have an impact on the election's result.

Population bar chart

Most young Nigerians want a job first and foremost.

In Nigeria, a third of those looking for work are currently unemployed. More than half of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are looking for work.

Although the Covid pandemic response measures undoubtedly had an impact, unemployment rates were already on the rise prior to the virus's outbreak.

Since 2015, the economy has expanded, but not quickly enough to hire all of the new applicants.

One of the reasons for low growth has been attributed to insecurity, but economists have also placed the blame on other policies like currency restrictions and closing the borders to many imports, claiming that these deter investment.

Chart showing unemployment rate

There is limited access to some fundamental infrastructure that could ease daily life and business operations.

Only about 55% of the population has access to electricity, according to World Bank statistics, and the poor condition of the power network has long been criticized.

In terms of internet usage, only 36% of Nigerians are online, placing the nation in the middle of the West African nations.

Chart showing internet acceess

The next president will make addressing the rising levels of violence in Nigeria a top priority.

The biggest worry when President Buhari was first elected in 2015 was the north-eastern threat posed by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. A separatist insurgency in the south-east, an increase in kidnappings, politically motivated attacks, farmer-herder tensions, criminal violence, and police brutality all undermine the public's confidence in the state's ability to keep them safe, even though they no longer control much land.

The problem is now widespread throughout the nation and is no longer primarily limited to the north-east.

One in five children who don't attend school worldwide reside in Nigeria.

The fact that nearly 40% of children in the country between the ages of 5 and 11 are not enrolled in school raises serious concerns, even though this is partially due to the sheer size of the country's young population.

This is a national problem, but attendance is typically worse in the north. Insecurity has had an impact, but poverty and gender are also elements.

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